I/O Systems / HMI / Wireless / Industrial Computers

Demo room awash in innovations at HUG 2015

Solutions for every stage of the process sensing, instrumentation, analysis, interface, networking and control experience light up exhibition space at Honeywell User Group America 2015.

By Jim Montague

Some user group meetings have so much good content that it starts to slosh over the sides of that metaphorical bucket. That's definitely the case at Honeywell User Group Americas 2015, where a brief Sunday afternoon preview of the demo room featured numerous new solutions.The event was held at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas.

Here's a sampling of this year's innovations:

Orion gets touchscreen

The Orion console launched last year is being joined by the newly released Operator Touch Panel (OTP), which is a rugged, desk-mounted screen by Eizo that allows users to click on indicators and displays that are reproduced on Orion's trio of large, flat-screen displays. Orion runs Honeywell Process Solutions' (HPS) Experion PKS software, which can display more than a dozen screens per panel, such as general indicators across the top and more detailed indicators below, including video camera displays. "This allow operators to see their whole refinery," said Andrew Stuart, Experion HMI product manager. "Many users had asked for a touchscreen to go with Orion because they can manipulate a touchscreen quicker than pointing and clicking with a mouse."

Transmitters increase accuracy

Just two or three years old, SmartLine pressure transmitters have achieved 0.035% accuracy, 80-millisecond response times, and modular components that can be plugged onto the transmitter to ease repairs. These modules are for SmartLine's display, terminal board, communications and pushbuttons. SmartLine is also adding radar level gauges, and has just released a guided-wave radar (GWR) version that's available now. "SmartLine GWR can be pre-configured by the customer according to their required sizes, types, flanges, temperatures, connections and other specifications," said Thomas Brans, SmartLine customer marketing manager for North America. "SmartLine also integrates with Experion PKS, has two-way communications, and cans use any of the major protocols." 

Integrated tank, loading data

To bring data integration into the field, Honeywell's Tank Inventory Management System includes its FlexLine smart radar gauge and Advanced Servo tank gauge, which can link up via its Wireless Tank Interface to its Fusion 4 loading and unloading automation solution. These device can then connect to Honeywell's 888 Communication Interface Unit, which takes all their field volume data, and turns it into certified net calculations data to give users a clear view of all their tanks. Previously, users typically had to run separate computers and software for these different data conversion ad calculation tasks, but now Tank Inventory Management System puts them all together.

Software-configurable I/O saves

Universal Process I/O and C Series control and I/O allow wiring and hardware from process applications to be landed and installed, and their specific identities and roles to be assigned later. "This softens the traditional, sequential engineering tasks between the usual field, instrumentation and application disciplines, and enables them to all work in parallel, instead of waiting on each other," says Stu Sanderson, technical solutions consultant for Experion PKS. Universal Process I/O and C Series also enable process control applications to participate in cloud engineering and virtualization of their entire systems. "This means that an end user can run their whole refinery on one blade server," said Brendan Sheehan, senior marketing director  and P&AS global leader at HPS.  

Smaller, more affordable scanner

ZipLine newly launched scanner for paper and plastic film inspection is more cost-effective than Honeywell's traditional, big-ticket QCS inspection systems, and it's also about 90% smaller. It can scan at 400 millimeters per second and up to 10 meters wide, and can perform nuclear gauging, x-ray and infrared differential scanning, and all three options are presently available. "This scanner is for the lower price point market, which is having a lot of growth, especially in Asia and other developing areas," added Sheehan.

RTU covers more, distant wells

RTU 2020 process controller was built by HPS from scratch, and can connect via a wireless access point. Released just a year ago, it's already reported to be the lowest power consumption RTU available. Also, it will be joined by expansion I/O later in 2015, so users can monitor multiple well pads with one RTU 2020. A redundant controller will be added next year to allow RTU 2020 to be used in safety, SIL-certified applications.           

Historian optimizes present and future

Unlike most historians that archive data that's hard to reach and use later, Uniformance Asset Sentinel software was released in May to integrate historian, operations management and asset management functions, and do it without all the interfaces that used to be required. "Uniformance Asset Sentinel continuously tracks historian data, compares it with past unit performance, and predicts future issues based on an application's specified design," explained Meenakshi Sundaram, solutions architect for Uniformance at HPS. "This not only allows users to know more about how their units are performing, but it even looks for safety issues and provides alerts about how to address them."      

Cybersecurity risk at a glance

Risk Manager software is a front-end dashboard that help users determine how at risk for cybersecurity issues their facilities are. It was introduced in April as part of HPS' Industrial Cyber Security Solutions portfolio. "Risk Manager continuously monitors all the industrial networks in a facility, and indicates threats and vulnerabilities," said Eric Knapp, director of cyber security solutions and technology at HPS. "It compares what it finds to process control network activities based on established risk methods, and answers the question, 'Where are the risks in my application?' in four main areas, including backup, end-point security, network security and patches, and then it displays risk levels by source and location." Risk Manager can check up to 300 risk items, such as patch updates, password strength, access to controls, network utilization, errors, firewall status and many others. The software also monitors a network's switches and routers, and check for inactive ports and unauthorized devices."