Emerson opens global innovation center in Round Rock, Texas

By Billy Thinnes
Technical Editor

AUSTIN, Texas -- Emerson Process Management today held the grand opening of its Emerson Innovation Center for Process Systems and Solutions in Round Rock, Texas.

Dignitaries on hand for the event included  Emerson Chairman and CEO David Farr, Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

This 282,000-square-foot, nearly $70 million facility will be the global headquarters for Emerson’s automation systems and project services business, which helps customers operate facilities in industries such as oil and gas, refining, chemicals, power, life sciences, food and beverages and metals and mining. 

“Our goal is not just to react but to innovate and execute solutions to help our customers into the future by creating substantial value,” said Emerson's Mr. Farr.

“Texas is a place where collaboration and innovation are working at scale,” Mr. Dell added. “Dell is thrilled to be working with Emerson. Welcome to the neighborhood.”

Mr. Dell’s “neighborly” welcome was a friendly reminder that Dell’s headquarters are a mile away from the Emerson Innovation Center in Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. Dell and Emerson have long been strategic partners, a relationship that is expected to continue into the future.

The center itself is comprised of several disciplines under one roof:
  • A technology and product design and support center, providing engineering and development for the DeltaV digital automation system and DeltaV SIS Safety System.

  • An Integrated Operations (iOps) Center where customers can explore new ways of managing remote operations and of enabling easier collaboration by experts located anywhere in the world. 

  • The Emerson Process Management Human Centered Design Institute, a consulting and engineering practice that drives usability based design into all products Emerson Process Management designs and manufacturers, is also based in Austin. By designing products that are easier to use, customers gain improved worker effectiveness and lower the requirements for specialized knowledge in their workforce.

  • An interoperability and testing lab in which Emerson tests both its own products as well as competitors’ to ensure safe, reliable and robust operation.

  • The Life Sciences Industry Center provides consulting, engineering and project management expertise to support pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers.

  • Educational Services where more than 2,500 customer personnel gain product, technology and operational skills on the latest technologies. 

  • Lastly, the company’s Project Management Office (PMO) aligns and integrates the company’s best practices, processes, systems and metrics for global project execution.
Texas Governor Rick Perry was also keen to celebrate Emerson’s grand opening, expressing his appreciation for the company’s presence while also engaging in a bit of home state booster-ism.

“The growth of Emerson only bolsters Texas reputation as a state where people can dream big and those dreams can become a reality,” Governor Perry said. “Texas is the epicenter for job creation in the nation. Three out of every 10 jobs in the US in the last decade were created in Texas.”

The governor, who had just returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, concluded his remarks with a phrase he has probably uttered a time or two before. 

“Texas has been blessed with natural resources, but no resource is more valuable than Texans,” he said. “Boom times come and go, bout the irrepressible Texas spirit isn’t going anywhere.”

This new innovation center is the company’s third globally. The center in Marshalltown, Iowa, develops and tests flow control applications and technologies, replicating real-world conditions. The innovation center in Pune, India, focuses on software application development.

Emerson’s automation systems are widely used in process operations around the world.  The company was awarded over 30 large customer projects valued at more than $600 million in 2013.  Its new Innovation Center is a showcase for how customers can leverage capabilities to re-engineer their businesses to become safe, reliable and profitable.



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