Perhaps the only thing changing more quickly than the technologies around us are global market forces that alternately buoy and buffet us all. And in order to help its customers react more quickly – to capitalize on those elusive opportunities that can suddenly arise and disappear just as quickly in today’s volatile markets – Honeywell Process Solutions is leveraging the flexibility of the cloud and other Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies to deliver fast and flexible decision-making to the process industries.
To illustrate the power and potential of the IIoT by Honeywell approach, Bruce Calder, vice president and chief technology officer, together with Andrew Hird, Honeywell vice president and general manager of the company’s Digital Transformation organization, outlined three scenarios at this week’s Honeywell User Group Americas meeting in San Antonio.
The first scenario involved industrial equipment manufacturer Flowserve, which deploys thousands of pumps and valves each year to industrial customers around the world. Through the Honeywell Sentience cloud platform, an end user of both Honeywell process automation systems and Flowserve equipment allowed the OEM secure, fine-grained access to operational data and parameters of its pumps. The OEM, in turn, applied its deep domain expertise across its fleet of similar installed assets to implement robust analytics – based on Honeywell Uniformance models – in areas such as predictive maintenance. “The end user and OEM can now collaborate, and the OEM can even embed predictive knowledge in their assets,” noted Hird.
The second scenario involved process technology supplier – and Honeywell sister company – UOP. In this case, the end user offered UOP secure access to site and process data, allowing UOP’s process technology experts to boost plant performance by optimizing yields, maximizing production, preventing downtime and extending catalyst life. These UOP Connected Performance Services, also made possible by Honeywell Sentience, have demonstrated benefits on the order of $5 million to $15 million per user site.
“In our vision for digital transformation, we believe it’s crucial to allow other knowledge partners – such as Flowserve and UOP – to work with you in the cloud,” noted Hird. “We are now at the point where you can’t afford not to invest in IIoT solutions.”
Honeywell Process Solutions’ approach is an eminently practical one, helping its users to consolidate data, securely move and store it, then apply smart analytics and collaborative access to advance decision-making, Hird said.
The Honeywell Sentience cloud platform, which spans the company’s businesses in building automation and aerospace as well as process automation, is an acknowledgement that “all divisions are realizing the potential of the IIoT,” said Calder. Honeywell Sentience represents a core set of capabilities that allows each Honeywell business to focus on unique areas and appropriately integrate complementary technologies. “It also leverages the latest cloud standards in terms of security, and can be hosted in a variety of ways including private clouds,” Calder said.
“The best part,” continued Hird, “is that you can evolve into this architecture. We have analytical solutions that can be used in the cloud today.”
Hidden patterns revealed
Concluding with yet a third scenario, Hird and Calder described a quality upset at hypothetical petrochemical producer Billy Bob’s Pretty Good Chemicals. The operator was unable to link the quality deviation to any process conditions, so contacted the process engineer who took a look at the unit’s key operating parameters in Honeywell’s newly updated Uniformance Insight analytics platform.
“Uniformance Insight shows critical process calculations, not just sensor data,” noted Calder. Together with a corporate expert who tapped into data across several similar Billy Bob units, the two were able to correlate the upset with feedstock from a certain supplier. They found that steps could be taken to prevent the upset when running that particular feedstock and entered a predictive alert in Uniformance Asset Sentinel to prevent upsets in the future.
“Our goal is to integrate advanced analytics into your workflows as seamlessly as possible,” Hird said.
Cyber security a given
Of course none of this works without rock-solid cyber security, in which Honeywell takes pride as an industry leader. “We have the resources to help – from a full gamut of cyber security technologies to full remotely managed cyber security services,” added Eric Knapp, Honeywell global director of cyber security solutions and technology. Indeed, the company’s cyber security capabilities continue to advance, for example, with the addition of Palo Alto Networks’ deep packet inspection technology to the latest Risk Manager release.
“We actively monitor hundreds of sites on behalf of our clients,” Knapp said, “and the sun never sets on our cyber security management centers. Honeywell knows how process automation works, and we know how to protect it.”
“The shift to the IIoT is an evolution,” Calder continued. “One that balances the computational capabilities of the cloud with secure, on-premise capabilities.”
As the IIoT continues to evolve, “we’ll bring our users forward to the automation system of the future with these tenets in mind: to preserve core intellectual property, preserve in-place equipment including automation assets, provide for on-process updates, enhance safety integrity, and maintain performance and capacity.”