Distributed Control / Optimization

‘Final migration’ virtualizes TDC legacy

By Jim Montague

Jun 19, 2017

HUG Banner 2017

In what Honeywell Process Solution intends as a final chapter of sorts in the continuous evolution story of its ground-breaking TDC distributed control systems, Chief Technology Officer Jason Urso unveiled today an on-process migration path that effectively virtualizes—and preserves indefinitely—its customers’ investments in the decades-old DCS platform.

"We're learning that it's okay to replace hardware with software, and so this is the last TDC migration you'll ever need to perform," said Urso to attendees of the Honeywell Users Group Americas conference in San Antonio, Texas. "In 2013, we presented a vision of TPS and TDC systems merging with Experion, and today, we're realizing that vision.”

In short, the path forward involves turning the company’s legacy control hardware infrastructure and operator displays into virtualized applications that run on the company’s Experion control system platform and fault-tolerant Ethernet (FTE). Importantly, even decades old applications and operator graphics can be virtualized, continuing Honeywell’s longstanding commitment to its customers’ intellectual property investments. .

"Our EHPM [Enhanced High-performance Process Manager] allows users to retain 100% of their I/O and controls, has common electronics for long lifecycles, and can be expanded with advanced controls," explained Urso. "ELCN [Enhanced Local Control Network] coverts the physical into software for infinite life, retains 100% of AM [Application Module] controls and US [Universal Station] graphics , and eliminates LCN bottlenecks and cables.’

“This is how TDC 3000 seamlessly melts into Experion on-process, while letting users retain 100% of their intellectual property," Urso said.

"We estimate that ELCN and EHPM are four to 12 times more cost-effective than ripping-and-replacing controls, and that they provide two orders of magnitude better risk profiles as well. So, this is not only the last TDC migration users will have to do, but these solutions will also take them far into a brighter future."

NextNine bolsters cyber offering

To further enhance its cybersecurity capabilities, Urso added that HPS also just acquired NextNine, a provider of cyber secure connectivity software that's deployed at 6,200 sites worldwide. NextNine's solutions deliver outbound-only connections to its Managed Security Service Center (MSSC), authenticated remote access, automated security software updates, and performance and security monitoring.

Urso also reported that other new and newly enhanced solutions in the Honeywell Process Solutions stable include:

  • ControlEdge PLC that is designed to be readily integrated into the company’s Experion distributed control system environment. The new controller reduces engineering cycle times up to 25%, cuts downtime and costs with unified support, achieves 50% longer life than competing controllers, and reduces cyber risk with embedded cyber security;
  • Auto Device Configuration for Experion R500 that automates instrument configuration, I/O assignment, testing and documentation tasks;
  • Automated Loop Validation and Commissioning for Experion R500 that performs automated instrument test and checkout, allowing a 10x improvement in productivity and elimination of manual errors;
  • Experion Elevate real-time supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that's delivered as a secure and scalable service, reducing the need for on-site hardware and support;
  • Cyber Risk Manager, which provides cross-plant cyber risk visibility; and,
  • ControlEdge RTU that provides improved management of field assets through simplified and efficient remote monitoring, diagnostics, and management. It reduces equipment monitoring and diagnostics from hours to minutes, and integration with Experion SCADA reduces configuration time by 80%.