Many fair-weather suppliers promise to watch their users' backs, but only a few can prove it as thoroughly as Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) did at its 43rd annual Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas event on June 17-22 in San Antonio, Texas. The event was attended by 1,300 people from 32 countries.
No less than David Patin, distinguished engineering associate for control systems at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, praised Honeywell for its part in their joint task team's multi-year effort to develop a method to migrate forward its fleet of Honeywell TDC 3000 distributed control systems (DCS). The oil and gas supermajor's installed base of TDC 3000s had been expected to face a critical spare parts shortage by 2025, so Patin reports it began meeting with HPS in 2011.
Exxon wants to avoid system replacement, especially of its I/O; preserve its intellectual property; allow on-process migration of components without shutting down; enable new capabilities not possible with TDC; and unify TDC with HPS’ Experion platform. Because migrating TDC would otherwise require control and communications microprocessors that will no longer be available, the team settled on emulation that abstracts TDC functions from the older hardware.
As a result, this past February—two years early—HPS answered ExxonMobil’s challenge by releasing Experion LCN (ELCN) R501.1, which emulates TDC as software. “It’s 100% binary compatible and interoperable with the old system,” says Patin. “Current TDC code runs unmodified in this virtual environment, reducing the technical risks. Intellectual property such as application code, databases and displays are preserved."
Virtualizing TDC has added benefits, including using HPS’ cloud-based, open, virtual engineering platform to engineer TDC solutions; lower-cost, smaller training simulators; peer-to-peer integration of virtual HPM controller nodes with existing C300/ACE nodes; support for OneWireless (ISA 100 and WirelessHART); and integration with ControlEdge Unit Operations Controllers (UOC).
"ELCN technology essentially resets the odometer on your TDC 3000 investment. It’s the best example of Honeywell’s commitment to continuous evolution that I’ve ever seen," adds Patin. "The challenge was met and expectations exceeded. The need to replace an entire system is eliminated, future component issues are virtually eliminated (pun intended), intellectual property is preserved and on-process migration is supported.”
Rudolph is new HPS president
Also on HUG's main stage, John Rudolph was reintroduced as the new president of HPS, succeeding Vimal Kapur, who was named president and CEO of Honeywell Building Technologies. Rudolph led the Projects and Automation Solutions business for HPS during the past year, and previously led the Lifecycle Solutions and Services business for five years, where he commercialized Assurance 360, the industry's first launch of a true outcome-based contract; launched the rapidly growing Cyber Security business; and introduced e-commerce tools.
"Digital transformation has to be about more than moving data into the cloud,” says Rudolph. “It ultimately has to be about the outcomes, including driving increased productivity and savings for our customers, while allowing them to increase knowledge capture, knowledge sharing and knowledge retention among their employees."
In other news from HUG 2018:
- HPS VP and CTO Jason Urso reported that its ability of extracting software from hardware, and hosting systems in the cloud for flexible designs and remote access, has also allowed HPS to introduce its S300 SIL 3 safety logic solver, which pulls software from its Safety Manager platform. "This lets us design and validate safety systems without physical hardware, and land it on safety hardware with integrated safety I/O,” explains Urso. "Plus, we’ve added the highest level of cybersecurity on both the hardware and software.”
- Joe Bastone, director of product management for Experion at HPS, stated the upcoming release of Experion PKS R510 this September builds on the launch of R501 this past February, and includes integration with ControlEdge UOC and ControlEdge PLC that supports IEC 61131-3 languages. “ControlEdge UOC includes the control environment from the C300 controller,” says Bastone. “We can also package it as a virtual image, connect to an EtherNet IP network, and perform standard control.”
- Alicia Kempf, engineering manager for Experion control and tools at HPS, added that ControlEdge UOC also offers optional redundancy, embedded firewall, redundant power supplies, Ethernet communications and seven rack options. It’s rated to 60 °C, and can work with classic and Universal I/O from Honeywell. A virtualized version, vUOC, can be used for simulation and training. "This new system is built entirely for batch, centered on a distributed batch engine,” explains Kempf. “It’s all in the controller—there’s no batch server, no Windows, no patches, no updating. It’s designed for increased availability, simplified batch workflow, easy I/O configuration, easy validation and one-touch deployment.”
View our full coverage of HUG 2018 here.