With a focus on digital transformation of the oil and gas, manufacturing and process industries, Honeywell has recently announced the introduction of the Honeywell IIoT proposition – the Honeywell Connected Plant (HCP) suite of technologies and solutions. In an interview with Subhajit Roy, Ritwij Kulkarni, Business Head, Life Cycle Services, Honeywell Automation India talks about the ongoing transformation in industrial manufacturing. Edited excerpts:
IIoT is fast becoming the backbone of today’s manufacturing. How do you look at the smart factory concept?
Manufacturing sector in India is growing at a faster pace. With the potential to touch $ 1 trillion by 2025, India’s manufacturing space is all set to embrace new technology for greater efficiency. We believe industrial automation driven by Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will play the most crucial role in this transformation mainly with respect to improving the efficiency, reliability and productivity of overall manufacturing. To be precise, we can say IIoT is going to change the way we manufacture today. In a Connected Factory, IIoT optimises 4 important building blocks of industrial manufacturing – product designing, manufacturing, servicing and refurbishing with the exchange of large volume of data.
It’s clear that future factories will have IIoT in core. How do you see the feasibility of implementing smart factory concept within an old manufacturing plant?
Yes, it’s possible. Honeywell is exploring opportunities in analysing the existing manufacturing set-ups and provide suitable Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure accordingly.
As far as Indian market is concerned, where do you see the opportunities more – in existing facilities or in new facilities?
From the Honeywell’s perspective, we see opportunities in both the situations. Whether it’s factories, aerospace or industrial plants, we see tremendous opportunities everywhere as everyone wants to be fast by increasing their productivity and efficiency. They want to respond to their customers fast. So the change is inevitable. So, from that perspective how we are managing their process in a better way with the connected plants is vital. We have many solutions which can collaborate different blocks of a plant. With a focus on digital transformation of the oil and gas, manufacturing and process industries, we have recently announced the introduction of the Honeywell IIoT proposition – the Honeywell Connected Plant (HCP) suite of technologies and solutions.
Also, when it comes to skill development, Honeywell has services like competency management that can be used to upgrade the skills of the people to get accustomed and aligned with the digital transformations in plants.
Does Indian industry more specifically the SMEs ready to accept this kind of digitalisation as there is some costs involved to it?
Of course! Now people have realised that they have to adapt advanced technology either today or tomorrow to be in the competition. Typically, IIoT enablement will be giving very accurate results thereby enabling faster decision making. Therefore, employment of IIoT not only improves productivity and efficiency, it also improves accuracy. So for SMEs, it is a win-win situation as employment of IIoT will also result in cost efficiency by reducing production loss.
As smart factory involves loads of data flow, it is highly prone to cyber attacks. So, is it possible to make a factory completely safe?
Absolutely! However, how we can make a manufacturing environment fully secure is very important as we need to deploy right services and solutions at right place. So first and foremost, we analyse the potential threat areas and recommend solutions accordingly. Honeywell cyber security solutions are vendor neutral. So they can be deployed with any other platform. An effective implementation of cyber security policy is essential for every industrial plant.
What is your most advanced offering in this domain?
Honeywell has the largest industrial cyber security research capabilities in the industry and has continued to increase its industrial cyber security offerings. Two such solutions are Risk Manager, the industry’s first solution to proactively monitor, measure and manage industrial cyber security risks, and Secure Media Exchange (SMX), which protects plants against threats from removable media such as USB flash drives.
Ritwij Kulkarni, Business Head,
Life Cycle Services, Honeywell Automation India