Honeywell hosts hot user symposium

Phoenix, AZ—It was hard to tell which was hotter, an outdoor temperature of 107 ºF or the networking at Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas Symposium held here, June 9-13, 2003.


Phoenix, AZ —It was hard to tell which was hotter, an outdoor temperature of 107o the international flavor of the event, more than one-in-four attendees came form outside the U.S.

Annual HUG meetings focus on "users" and provide a venue to amplify the "voice of the customer." A concept of "run by users, for users," applies to much of the program. However, HUG is also a place for presenting Honeywell's technology roadmap of the future.

Committee update reports made up one segment of the program. For example, the User Input Subcommittee (UIS), formed 10 years ago, has the task to continuously improve products and processes-working with customer inputs, prioritizing suggestions, and supplying feedback, explains Lee Swindler, UIS co-chairperson and principal engineer at Lyondell-Equistar (Channelview, TX). UIS votes on scores of product enhancements during its meetings. "The resulting `enhancement releases' apply to both legacy products and new product developments," says Swindler. "Users also can become beta sites for new products."

The Uniformance Advisory Board (UAB) is a forum for customer support as well as a feedback path to Honeywell management. "Uniformance" includes Plant History Database and various other process software tools offered by Honeywell. UAB's objectives include identifying industry priorities and defining strategic and tactical enhancements for its underlying products. UAB handled more than 300 proposed suggestions involving tactical enhancements and over 120 strategic enhancements during 2002/03, according to Cliff Pedersen, UAB chairperson and manager of Operational Support Systems at Suncor Energy Products Inc. (Sarnia, ON, Canada).

Peter Zornio, director of product marketing for Honeywell Industry Solutions (IS), presented an update on a new board-Experion PKS Advisory Board. Led by Honeywell and customers, this board provides perspective on the strategic roadmap affecting the Experion Process Knowledge Solution (PKS) industrial automation system. Experion PKS is Honeywell's system platform introduced in February 2003. It consists of a comprehensive suite of knowledge-driven applications, technologies, and services.

The near-future roadmap for Experion PKS calls for such enhancements as direct connectivity to fault-tolerant Ethernet, new servers, new safety systems, and migration paths from third-party legacy systems, according to Zornio.

Extensive product line sessions by Honeywell product managers and Industry Breakout sessions by user presenters, over several days, rounded out the HUG seminar. Also part of the show was an exhibit area, where product demonstrations by Honeywell experts took place in a wide range of applications. Examples include OptiVision PKS, a pulp and paper industry product that optimizes the paper ordering process, analyzes paper quality, and provides a process-centric view of asset management. Another product demo featured Safety Manager PKS, which incorporates a quadruple-redundant controller that constantly monitors the operation of oil and gas production, offshore drilling, and other mission-critical facilities.

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