Beginning with Honeywell Sensing and Control presdient Beth Wozniak’s address at Sensors Expo in Chicago on June 10, and continuing with new Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) president Norm Gilsdorf’s inaugural address at the 2009 Honeywell Users Group Americas, was the clear message that HPS is a member of a much larger organization, and is taking advantage of that membership in a united One Honeywell to bring benefits to end users. Senior executives from Sensing and Control, Building Systems and LifeSafety were on hand to add knowledge and expertise to HPS’ message.
Gilsdorf quipped about the current economic situation, “I see some tiny green tendrils beginning to come up. The zombie is twitching. We’re seeing signs of life—tentative, but they’re there.”
Norm Gilsdorf, HPS president, speaking at the annual user group meeting in Phoenix.
Moving quickly past the economic turmoil of the past eight months, he gave the audience his take on the trends that will shape the future of manufacturing and automation. Leading the pack is the concept, and soon the reality, of ubiquitous sensors. “We will have micro sensors, smart dust, and the ability to fly sensors through the plant and even through the process piping,” Gilsdorf opined, adding that managing the data those sensors will provide will be another great challenge for the near future.
Wireless will be another great enabler, said Gilsdorf. He painted a picture of wireless applications that are well apart from the normal process sensor applications. He predicted that wireless capability will enable fully integrated control, energy management and functional safety and security systems that will be cost-effective and manageable.
Gilsdorf also predicted further uses for enhanced data modeling and simulation that will enable operators to make better decisions, using actionable data and decision-support capabilities.
Honeywell’s new president predicted the final convergence of Enterprise IT and Plant IT as the multiple layers of the venerable Purdue Manufacturing Model shrink and flatten down to two: the plant floor and the operations and execution layer. Further, Gilsdorf predicted, the combination of these trends would enable the fully realized interconnection of enterprises “beyond the plant walls,” so that wells, pipelines and supply chains would all be connected to the rest of the enterprise in real time.
Throughout the rest of the user group meeting, Honeywell’s emphasis was on solutions, not just products. In the traditional “roadmap” speech, Jason Urso, HPS’ vice president of technology came on stage in a Tardis as “Dr. One” with the voice-of-God disembodied voice asking, “Dr. who?”
Urso focused on the expanded portfolio that the One Honeywell consolidation was going to bring to HPS’ end-user companies. “We’re going to focus on lifecycle solutions,” Urso said, “and we want to make plant operators into ‘business operators’ by giving them the tools they need to see what effect changes they make in the process have on the business side of the ledger.”
Improvements, Integration, Enhancements
Urso announced improvements to UniSim, the integration of process equipment from sister companies Maxon and Callidus and Honeywell LifeSafety, and a new revision to the One Wireless software suite including gateway redundancy, integration with Experion and with Experion’s suite of engineering tools. Urso also announced significant enhancements to Honeywell’s instrument asset management software with Field Device Manager R400, a new wireless-enabled radar level gauge, a wireless valve position sensor (a collaboration between HPS and Sensing and Control), and the full release of the wireless gauge reader that Honeywell has been displaying since the ISA Show in 2008.
Urso previewed the R400 release of the Experion operating system, including a new function for Series C Turbine control using the C300T controller; a Profibus Gateway module in the C300 form factor that can be made optionally redundant, and with two DP links per module and integrated engineering tools; and a new custom algorithm function block designed in Visual Basic (VB.net) for the C300 that won’t need Windows or .Net functionality in the C300.
Moving to the C200E, released earlier in the year for the Experion LS product, Urso promised expanded memory for the C200 and a long-term continued commitment to the C200 platform for Experion and Experion LS. Urso then introduced the new Experion HS systems. He announced the HS as designed for small SCADA and fire-and-gas safety packaged systems, using the MasterLogic PLC platform that Honeywell has been selling for the better part of a decade in Asia and the Pacific Rim.
He then discussed Honeywell’s Integrated Industrial Security concept, tying in intrusion, access control, video and radar surveillance, as well as functional safety and functional process security. He noted that, because of its One Honeywell partners, HPS can provide a completely integrated solution with a single HMI and a single set of engineering tools.
Urso went on to discuss other new Honeywell offerings for the plastics and paper industries, and reminded the audience of the company’s commitment to incremental migration.
Later in the week, other Honeywell executives discussed plant optimization, advanced process control, new wireless strategies and a comprehensive energy management solution made possible through One Honeywell collaborations.
The tone was energized, upbeat, and in sharp contrast to the economic situation. One Honeywell appears to potentially be the force multiplier HPS needs to recover some of its pride of place in the process industries.