By Gregory Hale
Being able to work remotely has been a viable option for a long time, and there were days when people would take advantage of it, but it was not a full-blown option for manufacturers, but then COVID-19 hit.

Then, all bets were off and for companies to survive in the world of a pandemic, followed by economic crisis, they had to be able to work from home and be able to thrive while remaining safe and secure.

“We had to adapt to new environments with few people and remote connectivity to accomplish social distancing,” said Jason Urso, vice president and chief technology officer at Honeywell Process Solutions during the Honeywell Virtual Technology Experience on Monday. “The ability of the human spirit to meeting adversity with perseverance has never been more apparent. We have relied on technology and innovation more than ever before.”

One of those technology moves led Honeywell to produce its Experion Augmented Remote Operations (ARO).

Schneider Bold

Staffing was reduced due to protect the health and safety of employees, but businesses needed to continue with business continuity, Urso said.

“Staffing in local controls rooms was reduced due to illnesses and local government requirements due to socials distancing and corporate Health Safety and Environment (HSE) challenges,” he said. “ARO offers a quick and cyber secure way to create remote console stations at locations outside a local control room. It extends control rooms to other sites or to remote administration buildings or even other locations for back up support.”

View of Operations
After installing ARO, up to remote 20 clients can securely connect to control system and provide a fully function set of operation consoles. “It only requires a server and cybersecurity configuration and a couple hours of your time. We introduced this at the end of March at a Honeywell site,” Urso said.

“We saw a need for engineers working at home who were splitting their time from working at home and working at the plant,” said Christine Craig, technical supervisor, Honeywell Orange, Texas Plant. “It was easy to implement; it only took about 15 minutes to install. It was easy for my engineers who were working half at home and half at the office to have a view of the operator’s console from their house. One of my engineers was working on a large capital project at home and on one weekend the plant shut down. He started working with the operator from his house and was able to start the plant up without having to go into the plant.”

Urso added while this is working fine for now, from a safety perspective, in a normal working environment it can also create consolidated control centers outside of hazardous areas that can keep workers safe. It is also possible to create back up control centers to increase resilience. A company can also consolidate control systems at multiple sites into a single remote control center were experts can consolidate where they can assist all across various facilities and across the enterprise.

Having the experts available across the enterprise can allow for a reduction in operational risk. So, along those lines, Honeywell released is Operations Safety Advisor.

Safety Adivisor
Operations Safety Advisor can quickly identify operational risk and then accurately address them.

“Operations safety advisor, which gives a real-time view of operational risk including drill down information that highlights where you can improve your risk profile,” Urso said.

In giving a case history of risk related events, they were able to show the ease in being able to detect and fix a potential safety incident.

“This can provide real-time up to the minute assessment of operational safety risks unlike the traditional manual relatively infrequent safety assessments that can leave you exposed to operational risks,” said Peter Davis, senior R&D director at Honeywell Process Solutions

This now gives a view into operational risk.

Enabled Services
Another remote offering Honeywell unveiled is their Remote Enabled Services, which plays off Honeywell’s decades of industry experience to help operations.

Providing services online is a great advancement, but cybersecurity is on top of mind for users throughout the industry.

“We leverage industrial grade secure remote access to transfer the data along with all the benefits of being connected,” said Mark Dean, director central services lifecycle solutions and services at Honeywell. “We offer the capability in a cyber secure manner. We designed it to be flexible. They can also allow manual upload file for analysis. From the point of collection, the data is encrypted, and it is secure across all traffic until it is in the cloud service. We keep the data secure in the cloud by having dedicated access credentials, storage accounts and storage locations for each customer of enabled services. We ensure all data is isolated and protected.”


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