Honeywell Emerges From the Wireless Cloud

June 12, 2006
With Honeywell Marketing chief, Harry Sim, moderating, a panel consisting of Jack Bolick, David Kaufman, business development director for wireless, and Honeywell systems consultant Ken Moshier presented the long-awaited Honeywell wireless solution. Bolick began by suggesting that the environment is right for wireless. "Technologies like plant optimization, compliance, safety, and equipment health monitoring," he said, "are ready for wireless." Those more difficult applications, the "...
With Honeywell Marketing chief, Harry Sim, moderating, a panel consisting of Jack Bolick, David Kaufman, business development director for wireless, and Honeywell systems consultant Ken Moshier presented the long-awaited Honeywell wireless solution. Bolick began by suggesting that the environment is right for wireless. "Technologies like plant optimization, compliance, safety, and equipment health monitoring," he said, "are ready for wireless." Those more difficult applications, the "mission critical" control applications may come later. "Wireless technology is advancing," Bolick said, "becoming cost-effective and standardizing." Bolick pointed to existing Honeywell wireless applications, like IntelaTrak and Mobile PKS, wireless transmitters, wireless worker solutions and wireless services. In an important comment, Bolick noted that one of the chief applications of wireless is to connect many more sensors than was formerly cost effective, directly to the process historian, and bypassing the control loop system. This will make it possible to convert assumed value variables to real time process variables in simulations and advanced control models. Ken Moshier then discussed the use of RFID tracking in the industrial enterprise. "People and asset location become data in the system," he said. Honeywell's ultra wide band RFID implementation makes active tracking practical, at long distances (upwards of 1000 feet in line-of-sight, thousands of tags, and with both 2D and 3D resolution with one foot resolution for tracking) for coverage of large areas. "The most important thing," Moshier reported, "is the fact that these systems are completely integrated into PKS or EBI (building automation -ed.) systems." As these systems are adopted, new techniques can be used, such as real time mustering, which will effectively and cost effectively meet OSHA standards, some for the first time, and with high values return and integration to customers' standard operating plans. People location can prevent accidental startup or shutdown of volatile units; automatically confirm that the required personnel are either in or not in an area (startup of rotating machinery, for example); can be graphically associated with key business information, and can be added to the plant historian for ease in analysis when an accident does occur. "The plant is safer through prevention and mitigation," Moshier said, "since we can provide real time mustering data, "˜man down' data, unique tools and equipment, and do all of it in real time." Dave Kaufman took the floor to describe the wireless infrastructure system that can do all this and more. "As was said this morning, we're obsessed with the voice of the customer. We did research that clustered around these eleven key customer system requirements: 1. security 2. reliable communications 3. good power management 4. open 5. multispeed monitoring 6. multi-functional 7. scalable 8. globally useable 9. quality of service 10. multi-protocol 11. "˜control ready' "Clearly some of these are antitheses, but we think we've been able to juggle them into a suitable architecture," Kaufman continued. "We're using as our radio partner a company called 3Ti, whose iNode product is the same tech as that used on Air Force One, the presidential motorcade, the British Prime Minister's security systems and to protect the US bases in Fallujah in Iraq," he said. "This is our next generation system," Kaufman pointed out, "and existing Honeywell wireless devices can connect to this system as a subnetwork through a gateway. Let's see how the system stands up to the user requirements." 1. Security is WPA2, AES-based, with device authorization, providing a. Confidentiality b. Message integrity c. Replay protection d. Source authentication e. Resistance to Denial-of-service attacks f. With a convenient key-management system 2. High speed frequency hopping spread spectrum mesh tolerant sensor network 3. average ten year battery life 4. open, via the PKS advantage program 5. minimum one second latency 6. integrated 802.11 network for sensors and handhelds 7. scalable from one gateway/one sensor to: a. up to 1000 sensors at 1 second update b. up to 10k sensors at 10 second update c. up to 30k sensors at 30 second update 54 Mbit (9 Mbps effective) speed, and 802.11 based 8. uses globally available 2.4 GHz band 9. optimized Quality of Service 10. multiprotocol, universal wireless architecture with gateways for various protocols 11. "˜control ready' redundant system In addition, Kaufman said, Honeywell has a full suite of wireless services such as assessment, system design, implementation and network management for the end user without the onboard capability. The intellectual property behind this new architecture will be offered to the standards making bodies via the SP100 RFP process, specifically to SP100.11, but in the meantime, Honeywell is making the technology available to anyone in the PKS Advantage program, and four radio kit makers (Aerocomm, Cirronet, LS Research, and Omnex) have been signed up to make open sensor radio kits that anybody can use. Harry Sim noted, "As with Cisco when they offer a new router that anticipates a standard, what we are doing is producing a pre-standard release, one that we have tried very hard to match to what we think will be the eventual standard, and which will be harmonized with the eventual standard when it is released." Beta testing is slated for early in 2007, with product shipment in mid to late 2007.

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