Honeywell unveils new approach to engineering an ICS
Honeywell has released the latest evolution of its Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS). The company says it has developed a system that decouples the assignment of I/O modules and control strategies from specific controllers and leverages IT capabilities in the user’s data centre.
The new system, Experion PKS Highly Integrated Virtual Environment (HIVE), is claimed to be a fundamentally new approach to engineering and maintaining industrial control systems.
Experion PKS HIVE uses Honeywell’s LEAP project execution principles, software and networking to unchain control applications from physical equipment, and controllers from physical I/O. This enables control systems to be engineered and implemented in less time, at lower cost and risk, and with simpler, modular builds. The solution also transforms the way control systems are maintained over their lifecycle, shifting day-to-day management of servers to a centralised data centre, where experts and established protocols mitigate cybersecurity risk, allowing plant engineers to focus more proactively on optimisation of their control systems.
“ARC market research shows that solutions like Honeywell Experion PKS HIVE address key issues for customers around project risk and ultimately project cost,” said Mark Sen Gupta, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group. “A more fascinating aspect is the greater flexibility in control architecture design and implementation allowing for a more optimal use of physical and computing control system assets.”
Experion PKS HIVE incorporates three elements — IT HIVE, IO HIVE and Control HIVE — which can be used individually or collectively, in tandem with a user’s existing systems and infrastructure.
IT HIVE centralises up to 80% of the IT infrastructure traditionally used in project engineering to lower project delivery and lifecycle costs, better leverage skills and drive consistent physical and cybersecurity management, while IO HIVE provides flexible I/O and control distribution enabling the control system to become a natural extension of process equipment and to facilitate modular and parallel project execution.
Control HIVE applies ‘control containers’ to provide flexibility and standardisation of control hardware platform, control location and control engineering. With multiple physical controllers operating as part of an Experion PKS Control HIVE, control engineering is dramatically simplified through automated load balancing.
“In developing Experion PKS HIVE, Honeywell worked closely with customers across the chemical, refining and oil and gas industries,” said Jason Urso, Chief Technology Officer, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Many of these organisations want a more efficient approach to control system engineering, yet one that can be adopted incrementally and used interchangeably with their existing systems and infrastructure. Experion PKS HIVE provides these benefits and is truly a distributed control as it applies and geographically distributes technology to where it is needed.”
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