Online support saves OneSteel time and money

Honeywell Process Solutions
Thursday, 13 August, 2009

OneSteel is a fully integrated global manufacturer and distributor of steel and finished steel products with manufacturing and distribution facilities located throughout Australia. OneSteel has more than 40 operating facilities in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific, and eight facilities in the U.S. In total OneSteel services more than 30,000 customers and employs over 11,500 people.

The majority of OneSteel’s products are used in the construction, manufacturing, housing, mining and agricultural industries.

OneSteel needed a faster and more cost-effective way to resolve system issues. When OneSteel upgraded its control system to Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS), it was informed about the benefits of using an online connection as part of its Honeywell support program. At the time, OneSteel was unable to use online support due to in-house security policies regarding outside connections. There were also concerns with using new methods and enabling technologies to access technical support. When OneSteel’s security policy changed, the company decided to use Honeywell’s online support to avoid the cost of site visits and enable quicker problem resolution.

As part of its Solution Enhancement Support Program (SESP), OneSteel implemented a secure, online connection to Honeywell’s global technical assistance centre (TAC) support team enabling faster and more accurate problem identification and resolution. The online connection allows Honeywell support engineers to log directly into the customer’s system to analyse the issue and determine what data or course of action is required to identify and resolve the problem efficiently. Since SESP online services have been implemented, OneSteel has experienced several benefits including: saving on expenses for Honeywell support staff to travel to the plant; a 30-50% reduction in time to solve technical problems, rather than waiting for support staff to physically travel to the plant; the ability to test solutions before implementing changes to the system; and higher system availability and reduced risk through direct online technical collaboration with Honeywell engineers.

OneSteel has now been using the secure, online connection to Honeywell support for more than two years and is very satisfied with the quick and efficient support it receives.

“When there is a system-related problem, it can be very complex. With online support, we can have the Honeywell experts look into our problem within the hour and see for themselves,” said Tony Appleyard, OneSteel’s Senior Technical Officer, Control Systems. “It helps guide us to the root cause of the issue and to work on that particular problem, which saves time and resources and allows us to get the right people involved.”

Online support has saved OneSteel a significant amount of time and money. “Online support has saved us a great deal of travel costs in bringing support people to our site,” said Appleyard. “It has saved us time in repairing system issues, which in turn reduces the time the system is not at its full redundant capability, reducing the risk of plant shutdown due to loss of view or control. Also when tests, log file setups, fixes or patches are sent they can be loaded correctly and tested by Honeywell technical support personnel before going online. Online support has become a critical tool in the maintenance and support strategy of our control system.”

OneSteel has been a Honeywell customer for more than 30 years. Over the years, OneSteel has developed a solid relationship with Honeywell and its people, and is very satisfied with Honeywell’s technical expertise, support and project management services. With the success of the online support connection and its efficiency in identifying and resolving system issues, OneSteel plans to implement this capability in some of its other facilities.

“From sales and support to project management and engineering, Honeywell people are always willing to help,” said Appleyard. “Project managers are very good at successfully delivering projects on time and on budget. We have confidence in Honeywell being able to deliver projects and offer a full range of products and services to meet our requirements.”

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