Changing the Controller Redundancy Paradigm

Honeywell highlights how its Experion PKS HIVE products are designed to change industry’s approach to controller redundancy by creating a mesh of controllers in which backup can be provided by any available controller’s compute power.

Brian Reynolds, senior director of engineering at Honeywell Process Solutions demonstrates how Honeywell's Experion PKS controller backup mesh works.
Brian Reynolds, senior director of engineering at Honeywell Process Solutions demonstrates how Honeywell's Experion PKS controller backup mesh works.

During Honeywell’s Virtual Technology Experience event, Jason Urso, vice president and chief technology officer at Honeywell Process Solutions, highlighted advances to the company’s Experion PKS (Process Knowledge System) HIVE (Highly Integrated Virtual Environment) products that were introduced at this event in 2019.

Experion PKS HIVE Control manages all controllers in an automated system as a single controller and automatically balances control across the system to eliminate repetitive work by the controllers. Read more about Experion PKS HIVE. 

Jason Urso, vice president and chief technology officer, Honeywell Process SolutionsJason Urso, vice president and chief technology officer, Honeywell Process SolutionsA highlight of Urso’s presentation centered on what Honeywell refers to as “infinite availability” of control systems. Urso pointed out that high availability for industrial control systems is nothing new—it has existed for some 40 years through the use of one-over-one redundancy. This achieved by having a backup controller for every primary controller.

 In this one-over-one redundant setup, the backup controller does not operate most of the time. “Which means a lot of equipment is just sitting idle,” Urso said. “But with Control HIVE, we can improve on process control availability because all controllers exist in a mesh. Control automatically transitions to any controller with available compute as long it exists in the HIVE.”

Jim Schreder, engineering fellow, HoneywellJim Schreder, engineering fellow, HoneywellLooking forward, Urso said Honeywell plans to mix embedded and virtual controllers into Hive Control so that users can “have multiple generations of hardware working together seamlessly.”

Jim Schreder, engineer fellow at Honeywell, added that Experion PKS HIVE Control mesh approach allows for more complex control applications because the applications aren’t “constrained to a single device” and its backup.

See the video below for a demonstration of how Experion PKS Control HIVE works to transition control to available control units in the HIVE mesh of controllers.

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