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Lean principles take it on the road

June 19, 2017
How Honeywell is extending the company’s Lean Execution for Automation Projects philosophy
If a performance is well-received at home, it may be time to go on tour and get it in front of a wider audience. Likewise, when a process optimization strategy performs as well as Lean Execution of Automation Projects (LEAP) has since its 2013 debut, its developers start seeking ways to apply its project-efficiency principles to a wider circle of applications, locations, users and lifecycles beyond its project-based roots. In this case, the result is LEAP for Operations, which extends LEAP's original methods to simplify and optimize ongoing process operations.

"We've been narrowing in on what LEAP could do after project execution," said Joe Bastone, director, Experion product management, Honeywell Process Solutions, who presented "LEAP for Operations: Increased Efficiency with Lean Principles" this week at the Honeywell Users Group Americas meeting in San Antonio, Texas. "LEAP's three pillars are Universal I/O, cloud engineering and virtualization, and we wanted to begin applying them to operations and other areas where Honeywell Process Solutions could have an impact.” Reinterpreted for operations, the company’s three main areas of focus are: cloud-enabled execution, edge-device integration, and universal and connected assets.

In particular, Bastone reported that:

  • Cloud-enabled execution encompasses efficient engineering and execution with advanced operator solutions (such as embedded advanced process control and alarm management), next-generation visualization, cloud engineering with Smart Test, and automatic documentation and management-of-change tasks.  
  • Edge-device integration achieves simplification with automated commissioning of SmartLine instrumentation, OneWireless using ISA100 and WirelessHART standard protocols, fire and gas integration, and skid integration.
  • Assets are made universal and connected by integrating controls and subsystems through universal channel technologies (such as DCS, safety and PLCs) as well as electrical and Ethernet technologies.

"People need LEAP to execute on premise and off premise, but cybersecurity is the key," added Bastone. "They need this cybersecurity bubble around their applications, especially when Experion is connecting to a third party, which happens often because so many applications are networking with EtherNet/IP, Modbus and other protocols."

LEAP for Operations maintains security by implementing:

  • Control-, third-party and corporate firewalls;
  • Complying with IEC 62443 standard that details designed-in security and certified development processes;
  • Access control for configuring scopes of responsibility; and,
  • Risk Manager to continuously monitor and detect threats.

Bastone added that LEAP for Operations is further assisted by two new Honeywell solutions. The first, Experion Elevate, is a real-time supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) that's delivered as a secure and scalable service, reducing the need for on-site hardware and support. The second, Open Virtual Engineering Platform (OpenVEP), is a secure and reliable cloud engineering service for convenient and instant access to an off-process, fully functional Experion system at any release, accessible from anywhere at the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO).

"Experion Elevate takes the full execution model, and moves it to the cloud environment, so only a browser or thin-client device is needed onsite," explained Bastone. "Many users said they wanted their own VEP instance, so we introduced OpenVEP."

OpenVEP replicates VEP in a public cloud infrastructure that's encrypted and secure. It also has a library of virtual machine templates for instant deployment at any software release point, and it's readily available to customers, EPCs and other users with 24/7 technical support. OpenVEP also allows easy access to the Honeywell services department.

In addition, Bastone said, LEAP for Operations' Edge-Device Integration provides access to Experion PKS and Universal I/O solutions for quick configuration of transmitters and other devices in the cloud--in minutes instead of hours--which can reduce project costs by 10%.  

"Similarly, our new ControlEdge RTU provides improved management of field assets through simplified and efficient remote monitoring, diagnostics, and management," added Bastone. "It can dramatically improve workflow, and reduce implementation time.”

"We're just taking LEAP's lean execution philosophy and applying to all aspects of a running control system."

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.