Digital transformation leads agenda at Honeywell Process Solutions’ annual users conference
Helping industrial companies harness the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to transform their entire enterprise will be the lead topic for Honeywell Process Solutions’ (HPS) 41st annual Honeywell Users Group (HUG) for the Americas.
“Honeywell’s invention of the distributed control system (DCS) more than 40 years ago allowed manufacturers to use data to operate their plants more safely and productively,” said Vimal Kapur, president of HPS. “The Industrial Internet of Things will allow manufacturers to more efficiently gather and analyze a broader range of data across multiple operations and plants to use data to transform entire enterprises.”
Hundreds of Honeywell technology users from across the oil and gas, chemical, pulp and paper and metals and mining sectors are expected at HUG, which began today and runs through Friday. The event will feature technology displays along with dozens of Honeywell- and customer-led sessions and technical discussions.
Showing how IIoT is working in real-world scenarios is especially critical this year. A recent survey of North American manufacturing executives suggests that while investments in data analytics are rising, companies are still grappling to better understand its benefits.
The Honeywell-commissioned survey, conducted by KRC Research, found the majority of respondents (between 60 and 70 percent) believe data analytics can help reduce equipment breakdowns and unplanned downtime, as well as reduce supply chain management issues. This is particularly noteworthy because around 40 percent of the executives see unscheduled downtime and supply chain management issues as the top two threats to maximizing revenue.
At the same time, though, nearly half of the respondents – representing a range of manufacturing industries – said they don’t fully understand the benefits of data analytics, and more than a quarter say more proof is needed to show that data analytics work.
“We are seeing a lot of interest from our customers attending this conference on how best to manage this digital transformation within their companies. They are looking to get more production out of existing assets and determine the best areas for investment for the long-term success of their operations – to improve process safety, reliability, security and sustainability, said Kapur. “This is reflected in the agenda that was developed by the HUG customer-led steering committee. Combine a very strong agenda with the new technologies and solutions that will be highlighted this year and I anticipate another great HUG.”
The conference will feature three daily themes:
- What’s Next: The Right Technology, Right Now – Day 1 will focus on how new technologies that are available today can drive gains in operational efficiency, productivity and ultimately revenue growth.
- Find Opportunity: Win in a Volatile Marketplace – Day 2 will examine how to take advantage of technology and services to improve reliability, safety, compliance and productivity in a time of low oil prices, increasing globalization and political instability.
- Embrace Change: Engage and Empower the Next Generation – Day 3 looks at how the right environment, training and tools can unleash the power of the smart, tech-savvy and collaborative millennial workforce.
Woven throughout the entire symposium will be numerous presentations and panel discussions focusing on how the IIoT by Honeywell can help transform manufacturing operations.
“HPS has been providing solutions and technologies to help manufacturers leverage critical operational data on a site by site basis for years,” said Andrew Hird, vice president and general manager of HPS’ Digital Transformation business. “Today, with the increased connectivity and the IIoT by Honeywell, they are able to gather and analyze data across multiple sites to find and implement best practices. The results of the IIoT survey of manufacturers reflect very closely the areas where Honeywell has been investing in solutions.”
In addition to the IIoT, attendees will experience many of Honeywell’s newest industrial automation technologies including:
- Data acquisition and analytics: The expanded Uniformance Suite software provides real-time digital intelligence through advanced process and event data collection, asset-centric analytics and powerful visualization technology, turning plant data into actionable information to enable smart operations. This solution is a backbone for the IIoT by Honeywell. New this year is Uniformance Insight, which allows customers to visualize process conditions and investigate events from any web browser.
- Control: ControlEdge PLC, one of Honeywell’s first IIoT-ready controller, is part of Honeywell’s next generation of controllers providing unprecedented connectivity through all levels of process and business operations. When combined with Experion, ControlEdge PLC provides secure connectivity and tight integration to devices from multiple vendors and works with any SCADA system. Also showcased is the newest version of Experion Orion that will help industrial plants further optimize automation project execution, reduce loop commissioning time, minimize operational risk and protect intellectual investments while keeping current with today’s technology.
- Natural gas measurement: Honeywell’s new IIoT-ready gas measurement and data management solutions for North American gas transmission and distribution from the wellhead to the burner tip. The portfolio includes the EC 350 PTZ Gas Volume Corrector, Honeywell Elster Rotary Gas Meter, the Cloud Link 4G Modem, MasterLink and PowerSpring.
- Connectivity: MatrikonOPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) extends the highly successful OPC communication protocol, enabling data acquisition and information modeling and communication between the plant floor and the enterprise reliably and securely, accelerating the IIoT.
- Mobility: Honeywell Pulse is a new mobile app used to remotely connect plant managers, supervisors and engineering staff to customized real-time plant performance notifications sent from HPS’ industrial automation software. It brings relevant metrics and the tools to resolve issues directly to their mobile device.
The conference agenda also includes a number of presentations and panel discussions from Honeywell customers Braskem, ExxonMobil, Phillips, Chevron, DuPont, Suncor, Freeport-McMoran, Marathon, Shell, Georgia Pacific, Reliance, Holly Refining, and others. These presentations cover topics such as virtualization, mobility, cost-effective control system migrations, instrumentation, advanced data analytics and project execution.
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Industries such as construction, mining, energy, utilities and forestry, face many challenges when it comes to tracking assets and employees. Equipment often has to be transferred between locations, or monitored while it is dormant during off seasons. Lone workers may have to travel long distances or visit multiple sites during the course of their activities. And, all of this is further complicated today with shifting supply chains and economic realities putting further strain on the bottom line.