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Major Companies Discuss Connections and Services at ARC Forum

Three major automation companies laid out new products and services based on exploiting all the connections found in today’s industrial world. Senior executives presented to a press conference and later I had a chance to talk a little with most of them.

Honeywell

Paul Bonner, Honeywell Connected Plant Vice President of Consulting and Data Analytics, introduced the company’s Honeywell Connected Plant (HCP) business, a holistic approach to addressing the challenges of industrial customers. HCP leverages the power of the Industrial Internet of things (IIoT), machine learning, and big data analytics; coupled with Honeywell’s first-principles and empirical modeling technologies and deep process domain expertise. This new business brings together HPS’ Advanced Solutions, Honeywell UOP’s Connected Performance Services (CPS), and Digital Transformation organizations. He will also highlight the Honeywell Sentience cloud platform and INspire partner ecosystem.

Bonner told me that the big thing is that customers are beginning to accept the cloud. Honeywell’s solution, like most of those found in industrial applications, is built on Microsoft Azure.

Another part of the initiative is a collaboration with Seeq, one of three such partnerships for it. This joint development agreement will help customers minimize unplanned shutdowns, maximize output, minimize safety risk and optimize supply chain strategies.

“Honeywell’s deep domain knowledge and capabilities in process optimization, data consolidation, storage and asset monitoring combined with Seeq’s technology help us to identify and solve previously unsolvable problems,” said Shree Dandekar, senior vice president and general manager, Honeywell Connected Plant. “Our goal is to create an effective solution that securely captures, aggregates and analyzes data, and then leverages a vast ecosystem to provide a higher level outcome for our customers. This ecosystem includes leading equipment vendors, process licensors, OEMs and other industry experts.”

“We see this collaboration between Honeywell and Seeq as beneficial to continuously improving how we serve our customers with the latest advanced software and analytics,” said Steve Sliwa, CEO and co-founder, Seeq Corporation. “Honeywell provides key infrastructure to collect and securely store data, while we embed decades of domain knowledge into advanced analytics for more business value, faster. This collaboration will help us provide our customers with new insight through transformative capabilities that lead to more rapid decision-making and process optimization.”

Yokogawa 

Since announcing its mid-term business plan, Yokogawa has been accelerating its transformation, including developing new solutions to increase customers’ value. Satoru Kurosu, Director and Executive Vice President, Yokogawa Electric Corporation presented Yokogawa’s new vision to support customers’ best-in-class operating performance and its solution business roadmap to maximize the synergistic effects of strategic acquisitions. In addition, Andrew Howell, CEO, KBC Advanced Technologies announced a unique co-innovation solution designed to provide new perspectives that can help end users strengthen their asset value and overcome challenges.

KBC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corp., launched the KBC Co-Pilot Program (“Co-Pilot”). Just as the co-pilot of an aircraft is there to assist the pilot with  additional knowledge and to step in and help at times of intense activity, the KBC Co-Pilot is there to remotely support the plant with expertise and insight supplementing the plant’s own  capabilities and resources, thus assuring that it achieves its full potential.

The KBC Co-Pilot Program will assure asset owners and operators that their simulation and planning tools are always up to date, and that the actions taken by their operators result in best possible process performance and safe operation of equipment within recognized limits now and into the future.

KBC has recently integrated its operations with those of two other Yokogawa business units– Industrial Knowledge and Soteica Visual Mesa– to bring together all KBC Co-Pilot

Program capabilities under one organization. The first KBC Co-Pilot solution is for the
remote performance monitoring of oil refinery facilities such as crude distillation units, fluid catalytic crackers, and catalytic reformers.

Key elements of this solution are:

  • Real-time data connection to the plant using Web*Technician data-as-a-service
  • Automatic recalibration of Petro-SIM rigorous simulation model against actual plant
    data
  • Automatic LP vector updates from recalibrated model
  • Regular health check of unit performance vs plan and vs potential
  • Consulting and assistance to implement recommended changes
  • Reset of baseline operating plan due to major changes in external impacts such as economics, demand, asset capabilities

Siemens

Jagannath Rao, Sr. Vice President, Data Services, Siemens U.S, presented the
company’s MindSphere industrial cloud infrastructure as an essential element on  the path to the digital enterprise. Connectivity on the production floor and  acquiring and analyzing data can provide significant opportunities for businesses.

But, how can a manufacturer store, manage, and gain value from the large data
that can be acquired from their machines and production lines? Without a proper  infrastructure for data management, implementing the benefits of data-driven  intelligence will have very limited possibilities.

This is a comprehensive platform that I saw previewed last year at Hannover in Germany. I have written about Mindsphere a couple of times before here and here.

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