by Gary Mintchell | May 31, 2023 | Automation, Process Control
These Honeywell news items are a couple of months old. I’ve had a lot of news—especially coming first from Hannover and then from Automate. But most of my thinking time is about humans using the technology; or, technologies using the humans. Will we be replaced? Or, will we figure out how to use all the technology being developed in order to make life better for us all?
These news items are sent to writers like me to show that these companies have sold something. I’m interested in how people are using the technology and why. So, let’s dive in.
Much of Honeywell’s efforts have been toward sustainable applications. In this example, Honeywell’s Experion technology solutions will enable the bioenergy leader to centralize its automation, safety control and telecommunications systems to meet rising global demand of clean, low carbon, transportation fuels at SGP Bioenergy’s Golden City Biorefinery in Colón, Panama.
As one of SGP’s key automation contractors, Honeywell will deploy its Experion technology solutions for the plant’s distributed control and safety systems (DCS) and Experion Industrial Security systems for its integrated telecommunications to build a sustainable aviation fuel refinery.
Once fully operational, the biorefinery is expected to produce 180,000 barrels per day of advanced biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and 405,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually, according to SGP.
KOREPlex Battery Gigafactory
KORE Power, a leading U.S.- based developer of lithium-ion battery cells and modules for the e-mobility and energy storage sectors, will deploy Honeywell’s end-to-end, integrated Battery Manufacturing Excellence Platform (MXP) at the KOREPlex gigafactory in Arizona.
According to a National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) report, the traditional approach to lithium-ion cell manufacturing comprises many inefficient manual operations, leading facilities to commonly operate at a 70% production yield at steady-state. As a principal manufacturer of battery cells and modules for the energy storage and e-mobility sectors, it is essential for KORE to implement highly efficient and therefore sustainable production practices.
With continuous closed-loop control, Honeywell’s Battery MXP will enable KORE Power to visualize and control their entire lithium-ion battery (LIB) production process in real-time, from mixing, coating, assembly to formation-finishing area. This centralized approach will allow KORE to reach target capacity faster while improving production yields and improving safety.
The digital Honeywell MXP platform lets users scale up their enterprise and achieve steady-state operations with superior yields starting from the first day of operations. Coupled with production optimization and improved efficiencies, Honeywell’s solution reduces energy consumption, enabling companies to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the platform provides online quality management with complete production traceability/genealogy of the cells produced.
KOREPlex will be the first fully digitized and integrated lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility using Honeywell’s MXP platform. By employing Honeywell’s proven expertise across related industries such as life sciences and sheet manufacturing, this solution builds upon existing technologies to fit the requirements for lithium-ion cell production.
The KOREPlex is expected to be operational in early 2025 and will be among the first U.S. gigafactories built independently of an automotive OEM, enabling the facility to supply cells to a wide range of customers, from innovative e-mobility start-ups to utility customers seeking to improve reliability with energy storage. The KOREPlex is expected to have an annual production capacity of 12 GWh of high-density lithium-ion cells, with lines committed to both NMC and LFP chemistries.
Honeywell Ventures is a co-investor in KORE Power and participated in a funding round in November 2022.
by Gary Mintchell | May 16, 2023 | Process Control
Quick news update from Festo—who is certainly keeping their PR machine busy.
Festo now offers CPX valve manifold configuration to Emerson DeltaV DCS systems for fast, simple, and effective programming, commissioning, and validation of Festo-based pneumatics for skids and machines.
This first-of-its-kind third-party commissioning solution brings one of the world’s most versatile valve manifold control platforms, CPX, to the DeltaV DCS ecosystem. Fast commissioning enables system integrators to speed up time to market, lower engineering overhead, and design new, innovative, and unique distributed control solutions. Simple CPX configuration commissioning is available for the Rockwell ecosystem as well.
The CPX electric terminal is a modular peripheral system for valve terminals. System integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) adapt CPX to a wide range of applications. The modular design of the CPX enables a virtually endless range of pneumatic system configurations.
by Gary Mintchell | May 16, 2023 | Manufacturing IT, News, Process Control, Technology
’m still catching up on a bit older news. One of the benefits of all this digital and digital twin conversation concerns simulating processes. These have uses ranging from training to improving processes. This news concerns a collaboration between Honeywell UniSim and Borealis.
Honeywell announced that Borealis will implement Honeywell’s UniSim Live software as early adopters to build process models for optimizing operations through virtual process simulation. UniSim Live will allow Borealis to extend the utility of process models to near real-time process monitoring and focus on early event detection by using digital twins to improve plant reliability.
Based in Austria, Borealis is a leading international provider of polyolefins, base chemicals, and fertilizers, and also one of the world’s largest producers of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). The organization continues to invest in new technology and digitalization tools to improve processing capabilities and efficiencies as part of its Borstar program to optimize and transform key operations.
Process models are digital representations of a plant and its processes. They are commonly used for designing process equipment or for training operations staff. UniSim Live’s advanced process modeling detection capabilities are helping Borealis detect and mitigate issues that can impact plant performance. The collaboration with Borealis builds on Honeywell’s 20-year efforts associated with the Abnormal Situation Management consortium, whose charter is to improve plant safety and reliability.
by Gary Mintchell | Mar 17, 2023 | Process Control, Sensors, Wireless
A couple of news items recently pushed my way from the foundation layer of the famous Purdue Pyramid. This one comes from Honeywell, a company that usually talks to me about software and sustainability. This release concerns transmitters for condition-based monitoring of rotating equipment. This is an important layer of data generation for the famous Industrial Internet of Things.
Honeywell March 8, 2023 introduced Versatilis Transmitters for condition-based monitoring of rotating equipment such as pumps, motors, compressors, fans, blowers, and gearboxes that provide relevant measurements of rotating equipment, delivering intelligence that can improve safety, availability, and reliability across industries.
These are a multi-variant instrument based on the low power, long range LoRaWAN protocol known for low power consumption and easy installation. Easy configuration is achieved through a mobile application over Bluetooth.
They can seamlessly integrate with Honeywell’s Experion HS and other SCADA or asset management platforms. When used with Honeywell’s analytics software, this technology can predict equipment failures such as asset imbalance, misalignment, and bearing-related issues before they happen, helping to reduce unplanned downtime.
by Gary Mintchell | Mar 7, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing IT, News, Process Control
Here are a few items that I’ve come across plus one where I’m the news (so to speak).
Mark your calendars! The Ignition Community Conference will return to the Harris Center on September 26–28, 2023. Registration will be open soon.
I’ve been asked to present at a Webinar on a new Website–Manufacturing Technology Today. Going Beyond Digital Transformation: The Real Innovations in Manufacturing. Check it out. Register. Heckle me in the chat 😉 April 5, 2023.
Emerson sent an email about its Virtual Exchange–a rerun of its live/virtual event from last October. I wrote about Boundless Automation and other news from the event back then. Check it out for a refresh.
by Gary Mintchell | Feb 24, 2023 | Automation, News, Organizations, Process Control, Standards
One of the meetings I look forward to these days at the ARC Forum in Orlando concerns updates from The Open Process Automation Forum, a working group of The Open Group.
This year I met with OPAF leaders Mohan Kalyanaraman and Ryan Smeltzer for a private briefing and then attended one of the OPAF sessions in the general forum. Widespread interest in their work was evidenced by the turnout of more than 200 people.
The OPAS 2.1 version of the standard is considered to be stable and suppliers can build products to it. Conformance requirements and testing are in process and due this year. Security guidelines and adoption guides are due to be completed this year.
Test beds and a pilot project have been completed. A few companies have scheduled test beds to their requirements. ExxonMobil is proceeding with a field trial that includes DCS/PLC that are commercially available compliant with OPAS 2.1. The project includes a single operator, single console, 2,500 I/O, and 100 control loops.
Further, OPAF is working with OPC Foundation for joint standard for Field Exchange and is also working with NAMUR ZVEI in Europe.
A little history and context
This work was instigated by ExxonMobil made public in 2016. That company faced upgrading its automation platforms at considerable expense. Other end user companies faced the same challenge. Schneider Electric, Yokogawa, and ABB were early boosters from the technology provider side of the equation.
I have followed a few of these initiatives. I can see the value of open systems. They have worked well in the IT market. However, gaining adoption is exceedingly difficult. Many suppliers may talk open systems, but in the end they want to keep everything tied together in house. To the outside world, they’ll say that they can assure all the parts will work together better because they are all designed by the same company. On the other hand, they really want to establish a long-term relationship with a large customer that is difficult to break. Lots of conflicting desires and business needs.
This project is gaining traction. It will only work in the end if enough end users specify the products and enforce procurement and application. Another project I once followed stumbled at this stage. One corporate engineering staff approved the open standard, but they could not enforce procurement at the plant level. We’ll see where this one goes.