Traditionally, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) extends an invitation in autumn to attend the major EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) user conference. Last November was no different, and around 400 attendees took up the invitation, this time coming to Salzburg/Austria to find out about innovations in process automation and to share experiences.
Safety, reliability and efficiency — these key buzzwords not only encompass the challenge for the process industry, but also the slogan for the Honeywell EMEA Users’ Convention, staged November 5-8 2007 in the historic city of Mozart, Salzburg/Austria: ‘Solutions at Work’ — reflecting the ever-present goal of performance improvement. It is no idle subject-matter, since according to a recent survey by market analysts at ARC less than 30 per cent of all automation projects worldwide make full use of the technical capabilities of modern process instrumentation. Figures like this illustrate how much potential for optimization still remains to be exploited in the wide range of production plants in the process industry, and inspire process automation companies like HPS to even greater efforts.
As in previous years, this year once again the user-dominated steering committee produced a tightly-organized program of events, peppered with a generous sprinkling of lectures on developments in the technology, sector-specific explorations of particular issues and round-table discussions.
Anyone expecting a diet of dry specialist material or academic discourse was once again pleasingly surprised by a demo room packed with the latest technology. Visitors could inspect all key Honeywell products and systems here. In addition to this, there were product presentations by Honeywell partner companies such as Barco, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Turck, Flowserv and Intergraph.
From alarm management to wireless
Amongst the major topic areas at the four-day event, the agenda once again featured alarm management (an issue which continues to be a thorny one for users), along with performance management, wireless technologies, process engineering and design, simulation tools, and the release of the Experion R 300 controller platform. In all cases, HPS is offering its respective own new or expanded products or systems. Particularly on the hot topic of the moment, wireless, the Honeywell management is aware of its position as the major current complete provider, even if the process industry as a whole is only at the start of development in this area. “Wireless technologies will radically change the future of the process industry, comparable with the changes brought about through process control systems,” commented Jean-Marie Alliet, Director Sales Support EMEA, to PROCESS.
The seriousness with which HPS is tackling the wireless issue is revealed in the comprehensive product portfolio now offered by this provider. Only a few weeks after the user event, news has broken that Honeywell is launching OneWireless Equipment Health Monitoring (EHM), in a collaboration with SKF, the world market leader for roller bearings and ball bearings. The move sees Honeywell further expanding its offer of industrial wireless-based solutions. OneWireless EHM wirelessly transmits comprehensive spectral information from the field to the measuring station, including oscillation amplitude and relevant operating parameters. The logic is that reduced maintenance costs will improve the operating result.
A high-performance alternative to manual inspection
OneWireless EHM is therefore said to be a high-performance alternative to manual inspection, as used in many industrial plants to monitor the condition of rotating tools such as pumps, compressors and engines. The compact, eight-channel (4 x vibration, 4 x 4-20 mA) monitoring unit communicates via the Honeywell universal OneWireless Mesh network. It gathers data on acceleration, speed, temperature and the condition of bearings, and transmits this to operating and maintenance personnel, to keep them constantly informed about the situation in the plant. “Wired instrumentation offers effective options for status monitoring. But the costs of the equipment and installation can be very high.The few wireless alternatives are very limited in terms of their functionality and the information they deliver,” explains Jeff Becker, Global Wireless Business Director at HPS.
OneWireless EHM offers full options for recording and analyzing information about the status of equipment. It contains components for data recording, software for managing this base data, and provides support during installation. The software identifies possible defects in the bearings, defective fitting, pump cavitation and wearing on the impellers, and on this basis generates messages which can be sent to the data configuration of the control system or the asset management platform. In addition to this, the system can be installed onto a pre-installed OneWireless network and integrated into the Honeywell control engineering. As well as the individual components, Honeywell offers a starter kit which — depending on individual requirements — contains all the necessary elements for wireless monitoring of four to eight plant units.
Enraf takeover widens the horizon
The new product portfolio of Enraf Holding B.V., a € 260 million acquisition by HPS, also featured largely at the event. „Along the whole energy production supply chain, Enraf customers and Honeywell Process Solutions customers alike benefit from this takeover,” explained Jack Bolick, President of Honeywell Process Solutions, by video-link.
“Thanks to the integration of Enraf products, we can offer more comprehensive solutions which lower installation, operating and development costs and improve performance capability for our customers. The takeover also offers growth opportunities within our existing customer base, and in new areas such as bio-fuels, gas liquefying units and in petrochemicals.” The Enraf product offer for metering units, inventory management, dosing of additives and applications for protection during the transfer of liquids supplement Honeywell’s comprehensive portfolio for process management, process reliability and plant availability, and on associated applications in refineries and with oil, gas and petrochemical companies. The acquisition strengthens the position of HPS in the value-added chain in the strongly-growing oil and gas industry, and expands to product portfolio with solutions for automation and inventory management in tank storage, distribution units and gas liquefying.
Growth through cooperation in the Flow segment
Not unexpectedly, the market launch of new high-performance flow meters in the form of the VersaFlow product line was also featured at the event. As early as June of last year, Honeywell had announced that it had commissioned Krohne Messtechnik to manufacture the meters, in accordance with its own in-house quality, performance and reliability standards. Honeywell is handling Sales and Service for the products. The product line comprises electromagnetic meters, Coriolis meters, ultrasound meters and vortex meters.
VersaFlow represents the long-overdue strategic expansion of the Honeywell portfolio of field devices. By its own admission, the company is looking to set down a clear marker in the market for flow metering devices. “Our customers expect us to provide the widest range of process metering devices, compatible with our automation platform,” comments Bolick, setting out the strategy. He reports the aim as becoming a ‘one-stop shop’ for process automation. Co-operations with other market players seem to be a well-considered formula for growth in this. The combination of Krohne’s experience with the global service provision offered by Honeywell is aimed at satisfying customer expectations in full going forward: Level 1 field devices and system solutions from a single supplier. Honeywell opted for Krohne because the company is known for quality world-wide, and has over 80 years of experience in the development and manufacture of flow metering devices, a company spokesman stated.
Honeywell VersaFlow meters were developed to provide accurate and reliable measurements in connection with demanding applications in the widest range of branches of industry:
- The electromagnetic VersaFlow flow meter is a measurement transmitter which can be used universally, as it is suitable for a whole range of metering tasks and applications. It works extremely reliably, even if the material being measured changes quickly, the pH value changes, the flow volume varies greatly or the material contains large quantities of solids.
- The VersaFlow ultrasound flow meter was developed for reliable metering of liquids, regardless of electrical conductivity, viscosity, temperature, density and pressure. The device measures in three different directions and this provides results regardless of the flow profile.
- The VersaFlow Vortex flow meter claims to be the only device with 2-conductor technology and integrated pressure and temperature compensation. It reliably provides data for operating flow, standard volume flow and mass flow.
Conclusion of the user convention in Salzburg: A wholly successful event where full opportunity was provide for personal exchange of experience between international users attending the event and also with HPS. This year’s EMEA Convention runs October 27-30 2008 in Berlin.
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