Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Emerson launches ‘industry’s first’ controller designed for automation versatility and IIoT operations


Emerson has launched what it claims is the industry’s first controller designed for automation versatility and industrial internet of things-enabled operations.

The Emerson DeltaV PK Controller simplifies capital projects and prepares organisations for the operational benefits of IIoT, says the company.

Emerson says the DeltaV PK Controller makes the advanced automation of its DeltaV distributed control system available to fast-growth industries traditionally less reliant on large-scale automation. 

The company says the new controller provides scalable automation control to all process industries, particularly parts of the life sciences, oil and gas, petrochemical, and discrete manufacturing industries that have relied on complex, non-integrated programmable logic controllers with limited operational capabilities.

Emersonc claims the DeltaV PK Controller is the process industry’s first controller that manufacturers can scale down for skid units or scale up to be natively merged into the DeltaV DCS in a larger plant.


Today, these industries tend to use PLCs for smaller applications, which can create disconnected so-called “islands of automation”, and can limit plant production improvements.

The DeltaV PK Controller is the first controller to “truly bridge small and large control applications”, claims Emerson.

Organisations can utilise the DeltaV PK Controller for effective, easy-to-implement standalone automation control akin to a PLC but with the features of a full-scale DCS, including advanced batch production, recipe management, execution, and historisation.

Users can then choose to leave the DeltaV PK Controller standalone, or natively merge it into their DeltaV DCS.

This capability eliminates operational complexity and dramatically improves the performance, safety, and efficiency of their entire project and operational lifecycle, says Emerson.

Jessica Jordan, Emerson product manager, says: “The DeltaV PK Controller delivers a business-effective solution for organisations of all sizes to improve automation control and integration.

“The controller is capable of powerful standalone control for advanced automation on skids today while still being able to easily integrate into a full-scale DCS for total plant production control.”

The DeltaV PK Controller is the latest addition to Emerson’s Project Certainty initiative, targeting radical transformation in capital project execution.

The new controller will simplify capital projects by enabling original equipment manufacturers skid-builders to design and produce skids in the same way they do today, while eliminating the costs, time, and risks associated with integrating a PLC into their control system.

The DeltaV PK Controller was designed from the start with connectivity, particularly into the IIoT, in mind, says Emerson.

The scalable controller leverages an assortment of communication protocols, including the first Emerson controller with a built-in OPC UA server.

It is also the first Emerson controller with six Ethernet ports and can operate using any Emerson DeltaV I/O type, including DeltaV Electronic Marshalling, traditional marshalled I/O, wireless I/O, and integrated safety instrumented systems.

In addition, it has built-in protocols to communicate with Ethernet devices such as drives and motors.

These features are designed to make connectivity easier at every stage and help plants achieve operational benefits of cloud-based tools and analytics through the IIoT.

The DeltaV PK Controller also features built-in redundancy for controllers, communication, and power supplies, allowing organisations to improve uptime without adding to complexity or footprint.