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Emerson Unveils Architecture Vision for ‘Boundless Automation’

Software-centric architecture to democratize data and enable innovation

Building on a deep legacy of industry-leading digital automation expertise through its Plantweb™ digital ecosystem, global technology and software company Emerson (NYSE: EMR) today shared its vision of a new software-defined automation architecture designed to catalyze the future of modern manufacturing.

This next-generation architecture will empower companies through “boundless automation” to manage, connect and deliver operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) data seamlessly and easily across the enterprise. Moving data freely and securely across OT and IT domains – from the intelligent field to the edge and cloud – will enable operational and business performance optimization across the enterprise.

Emerson, drawing upon decades of automation leadership through its preeminent Plantweb digital ecosystem, shared this vision to accelerate manufacturing today at its Emerson Exchange convening nearly 3,000 industrial experts to discuss emerging ways to optimize business and sustainability performance through advanced automation. This vision follows Emerson’s latest expansion of Plantweb with the Aspen Tech industrial software portfolio.

“The industrial sector is facing a pivotal moment, with the intersecting priorities of safety, productivity and sustainability forcing a crossroads between ‘the way things have always been done’ and the tech-powered vision of tomorrow,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “As an automation leader with expanding software capabilities through our AspenTech addition, Emerson is well-positioned to help the industries we serve navigate a path to a digital future.”

The automation architecture currently used across the world’s most essential industries was purpose-built with operational data isolated from hardware and software systems. This siloed approach presents a barrier to meaningful data use because separate layers of automation – including sensors and software, cloud-based applications and artificial intelligence – block data access from one layer to the next.

Leveraging automation to its fullest potential requires secure OT data access to put data to work across layers to optimize process, reliability, safety and sustainability simultaneously. New technologies and applications combined with market needs – including “born digital” companies, decentralized operating models and the move toward self-optimized plants – have created demand for a new automation paradigm where a unified software environment streams data across the enterprise effortlessly, when and where it’s needed.

This software-defined, data-centric and app-enabled architecture Emerson outlined at its conference will more easily “democratize” critical data. The automation architecture will easily gather data from devices and modern edge-based technology control systems and securely move it to today’s cloud-based enterprise for analysis, trending and forecasting – enabling tight collaboration between information technology and OT.

“Emerson has been at the forefront of industrial automation innovation breakthroughs for the past four decades, and our commitment continues,” said Peter Zornio, chief technology officer for Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “The shift to a software-defined architecture across the cloud, edge and intelligent field will eliminate functional and architectural silos, creating a ‘boundless automation’ platform. Such a platform is required to truly enable all the benefits promised by digital transformation applications and programs.”

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and software company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. A leader in industrial automation, Emerson helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers optimize operations, protect personnel, reduce emissions and achieve their sustainability goals through its Automation Solutions and AspenTech businesses. Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information, visit


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