Industrial integration

August 2011 Integrated Solutions, Industrial (Industry)

Integrating safety, security and process control for enhanced productivity.

Companies are looking for solutions that provide them with lean manufacturing. This can relate to optimisation of current production methodologies, training and upskilling of staff to ensure maximised transfer of intellectual property and, more recently, incorporation of all building systems into one unified whole.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions SA’s Hennie Senekal about the company’s industrial security solutions platform. Senekal, industrial security account manager at the company, said that the current way of running a plant on separate platforms for safety, security, environmental management, asset tracking, access control and process control has definite disadvantages.

In response to feedback from its customer base, Honeywell has developed a single platform for event monitoring. “Plant managers are demanding a system that will readily integrate all the separate elements in their work environment. We have addressed this with the development of a process safety improvement solution that links these elements together under a common single platform for improved emergency response time; reduced human error; reduction in unexpected equipment failure; maintaining stable control of the plant; and a reduction in security risk,” said Senekal.

He pointed out that this new system, which is the only one certified by SAP, greatly benefits plants by detecting, and therefore preventing, operational incidents in a more proactive manner. “Operating through a centralised control room, the operator is able to respond to any imminent threat through the mobilisation of personnel and equipment, thus mitigating the impact of such events.”

Senekal said that there are three principal sources or causes of abnormal situations, occurring either in isolation or in combination. “Typically this is bad or even, a lack of maintenance; internal or external disturbances; and human errors. By integrating the monitoring and control into one software platform, plants are able to acquire visibility of the entire plant in a single snap shot.”

Apart from the CCTV cameras; barriers and booms; fire and gas detection and monitoring equipment; environmental monitoring instrumentation; video walls; operator stations and video servers; Honeywell now supplies its Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI). “EBI has an open architecture and is the ideal platform for Honeywell’s solutions and can also be easily integrated with third-party solutions, to provide seamless digital information and control across all building operational management systems,” said Senekal.

The EBI software suite includes a number of solutions that can be licensed in any combination to meet the most stringent facility requirements. These include the Honeywell Building Manager for building management and HVAC control; Honeywell Security Manager integrates information from security, access control and surveillance devices, ensuring protection for personnel, assets and intellectual property; Honeywell Life Safety Manager allows monitoring and control of fire alarm systems for fire protection and smoke control; Honeywell Digital Video Manager allows surveillance of facilities using cameras connected directly to a plant’s LAN, enabling flexible, event-based recording and viewing; Honeywell Energy Manager monitors, validates and optimises energy usage, which helps the environment and saves money.

“If a gas leak is detected on a standalone system the operator only receives an alarm but is unable to identify the exact source of the leak, the size of the gas cloud and the direction in which it is moving. With EBI, the operator will receive feedback from the gas detectors and can then position the CCTV cameras to precisely monitor the threat. This allows any partial shutdown procedures that may be necessary, the evacuation of personnel from the area and the involvement of emergency response services,” he added.

From a purely security perspective, the system is ideal for access control (card readers, biometrics, asset and personnel tracking, locks and site lockdown); extended perimeter detection, including barriers and RVS in open areas and waterways beyond the perimeter; CCTV surveillance; and perimeter intrusion detection.

Senekal said that the system is suitable for small-scale operations as well as the larger facilities. “The system is modular, so as needs change or budgets increase, plants can expand to include higher levels of integration and functionality on one common software platform. We recently completed an installation at a LNG facility in Angola and the feedback that we have received is that the EBI system has ensured compliance, increased productivity and operational flexibility and at the same time reduced risks and costs.”

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