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Instrumentation’s Next Great Leap

The need for instrumentation is not only limited to process automation but also to enhance safety, reliability, security and productivity of a plant.Ritwij Kulkarni, Business Unit Head, Field Products, Honeywell Process Solutions, India
Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) is a business unit serving the process industries across the segments. In an e-mail interaction with OEM Update, Ritwij Kulkarni talks about the technology transformation in field of instruments and measurement products.
Importance of instrumentation in process industryInstrumentation plays a crucial role in various process industries for controlling and monitoring of various operations. Instrumentation and process control systems can be used to measure and control process parameters like pressure, temperature, flow, density of different fluids, gases, etc. that are used in different process industry verticals like refining and petrochemicals, oil and gas,  minerals and metals, chemicals and life sciences, pulp and paper, etc.
Over the years instrumentation through control systems like Distributed Control Systems (DCS), and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) have helped traditional manual processes to become fully automated to the highest standards.
Further, the need for instrumentation is not only limited to process automation but also to enhance safety, reliability, security and productivity of a plant.
Key functional areas of instrumentation and controlIn a modern plant, the instrumentation and control models are linked to the systems and components where all the plant feeds are collected giving the operator a holistic picture of the plant processes. The instrumentation model’s primary function is to control the processes and procedures of the plant, measure the protection of the plant and lastly update the operator of any kind of abnormal activity happening in the plant. All these functions help plant managers and engineers run the plant in the right way. The requirement of instrumentation and control model is different during a maintenance stage from that of a project implementation stage and this differs from project to project or plant to plant. The development department of any plant here plays a crucial role by understanding a customer’s project planning, functionality of the project and accordingly create a sustainable instrumentation and control model that would run for a long time.
This would help increase plant’s life and at any given point of time the plant can implement any up gradation to the technology on the existing platform making the plant more efficient. The instrumentation model has to be developed in such a way that it is aligned to the IT development and people can use it on the current platform such as HTML and other internet languages. But while designing the models, it is important that these models are incorporated into various stages of instrumentation so that, whatever solutions are being used are safe, reliable and provide good productivity to the plant.
Latest innovationThere are many aged plants that need renovation and modernisation along with new plants that look for latest innovation and technology and that meet the four main pillars: safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability. Technology in field instruments and measurement products has taken a great leap from conventional to wireless, SIL (Safety Integrity Level) based, complying with different latest standards like 61850 and protocols like foundation field bus, Profibus etc. The control systems have become fully open for unification of businesses and processes with appropriate cyber security solutions to protect the hardware and software.
Virtualisation is the latest technology innovation in process automation which helps energy conservation, lowered power consumption and makes systems platform independent. There is a lot of focus on operator effectiveness who control the plant through an innovation of right abnormal situation management processes. To extend the life of the equipment, innovative asset management tools are available.
Honeywell’s key offerings in industrial instrumentation and process controlHoneywell’s offerings in the industrial instrumentation and process control are divided into following categories:
L1 Segment (FATE)This segment mainly consists of field instruments such as Smartline Transmitters and Wireless Transmitters which help tackle critical industrial challenges in the areas of reliability, safety and process efficiency. The key features of these transmitters help determine a customer or a plant manager to run the plant by guiding them  through the planning stage, explaining the features and benefits they will receive from instrumentation at each level till the maintenance stage highlighting the reliability, safety and  cost effectiveness of the transmitters.
L2 Segment (Control Systems) This segment mainly consists of new trends in cyber security which can be implemented at every stage of the project, giving customers the insights into the crucial activities happening and alerts them of any abnormal situations. The most important part at this stage is the human factor which is getting into the control system and improving the productivity of a plant operator, supervisor or maintenance engineer. This not only helps improve the productive output but also improves a plant’s assets.
L3 Segment These solutions mainly focus on process optimisation, real time data based management systems, etc.
L4 SegmentThese solutions focus on unification of businesses and processes.

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