Honeywell brings DCS power to smaller sites


Feb 16, 2009

Distributed control systems (DCS) traditionally target large process control applications, partly because only the largest oil and gas or chemical plants could afford them and had the expertise to implement them. Now Honeywell has retooled its flagship DCS for smaller users and applications. The new Experion LS control system incorporates years of learning and industry-leading functionality from the Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) and provides DCS power and reliability in a small and flexible solution. The system manages continuous process control applications and optimizes batch- and sequence-oriented applications found at specialty chemicals, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and consumer goods producers. Scalable from a single PC and controller to multiple stations, it offers plant reliability and flexibility while reducing life cycle costs for smaller sites.

“The historical focus for Experion was the largest, most complex applications,” says Tim Sweet, Honeywell product marketing manager. “So, to meet the unmet needs of adjacent markets, especially those in emerging economies like China and India, we knew we needed to offer a smaller process application. Many small firms are moving from manual batch into automation to improve quality, and they need small, inexpensive and simple control systems.”

The PS-based system requires less engineering effort to configure and is easier to maintain than a PLC or large DCS, so Experion LS can help plants save up to $20,000 per year in support per system. The system minimizes engineering costs with drag-and-drop configuration, pre-built algorithms, a global database, preconfigured displays and out-of-the-box batch functionality. This easier configuration also enables faster and more reliable changeovers, allowing operators to modify batch recipes and increase production more easily. Users gain operational advantages by making automation configuration changes without stopping production and giving operators a run-time view of control strategy and sequence status, truly redundant unit execution and integrated operator instructions. Honeywell’s S88-compliant and scalable solution for batch automation can be fully redundant, and plants have the option to work through local, authorized Honeywell Experion Implementers to provide project implementation and ongoing application support.

“Smaller manufacturing operations tell us they need DCS functionality, such as system reliability and greater flexibility, which PLCs can’t offer, but many leading DCS systems are just too big for their operations,” says Norm Gilsdorf, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “Experion LS offers the best of both worlds. It provides agility to respond to product mix changes and offers advanced optimization and batch technology usually found in larger DCS systems.”

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