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By Gregory Hale
In an industry where things change at a snail’s pace, it can be difficult to measure success, but John Rudolph is trying to change that.

“Things hadn’t changed much in 30 years,” said Rudolph, the president of Honeywell Process Solutions during his keynote Monday address at the 2019 Honeywell User Group in Dallas, TX. “I would go to do the work and nothing was there to tell me what my success was. Afterward, I would write a report and where would that report go? Often, no one would look at it. Lessons learned were not shared with others. Nobody wants to do engineering over again. They didn’t have a systematic way to validate what I had done. There has got to be something linked to the organization that says here is what I did today and that leads to empowerment.”

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That is where Honeywell wants to help as they introduced a boatload of new products and packaging this week that can make it easier for users to jump more firmly into the digital environment.

One of the new products launched was Honeywell’s Experion PKS Highly Integrated Virtual Environment (HIVE).

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Honeywell said HIVE is a new approach to engineering and maintaining industrial control systems by simplifying system design, implementation and lifecycle management by decoupling I/O module assignments and control strategies from specific controllers, and leveraging IT capabilities. It also has process safety capabilities that makes safety more visible and real-time.

At one point earlier in his career, Rudolph said he went out in the field and asked an engineer how she measured success.

“When I asked how she knew when she’d succeeded, she defined it as just finishing on time and knowing the process was working right.”

The catch is, though, end users need to understand the technology and what it can do and, more importantly, how it can help them move forward to a more productive and profitable environment.

With that in mind, there will have to be some changes organizationally and everyone will have to buy into it.

He mentioned some of the key challenges moving forward, and one was an aging infrastructure.

“Some sites are 50 years old; we are captive to our own infrastructure today,” he said. “Technology is changing. It is not stopping; no one can stop it. We are all some sort of engineer of some sort.”

One of the other HIVE attributes is it helps boost employee visibility into the effects they can have on overall process and business performance.

“This gives visibility of risk status,” he said. “If I am trouble shooting, one of the first things I want to know is what is right. In this world with diminishing experience levels, that means we have to train in a different way. The day something does happen, coming back on line will not be the way we have done it in the past. We have to find a new way to simulate it. The safety side is key. We are all overloaded with work, when the reality is a lot of this stuff is already in the system. Nobody today is making complete decisions off a complete data set. That is something we have to change.”

Experion PKS HIVE enables a stronger safety presence.

“Safety is something we’re always working on, but Experion PKS HIVE can take users to a different level,” Rudolph said. “Where process safety reports and responses could previously take two weeks, Experion PKS HIVE can base its safety reporting on live events and alarms.”

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