Emerson Process Management, a company assisting businesses automate their production and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas and refining industries, has inaugurated the Emerson Innovation Center, Fisher Technology in Marshalltown, Iowa.

This $30m investment is designed to help customers tackle the engineering challenges facing currently existing process manufacturing and energy industries, the company said.

Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management, said: “No other facility in the world can do what our Marshalltown Emerson Innovation Center can do – from seismically qualifying a 35,000-pound control valve to testing a two-story-tall valve that controls the flow of feedstocks for a petrochemical plant.”

According to the company, the requirement for energy globally is driving the development of next-generation nuclear plants, mega-train liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, and large oil and gas refineries, which require larger capacities and highly engineered control valves and instrumentation.

The company said that the 136,000sqft Emerson Innovation Center is designed to help companies deliver record volumes of natural gas and other forms of energy and consume less in the process, reducing costs and making plants run quieter and with reduced greenhouse emissions.

The center is home to the ‘flow lab’ that, for the first time, enables large valves to be tested in real-world plant conditions to ensure production reliability, efficiency, environmental compliance, and safety before being installed at a customer site, the company added.