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Staying in control

September 29, 2013–Data networks these days do a lot more than keep the Internet running.

Some of them help run giant industrial complexes, like the sulfuric acid plant that Southern States Chemical built near Wilmington, N.C.

The 15-acre plant is the biggest sulfuric acid plant on the East Coast. But it runs very efficiently because of a plant automation network built by a Central Texas company — Round Rock-based Emerson Process Management.

One of Emerson’s key new technologies for plant networks is called CHARMS, for characterization modules. Bryan Beyer the operations manager for Southern States Chemical said his company saved 40 percent from the cost of previous plant data networks and it got a system that was far more flexible.

“The simplicity of the technology also means fewer failure points, which translates into more reliability and greater up-time for the plant,” Beyer said.

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