Process knowledge, strategy highlight Honeywell users’ conference

Phoenix, AZ—More than 600 attendees from 26 countries participated in Honeywell’s 31st annual Users’ Group Symposium here on June 14-17.

By Control Engineering Staff June 18, 2004

Phoenix, AZ— More than 600 attendees from 26 countries participated in Honeywell ’s 31st annual Users’ Group Symposium here on June 14-17.

Topics presented at the conference covered the spectrum of Honeywell’s products and services, but the focus was clearly on three areas: Experion PKS (process knowledge system), security, and wireless technologies.

To date, Honeywell claims to have sold more than 1,000 Experion PKSs since its introduction last year. [See the January 2004 issue of Control Engineering for more information on Experion, which won a 2003 Control Engineering Editor’s Choice Award.]

Building on the quick success of the Experion platform, most of the forthcoming products announced at the user conference are affiliated with Experion PKS. Experion extends the basic functions of a distributed control system into a platform that delivers intelligence across process, assets, business, and people for better decision-making by operations and management. More details will follow in coming weeks as products are officially rolled out, but these new product announcements included:

  • Honeywell I.O.N. (Integrated Operator Node) enables legacy Honeywell TDC Universal stations to become operator consoles with Experion functionality. Honeywell says this transformation takes less than 10 minutes, and can be performed without replacing any operator consoles.

  • Experion R210 is the next upgrade to Experion that integrates upcoming Experion applications.

  • Operations Management Pro (OM Pro) R200 includes technology developed with research from the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) consortium. OM Pro sends immediate notifications of process disturbances, so operators can continuously monitor plant performance to achieve economic targets.

  • Workcenter R210 gives users access to information about production, quality, and performance for collaborative decision-making.

  • Uniformance PHD210 makes data visible throughout the entire enterprise for better communication between workers.

  • ProfitSuite R220 provides advanced control and optimization applications for maximizing production capacity, flexibility, and asset utilization, while reducing time to market.

  • POMSnet is a production management tool for the life sciences that manages specifications for products, materials, and equipment and complies with CFR 21 Part 11 and ISA manufacturing standards.

  • OptiVision R220 is an order fulfillment system for the pulp and paper industry that handles orders, production, quality, inventory management, and advanced planning and scheduling.

As its new solutions demonstrate, building around Experion is core to Honeywell’s strategy over the next several years. Harry Sim, Honeywell’s business development VP, adds that, “We used to operate in silos around our basic platforms, services, and devices. Starting in 2004, all these areas will be part of our process knowledge solution. We’re focusing on helping customers solve problems instead of selling them a box.” Sim says Honeywell’s growth strategies revolve around five areas:

  • Serve the installed base, migrating them from DCS to PKS at their own pace. “I.O.N. was released to help companies move forward in baby steps,” if that’s the pace they want, Sim says.

  • Increase penetration of expansion verticals, including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and power.

  • Grow globally, especially in China, the Middle East, India, and Eastern Europe.

  • Expand service offerings through MAC (main automation contractor) agreements, e-diagnostics, security, and loop/asset management. Sim says about one third of Honeywell customers currently have MAC agreements with the company. He expects that to increase to one half in the next five years.

  • Grow sensors and wireless, not just specific to automation and controls business. Sim specifically mentioned MEMs sensors and XYR wireless sensors for measuring beyond temperature, flow, and pressure and into the realms of yield and quality.

Security received a great deal of attention at the conference, not just through explanations of the security capabilities of Experion (demonstrated live in the Experion Experience sessions), but through speakers such as Admiral James Plehal, of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Ron Sielinski, industrial technology strategist with Microsoft’s Manufacturing Solutions Group, who addressed the continuously advancing level of security within Microsoft products. Sielinksi mentioned in his presentation that two years ago Bill Gates sent out a memo to everyone in the company stating that, henceforth, security will be a primary concern of all Microsoft’s product development. The last time he sent out such a memo, some 10 years ago, Sielinski said, it was about how the Internet would be a primary driver of all new development for the company.

Plehal spoke at length about plans for the federal government and private sector to work together, through private sector areas within DHS, to “look at the business impacts of pending legislation and address the challenges and opportunities of living the‘new normal’” since the attacks of September 11. “Business is at the tip of the spear,” says Plehal. “You know what normal looks like.” DHS is relying heavily on interactions with the private sector, especially within such industries as chemical, power, and oil and gas, to stay on top of potential threats.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
David Greenfield, editorial director