The 39th Honeywell User Group (HUG) assembled for the first time not in Phoenix. The User Group board (the User Group is run by a board composed of users with some Honeywell Process Solutions input) chose to move to San Antonio, Texas this year.
This was a good decision as evidenced by attendance of 1,300 that was up 25% over last year. These are significantly greater numbers than a few years ago when they had dropped into the mid-hundreds.
Vimal Kapur marked his first HUG as president of Honeywell Process Solutions—a move announced only the week before. Not a newbie, Kapur has been with HPS for 25 years, most recently as vice president of marketing. His talk featured continuity with the past—surely something HPS customers were happy to hear.
Previous HPS president, Darius Adamczyk, is still Kapur’s boss, having been elevated to president of the PMT group where HPS now reports along with advanced materials and UOP.
Kapur set the technology tone for the conference referencing trends of cloud, virtualization and universality. He defined cloud as moving from physical computing on site to leveraging data centers that can be deployed across the world. The keys to universality include simple, easier-to-use. Applications all in one device but that device is simpler to use—for example iPhone.
The three technologies combine as the technological foundation of the new LEAP program—Lean Execution of Automation Projects. HPS may be taking some liberties with the use of the term Lean, but the idea is still to eliminate waste in process industry projects.
Jason Urso, HPS Chief Technology Officer, led his usual hour-plus product keynote with his usual energy. He showed off the Orion 2 operations center, Smartline instrumentation platform, LEAP program and much more.
Unisim Design Challenge
I had to lead with this item. I had dinner with them on Wednesday evening. A Brazilian chemical engineering student who used simulation software to show how emissions can be converted into electrical energy has been named the winner of Honeywell Process Solutions’ annual UniSim Design Challenge.
Herbert Senzano Lopes, a master’s degree student at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), worked with Professor Vanja Maria de França Bezerra to design a solution to show how flare gas from pipelines could be reused to generate energy.
Integrated safety / security
During a special press briefing on safety and security, executives discussed advancements in streaming video on both the camera and client side. In an Enterprise Solution Center (coming perhaps by fall), there will be many ways to call up real-time videos with intuitive touch screens (like iPad), advanced alarm management, and analysis It will be browser agnostic working on desktop, tablets, and smart phones.
[On a side note, Eddie Lee of solution partner MOXA showed me a class 1, div 2 IP camera that includes Power over Ethernet and told me there was a class 1 div 1 camera, too.]
On the safety side, HPS’ safety system includes the same Universal IO technology as standard IO. Universal IO means that each module is field configurable in software after installation (for example as digital input, digital output, analog input, analog output).
Operations Center Console
HPS announced availability of the Experion Orion Console, dubbed “an advanced display technology that brings the plant control room of the future to life by meeting the changing needs of the increasingly mobile plant operator.”
The console – which builds on Honeywell’s flagship Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) control platform – features an improved ergonomic design and better displays to simplify control system management, reduce operator fatigue and improve situational awareness.
LEAP project services launched to help manufacturers in the processing industries get their plants up and running faster and at lower cost.
LEAP combines proprietary hardware and software, virtualization and cloud engineering to give users greater scheduling flexibility while reducing risk and total automation costs by up to 30 percent. Multiple industries can benefit from an estimated 80 percent reduction in costs related from unnecessary rework. These features can also help reduce avoidable schedule delays by up to 90 percent.
LEAP specifically combines three key core technologies available in Honeywell’s Experion PKS Orion:
- Universal Channel Technology – Honeywell’s proprietary solution allows instant remote configuration of channel types, standardized input/output cabinets, reduction or elimination of marshalling cabinets and reduction in equipment needed.
- Virtualization – Use of virtual machines in the control system removes dependencies between the functional and physical design, enables standardized server cabinets, reduces hardware requirements and delivers corresponding savings in space, power, cooling and weight.
- Cloud Engineering – Engineering in a secure, centrally hosted cloud environment allows project execution and testing anywhere in the world, delivering improvements in collaboration and travel savings.
Someone mentioned at a press conference that it’s nice that HPS is talking about instrumentation again. It had previously released the SmartLine pressure transmitter and promised it as a platform for future development.
At HUG 2014, a new range of temperature transmitters was introduced that are build upon that platform. All SmartLine transmitters, whether they measure pressure or temperature, utilize modular components which simplify field repairs and reduce the parts inventory required to make those repairs. These parts can be easily upgraded and even exchanged between the two different product lines.
In operation, the transmitter and smart display team to provide necessary information to the field technician. When the operator requests a field check of the transmitter and the technician asks for switching to manual mode, sometimes the operator and tech are talking about different instruments. With this product, the operator can send a text message to the device saying “maintenance required” for example. Then the tech knows he is working on the correct instrument.