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ControlEdge PLC eases integration with DCS and IIoT

June 16, 2016
Honeywell adds intelligent discrete controller to next-generation capabilities leveraging its Experion PKS, Universal I/O and the Industrial Internet of Things.
About the author
Jim Montague is executive editor of Control magazine, and has served as executive editor of Control Design and Industrial Networking magazines. He's worked for Putman Media for more than 10 years, and has covered the process control and automation technologies and industries for almost 20 years. He holds a B.A. in English from Carleton College and lives in Skokie, Illinois.  The promised land of performance gains expected from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can only be reached by touching physical process applications, so the primary task is shortening the journey that crucial production data must take from field-level devices to IIoT and business-level systems.

To simplify and straighten this historically twisted path, Honeywell Process Solutions announced its new ControlEdge programmable logic controller (PLC) on the first day of Honeywell Users Group Americas 2016 this week in San Antonio.

"Our vision is to provide the best possible PLC integration with users' controls, deliver super-tight integration with our Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS), enable native support for Universal I/O (UIO), and deliver IIoT connectivity and cybersecurity in a proven platform that minimizes risks to users," said Andrew Brodie, global control offerings marketing leader for Honeywell's Process Measurement and Control business.

ControlEdge is a flagship addition to Honeywell's next-generation, intelligent controllers leveraging IIoT capabilities. It's designed for and focused on process industries requiring discrete control for specific PLC applications, such as water/wastewater treatment, balance of plant modular equipment, terminal automation and coal/ash handling. ControlEdge is scheduled to be released and begin shipping in October 2016. (For more information, visit www.honeywellprocess.com/plc or www.hwll.co/IIoT.)

Brodie reported that top customer challenges for any process facility include managing multiple PLCs and distributed control systems (DCS) across their plants, handling last-minute changes that impact their schedules, coping with poor connectivity that makes it hard to pull data from proprietary protocols, and mitigating cybersecurity risks. "Because of these difficulties, users want to standardize their PLC solutions, increase engineering schedule flexibility, improve connectivity and increase security," added Brodie.

ControlEdge is a flagship addition to Honeywell's next-generation, intelligent controllers leveraging IIoT capabilities. It's designed for and focused on process industries requiring discrete control for specific PLC applications, such as water/wastewater treatment, balance of plant modular equipment, terminal automation and coal/ash handling. It’s scheduled to begin shipping in October 2016.

Beyond achieving secure connectivity and tight integration with devices from multiple vendors, ControlEdge enables easy configuration, efficient operations, and reduced maintenance. It also uses OPC UA protocol and built-in cyber security for smooth integration to a range of instruments, equipment and software from multiple vendors. ControlEdge PLC is the first PLC to offer Universal I/O, providing remote configuration and late design change flexibility for improved project implementation.

"Using one vendor and ControlEdge to tighten integration between DCS and PLCs can save $150,000 due to increased engineering efficiency, leaner control rooms and better operator effectiveness in a typical process control system with five PLCs managing about 400 I/O each," reported Praveen Jose, global product marketing manager for ControlEdge at Honeywell. "In the same system, using ControlEdge with our Universal I/O can save $350,000 to $400,000 in cabinets, junction boxes, field cables, control room equipment and labor costs.”

Together, they also enable more efficient field wiring and cabinet assembly with remote terminal panels (RTPs) and UIO. For example, ControlEdge's universal RTP with analog input (AI), digital input (DI), digital output (DO) and analog output (AO) eliminates cross wiring. This and its 1-, 2- and 5-meter cable lengths allow it to reduce wiring time by 75%, and accommodate late-minute changes in five minutes instead of hours.

“In addition, Internet- and cloud-computing-friendly OPC UA helps ControlEdge secure cloud connectivity for users, and generate $180,000 in savings by easing integration and maintenance, and requiring fewer gateways, network equipment and other hardware. This also improves equipment serviceability in less time, allows equipment performance monitoring across multiple sites, and provides Secure Cloud Connectivity with built-in firewalls," Jose added.

ControlEdge's other important capabilities and features include:

    • Supports networking in star and ring topologies;
    • Uses HC900 racks and power supplies and supports HC900 I/O modules;
    • Shares central processor module (CPM) technology with RTU2020, proven in the harshest operating conditions for two years in more than 1,400 systems;
    • Uses common ControlEdge Builder software for configuration and programming, which can reduce training expenses by 50%;
    • Offers 16-channel Universal I/O module-level isolation, while field power comes from external 24-VDC;
    • Supports a total of 2,304 I/O per PLC, but is working to expand to 8,200 I/O per PLC;
    • Employs five IEC 61131-3 programming languages;
    • Achieves 20-ms screw-to-screw scan times;
    • Operates at 0 °C to 60 °C;
    • Holds CE, UL, CSA and CSA US certifications and is RoHS compliant; and
    • Uses Secure Boot technology that prevents PLCs from loading unauthorized software, and follows the ISA99 cybersecurity standard.

"Designed to be a superior offering with any process or SCADA system, ControlEdge PLC delivers a unique integration capability when combined with Experion PKS by leveraging Universal I/O technology and Honeywell’s LEAP project execution methodology,” added Jason Urso, vice president of Honeywell's Process Measurement and Control business.

“Projects that combine both Experion and ControlEdge PLC can benefit from substantially reduced project risk; eliminate the impact of late I/O changes; and dramatically simplify project execution. Further, with Honeywell providing both distributed control systems (DCS) and PLC, we simplify process operations by providing equipment with a common lifecycle and a highly reliable integration connection versus a custom interface. This integrated offering provides significant lifecycle cost savings, less engineering and higher reliability.”

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control. 

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