Highlights from the 2007 HUG Symposium

Our E-Show Daily coverage of this year's event in Phoenix includes reports on the presentations, case studies and panel discussions given during the technical conference for industry professionals.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

OneWireless proclaimed universal, simple, efficient
Honeywell introduced its long-awaited wireless system today at the Honeywell Users Group Americas Symposium in Phoenix. Dubbed OneWireless, the offering from Honeywell is a mesh network that supports multiple wireless-enabled applications and devices within a single environment. OneWireless supports multiple industrial protocols (e.g., HART, Modbus, OPC) simultaneously, providing a single wireless network that is simple to manage and efficient to operate.


"This is what customers have been requesting," said Honeywell Director of Business Development Dave Kaufman, "because they want to both protect their investment in multiple legacy application protocols and benefit from the latest technology and wider range of applications." Kaufman went on to say, "Honeywell is committed to complying with the SP100 standard as it emerges and to providing an easy migration mechanism to the final standard for customers who deploy the current version of OneWireless."

"This is a global launch," added Jeff Becker, director of global wireless business. "These products have been certified for shipment and use anywhere, in any country."

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Videocast: OneWireless solutions
This brief video shows how companies such as Nucor Steel already are using OneWireless architecture to satisfy application needs in the most demanding of process environments.

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Bolick outlines company vision for Honeywell faithful
Amid sound, lights and patter from a semi-virtual emcee named "Franz" (self-described as the brother of "The Governator"), Honeywell Process Systems President Jack Bolick this morning opened the 32nd annual Honeywell U.S. User Group meeting at the Arizona Biltmore resort and hotel in Phoenix.

Bolick began his presentation by describing Honeywell’s vision in terms of "four key things that I’ve seen evolving since industry has moved away from proprietary distributed control to more open systems architectures."

First, said Bolick, "Start with customer-required outcomes, not the hardware. We have to think of what issues are keeping customers awake at night." Focusing on these customer needs requires a global enterprise solution enabled by an open architecture, he said. "As we have come to the open systems of the Internet and intranets, we see all kinds of new opportunities developing. This kind of system can open up facilities, not just from top to bottom, but also across multiple facilities and the entire enterprise."

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Safety, reliability, efficiency keynote Honeywell deliverables
Introduced as a very powerful former engineer who had gone over to the Dark Side (as in marketing), Jason Urso presented the annual Honeywell Process Solutions Technology Update and Roadmap at this morning’s plenary session of the Honeywell User Group Americas 2007 Symposium.

His theme this year was how Honeywell products, systems, software and services ensure safety, increase reliability and improve efficiency for their customers. He called these three issues the fundamental pillars to achieve operational excellence, and said that this was Honeywell’s mission.

Urso talked of safety, and pronounced that Honeywell’s safety systems are designed to improve emergency response, reduce human error, reduce unexpected equipment failures as well as maintain stable control. “Process safety incidents are usually preceded by events which can be detected and prevented,” he noted.

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Process safety: From failure problem to control problem
Increasing levels of automation, combined with increased system complexity, is leading to new types of safety problems—and the need for new ways of dealing with them, said Dr. Nancy Leveson, MIT professor of aeronautics, astronautics and engineering systems, in her keynote address to the Honeywell User Group Americas 2007 Symposium this morning.

"Increasingly, accidents are occurring even though nothing failed," she explained. "Instead, problems arise in the system design and in the interaction of system components."

Leveson attributed the growing problem to interactive complexity and increasingly tight coupling of system components—which is further compounded by computers and software.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Creative thinking streamlines cut-over at Frontier refinery
All in all, it was a good problem to have. Frontier’s El Dorado refinery in Kansas was setting production records even as plans to add capacity kicked into gear. The problem was that the current rack room, filled with 1980s-era TDC 2000 I/O and controllers, had to be upgraded and relocated to make room for a new vacuum tower.

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