Honeywell users discuss latest advances in process plant control

(Editor's note: A photo gallery from the Honeywell event is now included at the bottom of this blog post.)

Technical Editor

SAN ANTONIO -- Up amid the rolling Hill Country of Central Texas, the Honeywell Users Group (HUG) convened for a week of presentations, networking and deal-making. The event is expected to draw 1,342 attendees, 477 companies and 64 industries from 36 countries.

At the Tuesday morning plenary session, the new president for Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) offered remarks. Vimal Kapur said that HPS is uniquely positioned to integrate all along the oil and gas value chain. For instance, the company had a CAPEX number of $25 billion in 2013 in the midstream market and was very active in pipeline transport and LNG liquefaction.

Mr. Kapur said he believes that North America’s new supply dynamics will drive midstream infrastructure investment in pipelines and LNG facilities.  To capture some of those investment dollars, HPS is offering products in gas flow, metering and regulation for pipelines, not to mention storage and custody terminal technology.

The big conversation piece of the day was Honeywell’s Experion Orion Console, an advanced display technology that brings the plant control room of the future to life by meeting the changing needs of the increasingly mobile plant operator. It was unveiled in a theatrical fashion during Jason Urso’s mid-morning presentation to the plenary. Mr. Urso is the chief technology officer for Honeywell Process Solutions.

The console – which builds on Honeywell’s flagship Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) control platform – features an improved ergonomic design and better displays to simplify control system management, reduce operator fatigue and improve situational awareness.

The Experion Orion Console’s design was based on operator inputs gleaned from numerous visits to plant control rooms around the world and across industries, in both newer and older plants. The design and capabilities are the result of behavior observations, as well as insights collected in multiple phases at plants, including process startups and during periods of abnormal operations.

“The state of plant control today is like putting operators on a sleepless, 12-hour flight in economy-class seating and then asking them to make a critical decision that impacts their company’s production and employee safety,” said Mr. Urso. “Operators need more than just process data to make a decision like that; they need an environment that helps keep them alert, allows them to move about more freely, and presents information more intuitively. The Experion Orion Console was designed with all of those factors in mind.”

The console’s features include a large flexible, ultra-high definition display that provides clear status assessments of process operations in a single glance for better and more-informed management. This flexibility also enables operators to customize displays for context-specific process issues, and incorporates advanced alarm management and pan and zoom capabilities. Limits and targets are directly integrated into overview displays, enabling operation of the process closer to the optimum and allowing operators an increased scope of responsibility across the industrial facility.

Touch panel displays provide the primary operating interface that better enables operators to quickly and accurately respond to changing conditions and prevent situations that could lead to plant incidents and emergencies.

Aside from the actual information, however, the console has a mobile tablet that also reduces operator fatigue by allowing personnel to move about the control room more freely than before. When paired with wireless-enabled mobile technologies, the system also allows operators to view the same displays on hand-held devices in other areas of the plant.

Awards. Andy D’Amelio, Honeywell Process Solutions’ vice president for sales in the Americas, distributed several awards during the Tuesday morning session. Herbert Senzano Lopoes and his Professor Vanja Maria de FrancCa Bezeerra, from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte Department of Chemical Engineering in Brasil were recognized for innovative usage of the UniSim Design Suite.  The award for Chanel Partner of the Year went to IAC Ingenieria LTDA, in recognition for the company selling the first sold Experion console in the Americas. IAC Ingenieria is based in Chile. 


Vimal Kapur, the new president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), said that HPS 
is uniquely positioned to integrate all along the oil and gas value chain.