New options for managing processes solve business problems at the plant level

Honeywell Process Solutions has seen a year of solid growth, according to Mark Neas, the division's VP and general manager for the Americas. Fueling this growth is a series of products that give users new options for managing manufacturing processes. Chief among these products is a new version of Honeywell's flagship Experion Process Knowledge System, and a new line of controllers.

07/01/2007


Honeywell Process Solutions has seen a year of solid growth, according to Mark Neas, the division's VP and general manager for the Americas. Fueling this growth is a series of products that give users new options for managing manufacturing processes.

Chief among these products is a new version of Honeywell's flagship Experion Process Knowledge System, and a new line of controllers. “Compared to its predecessors, the Series C controller offers considerable capacity improvements, a much smaller physical footprint, and lower energy and maintenance costs,” says Neas. “It's become a major part of our distributed control system [DCS] offering.”

Honeywell also added more manufacturing execution system (MES) functionality at the DCS level. “There's a much greater capability for operators to solve business problems at the plant level, rather than at the enterprise level,” Neas says. “Whereas control parameters and assumptions such as yield and speed were once set centrally, they can now be varied at the operator level.”

The advantages of this can be considerable, Neas points out. Parameters such as machine speed, for example, can have a major impact on reliability, machine life, or even yield, but operators sometimes have limited real-time control over them. Granted such control, operators can quickly fine-tune parameters in response to potential problems.

Other developments from Honeywell include enhanced wireless devices and applications. While Honeywell has offered wireless products for some time, Neas says manufacturers are just beginning to recognize the potential value in going wireless. Not only are there significant cost savings compared with cable—Neas estimates approximately $10 to $40 per foot of cable avoided—but wireless also extends applications into situations once considered uneconomical.

“Customers are expressing interest in applications they haven't been excited by before, simply because the cost of running wires to implement those applications was prohibitive,” Neas concludes. “With wireless, they have the flexibility to deploy these applications cost-effectively.”





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