Attendance of about 525, with about 175 first time attenders, welcomed first day keynoters at the annual Honeywell Users Group (HUG) in coordination with Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS). Attendance is up about 30 percent from last year.

Harsh Chitale, in his new role of Vice President and General Manager of the Americas business, addressed the four key points for the week in his opening keynote. These are

  • Reduce total cost of ownership for customers. As an example, Chitale offered Honeywell’s work with Microsoft to extend the life and support for Windows XP and Server 2003 plus for the future for Windows 7 and Server 2008 (which will be part of the latest Experion release). Further, HPS will be offering a “skip the release” feature. And a final example is increased use of virtualization.
  • Reduce costs from obsolescence. Here, Chitale noted Honeywell’s practice of keeping platforms alive longer than any competitors.
  • Help mitigate the loss of knowledge. HPS is expanding its portfolio and deployment of training.
  • Efficient management of open systems. First, this refers to products based on Microsoft Windows / Intel microprocessor-based products. HPS is expanding its services program.

Norm Gilsdorf, HPS CEO, noted that Honeywell continued to pour money into research and development throughout the down economy. The world’s change is accelerating, Gilsdorf said. There is an increased concern for safety and security, there is the uncertain economic environment, resource constraints–especially trained people–continue to plague companies, and finally the world faces energy supply/going green issues. “We’ll have to live with economic uncertainty going forward,” he predicted.

A summary of Gilsdorf’s remaining points include:

  • A key challenge is to get students into science and engineering curricula,
  • Twenty percent of the world’s capital investment has shifted from North America and Europe to Asia,
  • Process safety incidents cost U.S. petrochemical industry $20 billion a year, plus add incidents such as the Gulf oil spill.

In response, HPS offers these ways of driving value for customers:

  •     Increase standardization / reduce risk
  •     Drive value through technology
  •     Make it easier to do business with HPS
  •     Success with services
  •     Improve end-to-end quality

Jason Urso, chief technology officer, held the audience’s attention for the next 1.5 hours as he first emulated James Bond then introduced 55 new products.

Key takeaways include new release of Experion (see below), enhancements to the One Wireless platform (see below), think about the entirety of Honeywell–not limited to HPS and the acquisitions of the past year are integrating well into HPS.

Here are details on two of the new products.

Several enhancements have been added to the Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS). Experion R400, as noted by HPS releases, includes advancements that lower the cost of open system ownership, thanks to features such as an extended support life, flexible direct on-process migration paths, virtualization, and easier installation and migration.

Experion now offers an integrated turbine control system that allows power generators to improve their plant performance through tighter integration between boilers and turbines. It tightly integrates plant subsystems – including process control, safety instrumented systems, security and advanced control.

Operating Experion in a virtual environment, for example, can greatly reduce the number of PCs needed at plants, simplify management and ensure software continues functioning properly even as platforms are updated.  Additionally, Experion R400 extends the availability of operating systems and key infrastructure components to help prevent them from becoming outdated or obsolete. Plants with older versions of Experion can now upgrade to Experion R400 more easily with extended on-process migration and automatic-install features. This allows plants to more-quickly upgrade their systems on-process with larger jumps between releases.

The system also features a new Profibus Gateway that provides redundancy, further improving the reliability of critical process control applications such as intelligent motor control centers and remote critical equipment monitoring.

Enhancements to OneWireless will give industrial facilities more options to tailor wireless networks to best fit their needs according to product managers. OneWireless R200, which is now fully compliant with the ISA100.11a standard, will allow plants to design a wireless network with different types of wireless coverage. Depending upon application requirements, plants can now design networks that provide either wireless coverage for field instruments only, or coverage for both field instruments and Wi-Fi devices. This provides plants with more flexibility while reducing the total cost of ownership.

OneWireless R200 allows plants to create field instrument networks using the new Field Device Access Point and Wireless Device Manager. The Field Device Access Point is designed to support ISA100.11a field instruments by assuming message-routing duties.

The Wireless Device Manager manages field instrument networks by serving as a gateway system and security manager, and ensuring all communication between the field instruments and plant network is secure.

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