As manufacturing systems grow more complex, it has become more important for automation suppliers to provide not only the components but an easier means to a complete solution. This trend carries over into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where it’s not always easy for production operations to make the best use of the data that’s being gathered to improve their processes.
So automation suppliers are increasingly creating business units and systems dedicated to digital deployment to best leverage the IIoT technologies they’re offering. The latest announcement comes from Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), which has established a Digital Transformation unit to help manufacturers harness the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and more rapidly deploy the technologies that will allow them to better manage and analyze data.
HPS’s customers have been using an increasing amount of data to solve productivity and safety challenges, noted Vimal Kapur, HPS president. “As manufacturers are looking to take the next step to manage and exploit data across multiple sites in locations across the globe, our new business unit will be a focused resource to provide that expertise,” he added.
Andrew Hird, named vice president and general manager of Digital Transformation, has been tapped to lead the effort. He has more than 20 years of industry experience, including 12 with Honeywell, most recently as HPS’s global vice president of sales.
“Honeywell’s deep expertise in IIoT allows us to solve customer challenges by consolidating data in the cloud from multiple disparate systems, applying higher-level analytics and leveraging experts who are often physically remote from the customer site,” Hird said.
IIoT technologies help manufacturers eliminate unplanned shutdowns, maximize output, minimize safety risk and optimize supply chain strategies. “We are entering a new era in the process industries,” Hird commented. “Advanced computing, mobility, cloud-based solutions, enterprise digitization are beginning to enable the next big revolution in performance and operations—turning data into actionable knowledge.”
HPS points to several IIoT successes in various process industries. An offshore oil and gas customer in the Gulf of Mexico has begun monitoring all of its assets, providing its workers real-time data with predictive analytics to diagnose problems quickly. Increased production efficiency and decreased downtime have saved the operation $10 million a year. In another case, a South American mining company has connected multiple plants together to improve reliability and reduce energy usage and shutdowns; and has saved $2 million a day in losses.
“The process industry today is creating more than 2.5 billion GB of data every day, and available industrial data is expected to quadruple in the next five years,” Hird said. “Simply put, manufacturers who are able to harness that data will achieve a competitive advantage.”
Among Honeywell’s technologies that help operators prioritize and manage a growing amount of operational data are DynAMo alarm and operations management; Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager, which proactively monitors and manages cyber risk for industrial environments; Assurance 360, a multi-year cooperative service arrangement to maintain, support and optimize the performance of Honeywell control systems; and Honeywell Pulse, a mobility app that allows plant managers to monitor real-time operations from a smartphone. HPS’s IIoT products make use of Honeywell’s software infrastructure to enable customers to capture their industrial data in a secure portal that can be scaled to meet the varied needs of single-site or enterprise-wide operations.
For the refining and petrochemical industries, HPS will also leverage the expertise of Honeywell UOP.