Control Systems in the Cloud- Honeywell's Jason Urso Responds #pauto #cloud_computing #automation #HON

June 14, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, Darius Adamczyk, CEO of Honeywell Process Systems, had a media chat. He didn't answer any of Control's questions. See my blog post from 5/29/2013.Jason Urso, Honeywell Process Systems' CTO, responded to one of my questions:

A couple of weeks ago, Darius Adamczyk, CEO of Honeywell Process Systems, had a media chat. He didn't answer any of Control's questions. See my blog post from 5/29/2013.

Jason Urso, Honeywell Process Systems' CTO, responded to one of my questions:

I asked: "ABB announced today a SCADA-in-the-cloud solution for oil and gas. Since HPS' sweet spot is oil and gas, what do you think of cloud based SCADA systems?"

Here's Jason's answer:

"Cloud computing is an interesting topic for process control. Like many IT innovations including open systems and virtualization, cloud computing will play a role in process control. We see the opportunity in a few areas that are playing out today:

1. Remote Control and Operations Centers for control or SCADA. While you might not technically call this ‘cloud computing', the concepts are very similar. Our industry is challenged to find skilled resources for the numerous projects underway around the world. Unfortunately, there are simply just not enough skilled engineers in the places we need them. So, we must find a way to address the need in other ways. This is driving an increasing demand for remote operations centers where skilled resources are clustered in a single location and provide monitoring and support for multiple sites. Further, in offshore Oil and Gas, in light of process safety incidents, it makes good sense to remove personnel from platforms and monitor the operations from shore to the extent possible. So, lack of skilled resources and process safety concerns will drive us to more centralization. And, I would call this centralization an early form of cloud computing in our industry.

2. Honeywell is also pioneering the use of cloud computing in a different context - for project engineering. In light of virtualization and universal IO, there is little need to have resources staged at a single location with all the physical equipment. Universal IO means cabinets are all identical and the IO channels get configured with software - so there is little need for a FAT on these cabinets. And, with virtualization, our control strategies and displays are no longer bound to physical PC hardware. In light of this, Honeywell reinvented our project execution model. We can now host projects in the cloud. That is, we can design control strategies and displays in our cloud data centers without putting a single piece of physical equipment on the ground. The data center is running our simulation software so we can simulate all the control and IO to verify all the design work. This means that: 1) people no longer need to travel to remote staging centers to do project design work 2) application engineering can happen immediately without being dependent on building custom cabinets 3) all the work is captured in virtual machines that can be easily tested in the cloud using a virtual FAT."

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