Sustainability Is A Driver For Process Automation

  • Sep 1, 2023, 13:39 PM

How Process Automation Enables a Sustainable Future: Foundations for Environment, Social, and Governance 

Process automation’s future is being shaped by three key trends: Sustainability, Digital transformation, and Flexible production. In this three-part blog series, we will explore these trends in greater detail and discuss how they transform industries across the board.

In one of our recent reports, over 95% of respondents noted some formal or informal level of sustainability and/or Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) policy over the last two years. Regulations are applying pressure across the value chain companies to address sustainability and ESG in their operations. Smart technology solutions can help.

Sustainability is a key driver of innovation in automation. Enterprises are experiencing how committing to sustainability is increasing cost savings and optimizing operations while attracting new customers. This blog focuses on how our Process Solutions, powered by our DCS, PlantPAx, enables ESG mandates for the organization.

Understanding How Integrated Process & Power Catapults Enterprise's Sustainability Journey   

As organizations define and socialize their ESG mandates, there is an industry-wide demand for advanced data contributing to companies’ growing need for smart devices and networks that integrate efficiently across the enterprise.

The first step towards the energy roadmap is to know the energy consumption landscape. Smart and integrated technology solutions like FactoryTalk Energy Manager can assist. It provides visibility into energy usage, identifies opportunities for energy savings and reports on energy usage while helping operations comply with regulations.

The next step is to adopt solutions that address the regulatory and business drivers. The separation between process control and power on the plant floor—including lines drawn between architectural standards and cross-team communication—must be eliminated for industrial organizations to remain competitive in the market and keep their workforce long-term. This definitive split between process and power needs to be replaced with integrated hardware, software and networks that are agile, data-informed and easy-to-use. 

PlantPAx is a process automation system that can be used to control and monitor both process and power applications. The economic benefits of the unified process and power controls are significant and are gained via increased production, increased energy saving and reduced operating costs. To help enterprises benefit from the combined process and power controls, many organizations are developing IT, OT, and IIoT solutions that can be used to customize newly combined systems, monitor and coordinate performance, and maximize output. See how Dairy Idaho Jersey Girls Dairy redefines efficiency and energy by using PlantPAx.

Additionally, automation's ability to reduce wages allows organizations to increase their bottom line without sacrificing quality or integrity for sustainability initiatives. Green Enterprise can reduce up to 80% of waste by utilizing PlantPAx DCS in their strategy. Put simply – automation unlocks a powerful way of reaching net zero targets on an industrial scale.

Understanding Workforce Sustainability and Viability

The world has changed, and the process industries have changed with it. Skilled labor – and labor of any kind – continues to be elusive globally. Workforce sustainability and viability are integral for any process business’s success, regardless of size. As businesses strive for operational resilience at their plants, understanding workforce sustainability has never been more influential.

One way to address workforce sustainability is to use technology to automate and simplify operations and keep the people, processes and the surrounding environment safe and productive. This can free up workers to focus on more strategic and value-added activities, and it can also help to attract and retain skilled workers and even get the newer generation workforce to choose the Plant Floor working over other options.

Recent events in the process industries have emphasized the importance of maintaining the highest safety standards. These events have spotlighted the potential worker, environmental and business ramifications of a significant safety event. The effective and future-ready migration strategy is the key to ensuring that we support the ESG mandates for our enterprises.

Understanding Sustainability and its Cybersecurity Implications 

The Governance pillar of sustainability emphasizes the importance of implementing policies and procedures to ensure the proper management of a company's resources. This includes securing critical infrastructure and sensitive data against cyber threats. Integrating Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) with enterprise-level systems enables better visibility and collaboration, which help improve efficiency, production and profitability. But greater connectivity also exposes control systems to additional cybersecurity risks.

This paper demonstrates how Rockwell Automation PlantPAx®, a modern distributed control system (DCS), addresses cybersecurity based on the IEC 62443-3-3 standard.

Contact us below to learn more about how PlantPAx can enable your sustainability journey! 

Article Source: Rockwell Automation