2016 Users Conference

2016 Users Conference Banner

The 2016 Yokogawa Users Conference and Exhibition – North America offered unique and exciting opportunities to learn more about Yokogawa's solutions and how they can assist in achieving safe, reliable, and profitable operations. 

Attendees at this year's conference:

  • Learned about industry best practices
  • Discovered ways to increase quality and efficiency and lower operating costs through proven methods and use of Yokogawa products
  • Networked with fellow users, industry and business leaders, system integrators, representatives, and Yokogawa product and solution experts
  • Attended hands-on workshops and seminars that will earn you Professional Development Hours (PDH) certificates
  • Interacted with many of Yokogawa's subject matter experts and value-added suppliers to see how these technologies and services can fit directly into your business model
  • Saw the latest advances in Yokogawa products and solutions and learn about the future vision of the company
  • Participated in Yokogawa product and solutions and workshops
  • Provided recommendations and help influence future product development

The 2016 Users Conference and Exhibition also featured a demo showcase for Yokogawa and its partners and suppliers to highlight industry solutions and products.

Yokogawa Corporation of America Completes
12th Users Group Conference and Exhibition

Yokogawa Corporation of America recently concluded its 2016 Users Group Conference and Exhibition – North America, Oct 3-6 at the Marriot Renaissance SeaWorld Hotel in Orlando, Fla. Approximately 350 professionals attended for the 2 1/2 day event to share their experiences of utilizing Yokogawa products, platforms and solutions and to visit the Co-Innovation center and exhibition featuring Yokogawa and Yokogawa partner/suppliers. The agenda included daily keynotes and plenary sessions, Yokogawa system and product updates, user-based technical sessions, workshops and panel sessions, in addition to five training workshops on workings of industrial automation standards. The exhibition or Co-Innovation center included a complete portfolio of Yokogawa VigilantPlant Solutions and Services, Measurement and Control solutions, Advanced Analytical solutions, and a new technology area, augmented by 20 key partner solution suppliers.

The Yokogawa Conference and Exhibition – North America is vital for Yokogawa because it provides a means to present Yokogawa's direction in industrial automation as well as gather feedback from our users for our products and services so that we can improve our ability to exceed their expectations," said Joseph Ting, Director of Marketing. "Our users see it as a way to learn about complementary solutions and what's new that will be coming in the near future as well as to network with each other and share common interests. They provide invaluable feedback for product enhancements that will satisfy their business needs and help in prioritizing those improvements for the U.S. market."

The conference was aligned around the themes of Building a Stronger Defense, Operational Effectiveness and Capital Expense Efficiency through Measure and Analyze, Process Control, Optimize Performance and Ensuring Sustainability. To help users find the solutions that mattered most to them the breakout sessions, workshops, and panels were identified by a color, as well as a symbol to help attendees quickly recognize the track theme. In addition, each area in the Co-Innovation Center (Exhibition Hall) was identified by the color groupings.

The conference actually started with a set of pre-event sessions highlighting standards use within the automation industry. Included were seminars on The World of Wireless featuring ISA-100 & WCI (Wireless compliance Institute), ISA-84 Safety Lifecycle Management and Safety Instrumented Systems (IEC61511), Advanced Decision Support: Alarm Rationalization & Advanced Graphics Parts 1 and 2 discussing 18.2, ISA 101 and 106. Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security. ISA 99/ IEC62443 and OPC UA – Modern Secure Communication of Information, led by industry experts. Later that evening a reception welcomed the participants.

The conference began Tue with a General Session with the agenda, safety moment and welcome by Gene Cammack, director of System Marketing for Yokogawa followed by a video welcome by Takashi Nishijima - CEO, Yokogawa Electric Corp and an update by Riley Parker, Shell Exploration and production and Chairman of the Users group steering committee.

Sandy Vassar, I&C Manager, ExxonMobil retired, provided the lead-off keynote address describing precisely what changes in project execution are needed to streamline processes for major capital project specification, design, testing and implementation that need the development and deployment of new technologies across industry in the process by automation suppliers to take automation off the critical path. Sandy, a well-known industry speaker for "It Just Happens" initiative described the changes in philosophy and needs since he last addressed the Yokogawa Users in its Conference and Exhibition in 2005 more than ten years before."

Attendees heard from "Ted" Abe, Executive Vice President and CMO, Yokogawa Electric Corp on Yokogawa's vision entitle Plant to Planet, Waste to Wealth – Yokogawa's Vision and Challenges to customers to deliver sustainable solutions that provide for sustainable growth.

Daniel Duncan, Yokogawa Corporation of America President and CEO followed with the present state of Yokogawa in North America, its direction and focus.

The session culminated with the presentation of Yokogawa's Co-Innovation Award. The intent of the Co-Innovation Award, which replaced the previously awarded technology award, is to recognize where the theme of "Co-innovating tomorrow" is being put into practice with customers and partners. The 2016 winner was selected from qualifying entrants that have worked with Yokogawa Corporation of America to develop specific technologies, or applied Yokogawa products in specific new applications within USA, Canada and Mexico. The 2016 Co-Innovation Award winner was awarded to Eagle Research Corporation for co-development of the Yokogawa Y-Flow computer. Eagle Research Corporation worked with Yokogawa's Product Management group to develop a new flow computer, the Yokogawa Y-Flow. Utilizing Yokogawa's industry leading DP HART pressure sensing technology and combining that with state of the art Flow Computing from Eagle Research, the team created a new flow computer that was on display at the co-innovation center at the conference. John Booth accepted the award on behalf of Eagle Research Corporation.

Following a break, the attendees were able to choose between 7 parallel sessions that included Digital Transformation (IIoT), product updates from DCS/SIS systems, advanced software solutions, SCADA for integrated remote operations, improving operational excellence including Training as a Service, and two workshops – one on CENTUM VP Batch and the other a CENTUM VP Operations Mini Training workshop.

Following lunch were sessions on subjects of Field Communications (Wireless and Foundation Fieldbus), Project Execution, Cybersecurity, DCS Applications in turbine controls and blending, and Remote Lifecycle Support for air separation and ammonia processes. In addition, two additional workshops were held – one a repeated session on the popular CENTUM VP operations, and the second on "Steps in a CENTUM upgrade".

After break, a series of panels supporting the presentations were held. These sessions included a moderator with 2-4 panelists who fielded questions from attendees and the moderator and provided their experience and opinions on the topic, which included wireless in process applications, project execution, cybersecurity, DCS upgrades, operator effectiveness and safety process management. Panelists generally include an end users, a solution provider and a Yokogawa person to bring a wide variety of viewpoints in which to discuss with attendees.

The evening was capped with Yokogawa's hospitality event at Lafayette's restaurant. Live music and opportunities for networking was provided.

Wednesday's, Oct 5, agenda highlighted cybersecurity and field instrumentation as the themes.

The opening keynote was given by Zach Tudor, of Idaho National Laboratories (INL) on Partnering for Impact: INL's Approach to Critical Infrastructure Protection, where INL, as 1 of the 17 departments of energy (DOE) national laboratories provides leadership and testing for cyber security that universities and industry can't, won't or shouldn't do. Zach described the work of leading control system security and partnering with the ICS Emergency Response teams and industry to protect critical infrastructure, of which most all attendees belong or provide solutions for.

The featured keynotes was Frank Abagnale, famed author and feature of the movie and Broadway musical "Catch Me if You Can". Mr. Abagnale provided an entertaining insight into his life as the notorious imposter of the 1960s, successfully impersonating an airline pilot, pediatrician, stockbroker, college professor, and assistant attorney general, all while cashing $2.5 million in forged checks. Frank described his escapades and reveals how he learned to live on the right side of the law providing life lessons and inspiration to attendees.

Later in the afternoon, Mr. Abagnale held a cyber-security and Fraud Prevention workshop providing the latest information to protect individuals from embezzlement, forgery, counterfeit currency, check fraud, identity theft, and Internet fraud. He described white collar crime techniques, liability concerns under the new Uniform Commercial Code, and demonstrated the latest document features and equipment. Mr. Abagnale combined his expertise with anecdotes from his time as consultant to the FBI utilizing his experience as one of the world's most successful con men for a timely, insightful and informative presentation.

Wednesday's field instrumentation break-out sessions included topics of topics of Best Practices in Flue Gas Analysis, Wireless Instrumentation, Best Practices in Flow and Pressure Transmitters, Field Device Management Workshop, and Sessions on Gas Process, Quality Analytics, Blending Measurement, Loop Tuning and Virtual Reality for Maintenance.

The Users then held a "User Only" session whereby they discussed Yokogawa performance toward user requests from previous user group meetings as well as prioritizing new items.

Yokogawa held a press release to it new quality analytics solution and to introduce the new relationship with the KBC acquisition and its new Petrosim product release.

During the breaks and throughout the event the Co-innovation Center was open to allow users an opportunity to discuss their automation situations with experts and to see the latest products from Yokogawa and their solution partners. Kiosks and booths featured liquid and gas analytical, flow and pressure transmitters on a process skid featuring ISA100.11a wireless and 900 mHz I/O radio technologies, Y-Compressor compressor control solution, NetOil Flow solution with Rotomass with a unique Gas Void Fraction calculation, controllers and data acquisition, advanced analytical featuring gas chromatography and laser spectroscopy and analytical services, power analyzers, meters and oscilloscopes, service featuring remote diagnostics, endpoint security upgrades, and evolution planning and training featuring web-based training capabilities.

The process control kiosk included a CENTUM VP batch system. On the other side of the kiosk was Asset Excellence for Predictive and Sustainable Maintenance represented by Plant Resource Manager (PRM). The Safety Excellence Solutions for SP84 Lifecycle compliance included independent and integrated safety systems featured ProSafe-RS and the migration package form Quadlog SIS. The integrated safety instrumented system included Partial Stroke testing for interval valve testing executed through PRM PST function to a HART valve through ProSafe-RS.

Two large operator consoles anchored the co-innovation center with a Winsted console hosting CENTUM and SCADA capabilities including the new N-IO field I/O subsystem showing Yokogawa's Agile Project Execution capabilities and upgrade hardware for it legacy FIO subsystem. At the other end of the booth was a Winsted console featuring advanced solutions of APC, Operator Training Simulator (OTS), Advanced Decision Support trilogy of advanced operator graphics, modular procedural automation (MPA) and alarm management Reporting. In addition innovative technologies of wearable identification tracking vest.

Throughout the co-innovation center were Yokogawa subject matter experts were readily identifiable with their blue shirts.

Wednesday Evening culminated in a fun night and networking event at Universal Studio's Marvel Superhero Island.

Thursday, Oct 6, opened with 3 industry of keynotes. Dr. J.D. Tate, of Dow Chemicals spoke on Process Analytical Needs, Challenges and Drivers describe the challenges of sustaining over 22000 analyzers within Dow and the needs to improve technology with a new generation of process analyzers to reduce the burden of maintenance and sustainability of these measuring devices.

Dave Strobhar, founder of Beville Engineering and leader in the Center of Operator Performance, followed an examination of the process operator and balancing the workload and performance due to limiting human factors. Mr Strobhar described key areas needed to maximize plant performance with distributed control: designing the operator-process system for upsets and the operator's need for improved graphic design, situation awareness, automation console design, and training.

The third keynote featured Glenn Schulz, president of the FDT group, who spoke on the FDT standard and its applicability to the topics of mobility, security on the wire, advanced physical layer, IIoT, and Industrie 4.0 which at the forefront of industry related news headlines. Mr. Schulz spoke on what lies ahead in the immediate future for the industrial controls and automation industry and examined how open standards such as FDT are equipped to evolve, supporting the demands of users from legacy facilities to the modernized infrastructure enabling standardized asset integration for information driven operations.

As hurricane Mathew bore down on Florida and attendees rushed to make it out of the state, however, many stayed to attend the final break-out sessions which included presentations on DCS lifecycle, Process optimization, DCS migration, and Visualization.

The conference concluded with a lunch whereby the best presentation of the user sessions was awarded to Kevin Kelly, of Solvay Green River, Wy. Trona mining facility for his presentation on "Solving the LifeCycle Management Equation". This was the second time Mr. Kelley was awarded the conference's best presentation having won the award in 2014 as well.

An introduction of the new steering committee members elected in the users-only session included: Riley Parker - Shell E&P - Chairman, Lenny Pousson - CFI Donaldsonville, Prithwijit Ghoshal - Koch Nitrogen, Jason Nicholson - Vanderbilt Chemical, Gregg Meentemeyer - Eastman Chemical and Bruce Jensen - BAJ Consulting.

Plans are now underway for the next event tentatively designated to be 2018 with details to be announced as soon as location and dates are finalized.

Coverage of the event was provided by Control Magazine.
Their write-up of the 3 days can be viewed at:

In addition, picture summaries and a video summary is posted on you tube at