HUG EMEA – The 4th Generation of Automation


The annual HUG EMEA event focused on the 4th generation of automation and further evolution of the Honeywell Connected Plant, reports Milton D’Silva.


  • Client


  • Services

    Exchange of ideas and technical information, understanding the problems and requirements of end users from which emerge solutions for the future.

  • Technologies

    Industrial Automation

  • Dates




The 30th HUG EMEA – the annual gathering of Honeywell Users Group Europe, Middle East and Africa – held in Madrid, Spain in early October 2018 attracted 1200 attendees from 69 countries. To add a small bit of trivia, the 1st HUG EMEA was held in Italy in 1989 with just 12 attendees. The HUG EMEA event – a series of conferences engaging the Steering Committee and key Honeywell executives with customers and partners – has come a long way, gathering a lot of moss in terms of exchange of ideas and technical information, understanding the problems and requirements of end users from which emerge solutions for the future.


While Safety is always right at the top, Digital Transformation was written all over the HUG 2018 edition. Speaking at the General Session, John Rudolph, president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), drew an analogy between the conventional way of moving from Point A to Point B and doing the same in the age of Google maps. “By using the power of Digital Twin we can offer the capabilities that allow guiding customers as to how to get from where they are to where they want to go, showing the fastest and the best way of doing it,” said John. He also emphasised how in today’s environment it is not about one thing or another, but has to be everything together, and how the Connected Plant facilitates outcome-based solutions to solve some of the toughest challenges.


Transformation of Process Industry

In his presentation Jason Urso, VP and CTO of Honeywell Process Solutions, traced how automation and software has transformed the process industries over the decades from the 1970s which had panel controls and basic operation; through the 1980s with digital control systems and integrated operator console; and post 2000 with software driven automation with advanced control and alarm management. In each of these three phases, there was progressively more situational awareness, faster response, more throughputs, better reliability and up to 10x improvement in safety, with the same installed assets. Operators also had a better view and control of the processes they were responsible for.


“We are now at the forefront of a new era of automation technology that has unleashed the power of digitisation to create a complete new generation of benefits. This new era is built on three fundamental pillars,” said Jason and elaborated up on the three pillars, viz., Project Standardisation – a shift from customisation to standardisation, everything from I/Os to panels are standardised reducing capital expenditure, leading to faster execution and lower risk; Infinite Longevity – Systems upgrade in place – no rip-and-replace, but a complete rethinking of the way the control systems are deployed never requiring costly rip-and-replace during the life time, just upgrade; and Connecting Data to Knowledge – making knowledge more uniform and accessible, across the sites and across the people, allowing everyday to be the best day of production.


Each of these three pillars is supported respectively by Honeywell’s LEAP (Lean Execution of Automation Projects), the Experion Local Control Network (ELCN) and the Connected Plant, providing the foundation and capability for the 4th generation of automation.


While LEAP methodology followed during the last few years allows the automation of capital project execution process, the newly released S300 SIL3 safety logic solver utilises software from Safety Manager so engineers can design and validate safety systems without physical hardware. The universal I/O and standard cabinets simplified everything. That, and the digitisation and standardisation of the PC hardware and the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) has led to the Virtual Engineering Platform that results in reduction of 80% of the equipment and the Digital Twin Test System and auto commissioning that eliminates manual effort.


The ELCN, together with the Enhanced High Performance Process Manager (EHPM), ensures that this is the last migration with only upgrades and no replacement of any equipment, also in the process allowing preserving 100% of the intellectual property. With the HPM Digital Twin there is no physical equipment needed and one can validate applications, controls, displays and upgrades. With the ELCN/EHPN, the system lifespan is indefinite, unlike the traditional rip-and-replace that will cost up to 12 to 20 times more with no incremental benefits.


With the Connected Plant come new capabilities that provide virtualisation with the same digital twin that give unprecedented visibility as to how the process and equipment are performing and then provide specific action plan how one can drive improvements. That again brings it back to the analogy with the everyday life example of Google maps.


At the end of the presentation, Jason Urso demonstrated on stage how this works in practice with a live example of a processing plant that runs to full capacity using these tools. Often a process issue becomes an asset issue and this can be avoided with a set of digital twins with the combination of Active Worker Assist, Experion Augmented Reality and Intelligent Wearables – where Immersive Competency is much more effective than preventive maintenance causing no downtime at all.


New technologies at Knowledge Centre

Attendees at the HUG EMEA were able to see and experience Honeywell’s ongoing transformation into a software-industrial provider, and experience the look and of several technologies that have been launched in 2018, at the demonstration area in the Knowledge Centre, including:


  • Thermal IQ – To more effectively monitor and manage thermal process equipment, minimising unplanned downtime and maximising uptime.
  • Uniformance® Cloud Historian – A software-as-a-service cloud hosting solution for enterprise-wide data capture, visualisation and analysis.
  • Immersive Competency – This cloud-based simulation offering uses a combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to train plant personnel on critical industrial work activities, empowering them to directly improve plant performance, uptime, reliability and safety.
  • Personal Gas Safety – This solution integrates with Honeywell’s leading plant control system to protect workers and speed emergency response in case of hazardous leaks or worker injury.
  • Intelligent Wearables – This hands-free, wearable technology allows industrial workers to more safely, reliably and efficiently accomplish their tasks in the plant or the field. It uses a head-mounted visual display that responds to voice and brings live data, documents, work procedures, as well as health and safety information into view and can connect field workers with remote experts in real time.
  • Measurement IQ for Gas – Provides measurement under control by transforming metering operations with 24/7 real-time condition-based monitoring.


New industrial cybersecurity services

An important announcement at the HUG EMEA was the new Cybersecurity Consulting Services designed to help industrial and critical infrastructure customers identify and eliminate dangerous security weaknesses. The Honeywell CyberVantage™ Security Consulting Services portfolio now includes Penetration Testing, providing active “white-hat” hackers who exploit customer defenses in order to fix them. It also now offers System Hardening to reduce software vulnerabilities and assist customers in safely complying with global Centre for Internet Security (CIS) industry benchmarks.


Delivered by consultants with expertise in both operational technology (OT) and industrial cybersecurity, the services help organisations lower the risk and possible impact of security incidents and improve their industrial cybersecurity maturity levels. Strategically, CyberVantage Security Consulting Services provide capabilities that enable safer connected plants, digital transformation, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) efforts.


“Our unique OT/IT experience has resulted in the successful delivery of more than 5000 projects, helping customers prioritise their cybersecurity investments,” said Mike Spear, Honeywell’s global operations director for Industrial Cyber Security. “As a result, they have maximised RoI and reduced risk, saving both time and costs. Additionally, our cybersecurity consultants are familiar with the rigorous requirements of working in an industrial facility and maintain a variety of safety and security certifications.”


The new Penetration Testing and System Hardening offerings expand the Honeywell CyberVantage Security Consulting Services portfolio of more than 30 services. CyberVantage customers have access to hundreds of cybersecurity experts, as well as multiple Industrial Cybersecurity Centres of Excellence located around the world to simulate, validate and accelerate their multi-vendor industrial cybersecurity solutions. The purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities are staffed by Honeywell cybersecurity experts.


Associate Editor Milton D’Silva was among the technical media persons invited to attend the HUG EMEA at Madrid by the organisers.



Pix1: John Rudolph, President, Honeywell Process Solutions.

Pix2: Jason Urso, VP and CTO of Honeywell Process Solutions.

Pix3: A demonstration at the Knowledge Centre of the Intelligent Wearables – the head-mounted visual display.

Pix4: An attendee experiencing Immersive Competency – a combination of AR & VR.