During the week of November 12, 2012, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) wrapped up its global series of annual user group meetings with the 24th annual gathering of customer delegates from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in Istanbul. Under the conference theme of "Sustain.Ability", some 700 attendees from throughout the region shared best practices and were treated to a three-day dose of how they can continue to sustain the abilities of their production assets using the latest process automation and instrumentation technologies from Honeywell—even as they continue to preserve past investments dating back to the company's earliest distributed control system offerings.
Indeed, technology is only part of the answer to sustainable business performance, averred Honeywell leadership in a series of event keynotes anchored by Darius Adamczyk, HPS president. Fruitful collaboration and lifecycle services are equally important elements of the sustainability mix, according to Adamczyk, who brings a "passion for services" to his relatively new role as HPS business leader.
"It's not good enough to provide technology," said Adamczyk. "And we can't just be there to fix things when they break. We have to be there with you through the lifecycle of that equipment." He went on to outline a future in which service agreements that guarantee uptime play an increasingly important role, effectively aligning Honeywell's goals with those of its customers. "We want to be your partner in three ways: to help optimize your business performance, to help develop and equip your knowledge workers wherever they happen to be, and to help you operate in a method that is both safe and environmentally friendly."
Further, said Adamczyk, Honeywell's new technology offerings are aligned with its customers' evolving needs, including the support of remote operations, the management of environmental sensitivities, and new measures to help address engineering complexity and data overload. "And it's not just big picture strategic talk," Adadczyk added. "These are real sites and real customers. We have real credibility for doing these things."
Before citing specific customer examples of how Honeywell Process Solutions is helping to address these needs, Orhan Genis, HPS vice president of sales for the EMEA region, framed the global process industries' common challenges in terms of improving both business and process performance. "We need to transform the way we do business," Genis said. "And across all of industry, users are asking: 'What am I going to do two or three years from now to make sure my plant is operating safely, reliably and efficiently?'"
Honeywell Technology in Action
For example, at Borealis, a chemicals and plastics manufacturer based in Austria, company management realized that "if they didn't begin to capture the corporate knowledge from the brains of their operators they were in trouble," Genis said. They understood that preventing one unplanned shutdown could more than pay for an online training simulator (OTS) to boost operator capabilities, and commissioned an HPS UniSim simulator as part of a recent ethylene plant expansion that also included a significant Experion PKS implementation. The turnaround expansion was expected to be challenging, Genis noted, but was completed in just 18 months and at 80% of budget. "Simulators are becoming one of the most sought after capabilities users are seeking today," Genis said.
Gaz de France, a natural gas producer now part of GDF Suez, is realizing significant savings by implementing Honeywell's Foundation fieldbus technologies in its offshore platforms. The company has reduced installation and maintenance costs as well as improving asset availability. Remote monitoring enabled by the solution has allowed the company to reduce the number of helicopter trips to platforms, improved analysis of field data and enabled faster platform start-up, Genis said. And at Saudi Arabia's Ma'aden integrated aluminum mine, smelter and refinery project, a broad range of Honeywell solutions based on Foundation, Profibus and wireless communication technology are being deployed to help create the region's largest and lowest-cost aluminum manufacturing facility.
But the ability of Honeywell Process Solutions to help its customers capture value and maximize return-on-investment is perhaps most clearly demonstrated in the five-year global main-automation contractor (MAC) agreement with Royal Dutch Shell. Honeywell currently is engaged on three of Shell's largest projects around the world, including a gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar, an oil sands project in Canada, and an expansion of the company's Port Arthur, Texas refinery in the United States. Scope of the agreement includes project services and field instrumentation, online training simulators and 120,000 I/O points across Honeywell's control, emergency shutdown and fire and gas systems.
These are but a few of the companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa that are partnering with Honeywell Process Solutions to improve safety, increase reliability, improve efficiency and capture value, Genis said. "Your challenges are our challenges."