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Five minutes with.. Emerson Process MEA president Dave Tredinnick

Five minutes with.. Emerson Process MEA president Dave Tredinnick

Dave Tredinnick explains how oil firms are using automation to improve profitability and details Emerson’s expansion plans

How has your business been affected by the recent oil slump?

One of Emerson’s key strengths is that we have a very broad portfolio of applications, systems and services that serves virtually every industry, from power, mining, life sciences, food and beverage and chemicals, This is further to the complete oil and gas value chain from exploration and production through midstream, refining and distribution. So while many aspects of the oil and gas sector were struggling, we have seen continued investment in other industry sectors. But we are confronting this market challenge head-on with several initiatives that strengthen our business as well as that of our customers’ with the aim to ultimately deliver growth.

Are oil firms looking for greater efficiency amid current cost pressures?

Oil and gas companies are looking for new ways to improve their efficiency, both in terms of capital projects as well as their operational assets. For capital projects, we can help our business partners reduce rework, compress schedules and reduce overall capital expenditure through changes in project execution practices when combined with our innovative technology. We see many of the international oil companies looking to transform traditional ways to execute projects that drive changes in efficiency and we have the right tools to address this. For existing operating facilities we are unique in that we can help drive efficiencies in energy consumption, increased safety of assets and people and, with the right consulting engagement, improve facility throughput or yield by improving the overall reliability of the plants.

How are technology advances like automation changing the oil and gas industry?

The oil and gas industry is changing. Where operators used to be tasked with maximising production, they must now maximise profitability. This requires joining up business and automation systems and adopting a more collaborative approach. So this is not just about using a new product technology, but reviewing application and technology needs in light of required business benefits. In order to meet their goals our customers have to have access to real data measured in the field, validated and put into context by smart applications that deliver actionable information to the right people in their business.

We also help our customers that consider reliability a business issue. We can consult with them to implement reliability programmes that connect automation technologies, people, and processes to improve the uptime of their process plants for the greatest net benefit to the enterprise. These solutions allow collaboration from experts across the globe to ensure that the right people, regardless of location, can get involved in solving the toughest availability challenges.

We continue to develop new applications that enhance personnel and equipment protection; 95 per cent of all of condition monitoring data is collected manually. Automating this in a cost effective way, adding leak detection techniques, and using augmented reality are all elements of a suite of tools that we offer to dramatically improve our customers’ insight into abnormal situations so that action can be taken before uptime suffers or people are exposed to hazards.

Do you have any regional expansion plans?

Yes of course, we do. We have been investing in the Middle East and Africa quite heavily and have no plans of slowing down. We have just completed and opened our Solutions Centre and a new Customer Education Centre at the Dubai campus. Our Solutions Center has advanced automation and conferencing resources to visualise our customers’ challenges and facilitate holistic approaches for solutions development, while the Education Center provides in-depth, hands-on training on over 400 courses across the automation discipline to help our customers in the region maintain a competent and highly-skilled workforce.

We now have over 500,000 sq ft on this campus with engineering and manufacturing capabilities for almost our entire portfolio. We will be opening a new facility in Al Majal Business Park in Basrah Iraq, close to our customer base, this facility will give us access to workshops, and an education centre. Then in June 2017 we will open the Emerson Dhahran Techno Valley facility in Saudi Arabia. This facility will be our Saudi Arabia HQ and will help support our collaborative solution development work with King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals and key business partners such as Aramco, SABIC, SEC etc…

Are you hiring?

We are continually expanding in the region and therefore looking for talented people who want to become a part of Emerson. We offer opportunities in various levels and functions including engineering, sales services, supply chain, finance, and administrative support. Candidates for these roles can be assigned in any of our locations around the Middle East and Africa. We have existing partnerships with various universities in the region to provide summer internships and co-op opportunities for students and graduates who would like to join Emerson.

What is your leadership style?

I believe that to be effective you need to lead from the front, have a keen interest in your customers’ challenges and ensure that you are able to support your organisation in addressing those challenges. I am very approachable; we operate with a very flat organisational structure with open and candid communication at all levels. I encourage our people to be committed, passionate about their role and responsive, both to our customers and to each other.

In my spare time I like to..

I like fishing, boating, motorcycles and sports cars. I also enjoy shooting sports and hunting, but that is not too easy to do here in the UAE.

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