Fieldbus / HMI

Aging Systems Given New Lease on Life

Swedish Refiner Preem AB among Companies Opting for EHPM Approach

By Keith Larson


The "E" in EHPM officially stands for Enhanced. But for the vast user base of older distributed control systems (DCSs) from Honeywell, it could just as easily stand for Extended, as in a "30% to 50% extension of remaining economic life, until 2035," says Atanas Anev, global marketing leader legacy products and services.

Anev, together with Vikram Saraf, solution consultant for the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region explained to attendees of last month's Honeywell Users Group (HUG) conference in Nice, France, just how important the EHPM is to fulfilling the company's longstanding promise to keeping its customers' systems reliable through modernization, to protecting their intellectual property and capital investments, and to providing services and support for technology upgrades when needed.

"Until last year, we provided a unified HMI [human-machine interface] across three different generations of control networks reaching back more than 35 years," Aneva said. "With EHPM Solutions we're doing the same for the control and safety environment."

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What EHPM Entails

While EHPM may sound more like a performance-enhancing miracle drug, it's actually Honeywell's approach to systematically replacing its older Universal Control Network (UCN) technology with state-of-the-art, fault-tolerant Ethernet (FTE). The magic to this Enhanced UCN (EUCN) is that it preserves existing investments in controller application development, while allowing the user to begin to take advantage of new capabilities afforded by this new control and information infrastructure.

Swapping out a couple of cards on an existing High Performance Process Manager (HPM) transforms it into an EHPM. Similarly, swapping out a couple of cards on an existing Network Interface Module (NIM) transforms it into an ENIM. Saraf proceeded to demonstrate how easily the actual transition can be with a live demonstration for HUG attendees. Starting with a pure TPS-era system, Saraf swapped out the necessary cards and was back up and running in less than 30 minutes. "The entire intellectual property investment has been preserved," Saraf said.

Swedish Refinery Opts for EHPM

Preem AB is among the major process manufacturers that see the value in the EHPM approach, and recently opted to update its Lysekil refinery, Sweden's largest, with this methodology. The project should significantly extend the life of the existing control system at the refinery, as much as tripling the capacity of the refinery’s existing controllers.

“Honeywell’s Enhanced High Performance Process Manager enables Preem to modernize their refinery and increase through-put while maximizing legacy investments and intellectual property,” said John Rudolph, vice president, Lifecycle Solutions and Services, HPS. The upgrade will be completed during planned maintenance at the refinery and will not require any additional downtime. It is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year.

“This investment builds on Lysekil’s position as the region’s leading refinery and will deliver real benefits for decades,” said Lars Andersson, automation manager at Preem AB. “It also means we can maintain and improve on a safe, efficient operation, without the disruption and cost of ripping out and replacing the entire control system.”

With support for peer-to-peer communication planned for the future, EHPM will allow Preem to incorporate other technologies from Honeywell, to provide an integrated solution that can include continuous and batch processing controls such as Experion C300, safer operations with Safety Manager, and Honeywell’s fault tolerant ethernet FTE technology, that offers more robust, faster network diagnostics and improved security.