Research & Innovation
IIoT has potential to solve manufacturers’ problems
The potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to solve the toughest problems facing manufacturers was the main topic of the 41st annual Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas conference.
By Cindy Macdonald
“Those who embrace digital transformation will ultimately win in the global marketplace,” said Bruce Calder, vice-president and chief technology officer of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) told the event’s 1,200 attendees.
Daily general sessions at the four-day meeting of Honeywell leaders, customers and users focused on how technologies comprising IIoT can help companies improve operations. The theme resonated with attendees due in part to challenges brought on by current economic conditions, but it also articulated Honeywell’s long-term vision for delivering solutions to customers regardless of industry challenges.
“The IIoT is bringing together existing technologies across all industries in order to solve issues previously considered unsolvable,” said Andrew Hird, vice-president and general manager of HPS’ Digital Transformation business. “In most cases, the data needed to solve big issues like unplanned downtime and the manufacture of off-spec products is there – it’s just not being managed and utilized in the right way.”
Throughout the event – held June 19-24 in San Antonio – attendees from 31 countries discussed ways that data analytics can further change the manufacturing landscape, and how the IIoT can bring digital transformation to life. Examples included improving business profitability with alarm management, using remote server data to improve storage management in tanks farms, and remotely collaborating through the cloud to shave weeks off incident resolution times, among many others.
“We’re making the business case for efficiency, reliability and safety gains. It’s an evolution, not a revolution,” HPS president Vimal Kapur told attendees.
Key to the IIoT by Honeywell solution is the development of an IIoT ecosystem, which brings together Honeywell’s advanced data analytics, cloud technology and deep domain experience in automation with process technology providers and original equipment manufacturers. Some of these partners, including Honeywell UOP, Flowserve, Seeq and Meshify, were demonstrating integrated solutions at HUG.
The discussions surrounding increased connectivity and use of cloud technologies naturally generated conversations about industrial cyber security measures that companies should take to guard their networks against the rapidly growing number of malware variants. During the week, Honeywell showcased a new release of its Cyber Security Risk Manager technology, along with Application Whitelisting and device control services.
The company also highlighted several other new technologies, including:
• Experion PKS Orion R500 – The newest version of Honeywell’s advanced, open and secure control system features automated device commissioning, which allows engineers to configure loops via the cloud and reduces commissioning from hours to minutes.
• Experion further optimizes Honeywell’s LEAP lean project execution methodology, which allows companies to complete projects faster using a combination of cloud and virtualization technologies.
• ControlEdge PLC – a next-generation family of controllers that provide secure connectivity and tight integration to devices from multiple vendors, with easy configuration, efficient operations and reduced maintenance through the use of augmented reality.
• Uniformance Suite – Honeywell’s analytics platform for IIoT that provides real-time digital intelligence to turn plant data into actionable information. With new products like Uniformance Insight, companies can access analytics capabilities for data capture, visualization, prediction and action.