Honeywell Provides a More Flexible and Scalable Safety Platform

By Mark Sen Gupta



ARC Advisory Group recently met with Honeywell Process Solutions to discuss its latest safety platform: the Safety Manager SC.  The company pre-announced the system at its 2017 Americas Users Group and will begin shipments this summer.

msghoney1.JPGAccording to the company, the new platform addresses several key issues in the market.  End users continue to get squeezed on the costs of implementing safety solutions.  They also need to address a lack of expertise or fewer available human resources, so their safety systems need to be simple to maintain and flexible enough to use across a wide variety of safety applications. With recent cybersecurity events, end users are also more focused on system security.  As such, Honeywell’s goals with Safety Manager SC are to help customers ensure safety, simplify operations, and reduce system costs.

Key takeaways from this briefing include:

  • Safety Manager SC utilizes the Universal I/O technology to reduce the number of spare modules and allows end users to capitalize on Honeywell’s LEAP methodology
  • By utilizing the C300 form-factor (or Series C design), the Safety Manager SC allows for a more compact design and flexible architecture
  • The system has both SIL3 and ISASecure certifications

Addressing Current Challenges

Honeywell told ARC that industrial process plants are looking to reduce the complexity of their process control and safety systems, reduce engineering time and effort, and lower support costs, while improving overall plant operational efficiencies.  Several forces complicate these efforts. End users face increasing demands on plant safety, availability, and cybersecurity. To increase production and meet competitive pressures, end users operate closer to operational limits, increasing safety risks.  Additionally, safety regulations can increase the scope of safety applications within operating units.  As a result, processes that were formerly classified at a SIL2 safety integrity level might now be SIL3.  Although cybersecurity has been a concern for some time, the recent malware attack on safety systems in the Middle East has heightened awareness, potentially changing the implementation of and procedures around safety systems.

msghoney2.JPGAnother challenge that end users face is selecting a system that meets their specific size, availability, and cost requirements. Many systems don’t scale well.  This means that the safety platform chosen for a smaller application could be different than for a larger application. This allows users to optimize the installed cost, but not the lifecycle cost, since they must maintain multiple platforms for their safety applications, many of which exist at a single site.

Multiple platforms can present a challenge to support personnel due to the infrequent interaction with the system that can lead to unnecessary delays when troubleshooting. It also complicates spares management and requires multiple engineering tools. A growing number of end users are realizing the advantages of standardizing on a single safety system platform and applying it in diverse applications across their plant or enterprise.

 As with process control systems, safety system users need to optimize project timelines and costs by reducing system configuration, engineering, and testing efforts. In a capital-constrained environment, end users balance safety and profit. Reducing engineering and installation costs allow companies to fund optimization or production projects as well. Addressing these items can also remove the safety system from the project critical path. Universal I/O allows system hardware to be ordered early in the project cycle and late changes made to I/O without impacting the project schedule or cost. Offline/Cloud virtual testing allows engineers to test the system configuration from anywhere in the world without the need for hardware.

Introducing Safety Manager SC

Honeywell has offered process safety systems for thirty years and – according to the company - has more than 18,000 installations worldwide. It has updated its Safety Manager system to meet the needs of small packaged applications all the way up to large distributed architectures. Honeywell did this to help ensure optimal plant safety, simplify operations, and reduce support costs to the end user.

Honeywell Safety Manager SC msghoney3.JPGHoneywell is adding a new safety system offering to its safety solutions portfolio, Safety Manager SC, based on its Series C design. The company says this advancement of Safety Manager is designed to minimize adoption and training requirements for end users. Safety Manager SC is a modular, fault-tolerant system capable of addressing emergency shutdown/safety instrumented system (ESD/SIS) applications in the process industries.

The new system provides a more compact footprint, efficient installation and maintenance, and long product lifecycle. The new form factor benefits extend to multiple modules, such as the S300 Safety Controller, Universal Safety I/O module, and Safety Digital I/O module.

The company states that the Safety Manager SC provides safety integrity level (SIL) 1-3 capabilities and is SIL3-certified out-of-the-box with no additional engineering required. This includes non-redundant configurations without operating limitations or time restrictions. The design can be optimized to meet the specific needs of end users, engineering firms, OEMs, and other stakeholders. Its small footprint and outdoor cabinet installation capabilities can accommodate distributed applications like those found in the oil & gas production and pipeline industries.

Safety Manager SC has received ISASecure Level 1 and 2 certifications, which addresses the integrity of the embedded device and its production lifecycle, as well as testing for communication robustness, functional security, and software development security.

Design and Features

The Safety Manager SC System design allows it to support many different safety applications. End users can configure it to meet small standalone to large distributed safety applications requiring varying levels of redundancy. The components can be housed in small I/O cabinets and remotely distributed in harsh operating environments.

Honeywell says this approach provides many important benefits:

  • Field power for I/O modules eliminates the need for external loop wiring and an additional power system
  • Universal channel I/O capability ensures an optimal footprint and lower total installed costs
  • Full redundancy provides maximum availability for critical safety applications
  • The vertical module carrier design allows easy access for module installation and removal
  • Slanted module orientation prevents hot spots and extends the operating temperature range

As part of the new design, Honeywell is also offering new power supply options, a new safety processor, a new digital universal I/O module, an IEC 61131-compliant engineering tool, and offline/cloud simulation capabilities.

Experion Integration Provides Benefits

Honeywell has also engineered tight operational integration with its Experion control platform, allowing peer-to-peer communications with C300 controllers and with safety controllers.  The safety system also supports Modbus for communication with other systems. According to Honeywell, an integrated approach to control and safety allows users to:

  • Reduce the number of databases and engineering tools
  • Integrate alarms and events
  • Improve handling of process control and safety system alarms via Honeywell’s Dynamo alarm and operations management software
  • Automate tracking, recording and validation of safety systems and final elements using Process Safety Analyzer (PSA)
  • Realize enhanced collection and storage of sequence of events (SOE) information
  • Improve support for field device management using Field Device Manager (FDM)
  • Maintain an expanded view of system asset health data
  • Provide secure integration with plant subsystems such as fire & gas, security, etc.


Based on ARC research, Honeywell’s Safety Manager SC can address several current pain points.  The industry overall has been losing expertise faster than it is being replaced.  Plant sites only staff to operate, and safety systems do not require much attention.  This means that troubleshooting the safety system can

become unfamiliar and awkward.  Plant sites with several different systems to support dilute the expertise of their existing staff. This can lead to extended downtime.

Safety Manager architecture msghoney4.JPG

Regulation around safety has also been expanding and become more prescriptive worldwide. This has, in turn, led to processes requiring safety instrumented systems where not previously the case.  These new applications, which often only involve a handful of safety critical loops, must be incorporated into an existing system or will require a small system with limited scope.  The ability to address these smaller applications with the same technology will alleviate the demands on plant expertise and simplify spare parts management.  In the case of the Safety Manager SC, there are only a handful of components to manage to begin with, due to the utilization of universal I/O.

ARC also expects that the increased scalability of the new system will open new markets to Honeywell.  Because the system can scale down to 32 I/O points, small safety applications in upstream oil & gas, specialty chemicals, and pharmaceuticals can be addressed more effectively with Honeywell’s new safety system.

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Keywords: Honeywell, Safety Manager SC, Scalable, Flexible, SIL, Experion, Process Safety, ISASecure, ARC Advisory Group.

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