Emerson, a global technology and engineering company, has contributed a donation of industrial design services, technology, hardware and software products, and education and training equipment valued at more than $1.3 million to the Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology at San Jacinto College.
Industry partners like Emerson have been instrumental in the planning and construction of the 145,000-square-foot CPET, which will be the largest petrochemical training facility along the Texas Gulf Coast when it opens in fall 2019.
Created for industry, by industry, CPET will house programs and training labs in process technology, instrumentation and analyzer technology, electrical, nondestructive testing, and craft trades. It will feature an 8,000-square-foot exterior glycol process unit to develop troubleshooting skills for entry-level and advanced credit students and incumbent workers. Additional features will include the newest software programming, equipment and technology, as well as conference, training, and assembly spaces.
CPET will include Emerson's DeltaV distributed control system, Fisher control valves, Rosemount measurement devices, Mimic simulation software, and other Emerson flow measurement instruments.
"To build the premier petrochemical training center along the Gulf Coast requires a great amount of support from industry, and Emerson has stepped up to support this project and ensure that we have the right facility to fill the workforce gaps and keep our region's competitive edge," said Jim Griffin, senior vice president of petrochemical and energy at San Jacinto College.
Since CPET's inception, Emerson has been a critical partner in the center's success. Mike Grbich of Emerson's local impact partner, Puffer Sweiven, and local Emerson team members have volunteered their time and expertise, providing professional guidance and ongoing systems architecture consulting and project management to the San Jac team.
Emerson's educational services team has provided 16 Performance Learning Platforms, fully instrumented and operable process skids that provide hands-on training to upskill students on the fundamentals and the latest automation technologies. Different configurations enable training on different types of operating and maintenance skills. The platform introduces and reinforces the competencies essential for fostering skills in digital transformation initiatives and collaborative work processes.
"Emerson is committed to helping develop the workforce of the future by forming partnerships with higher education institutions across the globe," said Jeff Hackney, director of Emerson's Global Educational Services. "Community colleges and technical schools offer strong opportunities for people who want to develop technical skills."
Emerson's DeltaV control system and Mimic simulation environments will allow students to learn control system fundamentals in a safe and controlled environment. A simulated glycol dehydration unit was developed, with up to 16 student learning environments available at one time with instructor interaction. Students will be provided with an interactive environment for the control system to learn about control and unit operations.
A second simulator was designed for the "Glass Lab," a miniaturized process unit with see-through components. The goal of the simulator is to teach students equipment interdependencies and process interactions in a controlled environment.
Emerson's Mimic software simulates accurate, real-time plant behaviors. The dynamic simulation can be used to test new control design ideas to ensure there are no adverse effects, as well as train students (future operators) on the appropriate actions to take in an abnormal situation experience that typically takes years to learn.
Automation innovations bring unprecedented challenges and opportunities to evolve performance and embrace the rapidly changing digital landscape. The powerful force of industry collaborating with academia can develop solutions that positively impact students and new workers.
"By partnering with community colleges and universities, Emerson can clearly help solve one of the biggest challenges facing our industry: developing and retaining skilled talent," Hackney said.
For more information, visit sanjac.edu/CPET.