At the ARC Industry Forum in February, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS; Houston; www.honeywellprocess.com) released the Experion PKS IT Highly Integrated Virtual Environment (HIVE), a new technology that centralizes up to 80% of IT infrastructure used in project engineering. The PKS IT HIVE untethers industrial enterprises from running IT workloads where their controllers are located – instead giving them the freedom and flexibility to run workloads on-site, at a remote data center, or a combination of both, says Joe Bastone, director of Experion PKS product management. This enables control systems to be engineered and implemented in less time, at lower cost and risk, and with simpler, modular builds. The new solution allows customers to view and manage their entire infrastructure through a single dashboard at any given location, via a network tunnel that uses existing wide-area networks (WANs), rather than dedicated new infrastructure.
Centralizing IT infrastructure and reducing networking and computing resources required to run on-site allows users to reduce maintenance and free process control engineers from administration to focus on higher-value activities, including process optimization, Honeywell says. Furthermore, centralization allows users to eliminate unused computing infrastructure and benefit from the latest virtualization technology.
The IT HIVE is one of three elements that form Experion PKS HIVE, an approach that seeks to unchain control applications from physical equipment, and controllers from physical input/outputs (IO). The other two are PKS IO HIVE, which provides flexible IO and control distribution, enabling the control system to become a natural extension of process equipment and to facilitate modular and parallel project execution; and PKS Control HIVE, which uniquely applies control containers to provide flexibility and standardization of control hardware platforms, control location and engineering.