Even as Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) continues to fulfill its promise of never leaving a customer behind, it's innovating on the twin fronts of technology and project execution methodology to address its customers' most pressing needs. Such was the core message delivered by newly minted HPS president, Vimal Kapur, in his industry-perspective keynote to the Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas Symposium this week in San Antonio, Texas. 2014 marks the 39th annual HUG Americas meeting, which this year totaled 1,300 attendees from 36 nations.
While Kapur has only been president since May 2014, he's a 25-year veteran of the HPS organization, having served as vice president and general manager of the firm's advanced solutions business, vice president of global marketing and strategy, and managing director of Honeywell Automation India Ltd. Kapur succeeds Darius Adamczyk, who was promoted to president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies in the course of a reorganization that grouped HPS together with Honeywell's UOP process technology and Advanced Materials businesses. Kapur reported this reorganization promises improved collaboration both internally and externally. "We have a unique arrangement of process technologies and capabilities coming together, and that means a big opportunity for us to deliver more value to our customers," said Kapur.
Global Markets Promise Growth, New Demands
New heights of cooperation are essential now and will be even more crucial in the near future as international markets face new challenges, more big shifts and continuing recovery from recent recessions. "China and the Americas continue to lead in capital spending, but Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) and Asia Pacific are recovering as well," reported Kapur. "Also, the Americas' oil and gas industries continue to dominate capital spending in the region, especially as they migrate to new natural gas sources," said Kapur. "These changes have been having a profound impact for the past two or three years, and this trend is going to continue for several more years. Fortunately, HPS is in a unique position to integrate and serve users all along the oil and gas value chain from upstream to midstream to downstream with new SCADA, RTU, DCS, safety, advanced and field instrumentation solutions.
"The other challenge is that large capital expenditure projects are growing more complex, expensive and time-consuming. So instead of us coming in and adding automation and control at the end of a project before start-up, it's becoming increasingly critical for us to execute automation and get it out of the critical path of these projects," explained Kapur. "We're also focusing even more closely on the operational integrity and operational excellence required to run existing facilities better, and this includes making people and assets safer, running processes more reliably and doing more with less by increasing customer's capacity and efficiency. Finally, we're helping to address the scarcity of skilled operators and dealing with cybersecurity issues."
The Cloud to 'Change our Industry'
To help its customers meet all these challenges successfully, Kapur reported that HPS is developing and deploying innovations in several primary areas. "Cloud computing is moving data processing from physical, on-site computing to leveraging data centers across the world," he said. "Cloud computing holds big benefits for automation, and it's going to change our industry." In particular, cloud computing combined with the company's Universal I/O technology is "transforming how we work with our customers on many projects," Kapur said. "It brings projects to the people."
Universal I/O and cloud computing capabilities form the core of the company's lean execution of automation projects (LEAP) methodology for taking automation out of the critical path on customers' projects. In fact, LEAP is already being using in 208 process automation system projects, with active usage from some 3,000 global engineering resources in remote locations.
"Our portfolio of solutions positions us well to serve our customer base and provide operational integrity and excellence to them," added Kapur. "We're also committed to our installed base and to improving their operational value and total cost of ownership, which HPS has been doing for 40 years. At the same time, we have a robust pipeline of new innovations and products. Most notably, Experion PKS Orion is a major step toward the control room of the future because it's intuitive, easy to use, voice-enabled and interactive in connecting LEAP to the field.
"We place the customer experience at the center of all we do. Our mission is to improve our customers' experience at every touch point from ordering through the whole lifecycle of our systems," Kapur said. "My priorities are to build and strengthen our culture to accomplish that goal; to continue to invest in differentiating technologies at the leading edge of automation; to expand our instrumentation portfolio to bring field data to the control room and the board room. We will continue to address our customers' biggest concerns. We'll strive to de-risk project execution and ensure operational integrity and excellence."