New Tools Support Operators, Oil & Gas Industry

'Control Room of the Future' Among New Capabilities Featured at HUG EMEA 2013

By Keith Larson

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With its latest round of product introductions, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has taken clear aim at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of all types of plant personnel who touch the company's solutions, from control room operators and field technicians to system design engineers.

New products specifically for the oil and gas industry also were featured when Jason Urso, HPS vice president of technology, together with Jean-Marie Aillet, HPS director of solutions consultants for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) presented the new technology roadmap at the 2013 Honeywell Users Group (HUG) EMEA event, November 4-7 in Nice, France.

Read Also: Innovation and Commitment Drive Honeywell Offering

First off, Urso and Aillet demonstrated their "Control Room of the Future," a range of solutions designed to make operators more effective in their daily tasks and decision-making. The new Experion PKS Operator Console, teamed with wireless, tablet-based Mobile Station devices and large-format Collaboration Station screens enable an unprecedented level of collaborative communication and ergonomic flexibility, Urso said.  "Collaboration Station’s modern visualization environment puts data into context enabling better situational awareness and faster action."

The new touch-based Operator Console features more screen real estate, alarm lighting (no annoying horns), as well as pan-and-zoom, tabbed displays and other advanced visualization capabilities. Wireless tablets, meanwhile, allow operators to change positions and move about in the control room without losing situational awareness. "In many ways, the control room of the future won’t be limited to the control room at all, and that concept is perfectly illustrated through technologies like OneWireless, because it extends the control room to the field," explained Urso.

The Continuing Voyages of Starship PKS Orion

To demonstrate the engineering efficiencies offered by the Experion PKS Orion platform, HUG EMEA attendees were treated to a sequel of the Star Trek video send-up begun with the 2012 launch of the company's Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) Orion offering. Urso, in the guise of a certain intrepid starship captain, led the pride of Star Fleet against a project execution challenge from genetically engineered arch-nemesis Khan.

Leveraging the capabilities of PKS Orion's Universal I/O and virtualization technology, Urso and company quickly dispatched four various projects--even as Khan struggled to get a single project underway using traditional engineering approaches. In the real world of project engineering, Urso explained, virtualization and Universal I/O allow end users and engineering firms to effectively decouple and streamline software application and physical system engineering tasks. Timelines are far shorter, a range of traditionally sequential tasks are eliminated altogether, and automation "is taken off the critical path," Urso said.

Also speeding project execution is the new Experion Orion Project Workflow, in which physical and application aspects of project engineering are performed along parallel paths, further leveraging virtualization, standardized cabinets and Honeywell data centers. "These cloud-based data centers allow you to do all the application engineering in the cloud--around the world and around the clock," Urso explained. "Then, use simulation to do a virtual FAT [factory acceptance test] and copy virtual machine files over to the production servers." Together, Universal I/O and virtualization can shave months from a project schedule, while using fewer man-hours and reducing risk, too, Urso said.

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