Following a sound-and-light show and patter from a semi-virtual emcee, Honeywell Process Systems President Jack Bolick opened its recent 32nd annual Users Group Americas Symposium in Phoenix. He described Honeywell’s vision as “four key things that I’ve seen evolving since industry has moved away from proprietary distributed control to more open systems architectures. First, 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 says. “As we’ve come to the open systems of 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.”
Bolick added that he believes open systems will be driven by the push to wireless technology and communication. “In my view, wireless is a true inflection point,” he says. “We see process control networks being expanded by economical wireless technology to access needed data. We’re going to get the cost per node of acquiring that data down to where we can produce real change.”
To advance these efforts, Bolick also introduced the company’s new OneWireless network, which he called “the only wireless network you’ll ever need.” This system will be backward-compatible, and designed to be migrated forward in the future. “This system is going to revolutionize industry in terms of getting at data,” adds Bolick. He predicted that early use will be for gathering non-mission-critical data, but that some time in the future, “We will get to the point where we can do a complete facility wirelessly.”
OneWireless is a mesh network that supports multiple wireless-enabled applications and devices within a single environment (See figure below). OneWireless simultaneously supports multiple industrial protocols, such as HART, Modbus and OPC, and is simple to manage and efficient to operate.
“This is what customers have been requesting because they want to both protect their investment in multiple legacy application protocols and benefit from the latest technology and wider range of applications,” adds Dave Kaufman, Honeywell’s business development director. “Honeywell is committed to complying with the S100 standard as it emerges and to providing an easy migration mechanism to the final standard for customers who deploy the current version of OneWireless.”