Honeywell Connected OEM Leverages Industry 4.0 So Users Can Subscribe to Increased KPIs

Author photo: Craig Resnick
By Craig Resnick

Summary

Today’s technologies that enable connectivity to new and existing machines help to provide manufacturers with a start to their digital transformation journey. Industry 4.0 and IIoT solutions help to predict how machines and processes will behave, which is key to initiative-taking maintenance, future productivity, and driving new value. Connectivity to machines and other plant floor assets is Industry 4.0essential to any Industry 4.0 or IIoT implementation. Without connectivity, none of the benefits of Industry 4.0 or the IIoT can be realized.

But when production lines, machines, and equipment are connected, digital transformation promises to connect things, people, and systems to deliver organizational value. However, it is often not an easy task to provide seamless connectivity across all these domains.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seek consistent connectivity solutions that capture the data from their machines so their end user customers can use it to accelerate digital transformation to help cut costs, drive performance improvements, and create new revenue streams. This makes machine connectivity easier, providing the equipment and implementation services in demand by end users. This market demand has led Honeywell to create its Connected OEM solution, which combines Honeywell’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, Cloud historian and visualizations and analytics in one subscription-based service.

OEMs and Users Continue Digital Transformation Progress

Providing horizontal and vertical connectivity to machines within industrial operations has been pursued for some time as a means of achieving performance improvement and operational excellence. Most specific data and actuator points in an industrial system are gathered because they are needed for control, safety, regulatory compliance, and operations and maintenance purposes. These Industry 4.0points are typically connected to a particular system or application that may share data with other systems or applications. Industrial companies use information from these connected entities to lower costs, optimize processes, and execute efficiently.

However, an impressive number of manufacturers have also started their digital transformation journey, leveraging connectivity to enable transformative business improvements. The ability to serve up data from machines on the plant floor and process analytical output from enterprise systems for operational improvement drives massive savings and new revenue opportunities. Providing connectivity enables digital transformation technologies that offer the insights on how to improve performance and reduce downtime through remote diagnostics, troubleshooting, and predictive maintenance capabilities. Enabling machine access to a variety of sanctioned internal and external parties enables manufacturers to increase machine uptime and improve operational performance.

Digital transformation and the growth of IIoT also drive manufacturers to host compute power as close to machines as possible, at the “edge” of their networks. As the digitization of industrial systems proceeds, analysis, decision-making, and control are being physically distributed among edge devices, edge servers, the network, the cloud, and connected systems. Computing and analysis functions will be deployed where it makes the most sense for the application, so connectivity to both new and existing machines must be designed to leverage IIoT, the cloud, and the edge.

Remote Operations Becoming a New OEM and End User Normal

In recent years, remote operations management was already becoming mainstream in selected sectors such as offshore oil and gas production and offshore wind farms. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, many companies globally were forced to shift to running their operations remotely. As a result, many previously on-site employees were working from locations outside of the plant, such as their own homes. This required remote machine connectivity solutions that enable a connected and Industry 4.0remote workforce, provide real-time visibility and control to help meet the challenges of fully remote access to operations.

Ideally, these remote machine connectivity solutions help to facilitate collaboration and reduce paperwork, provide secure access to information for the appropriate individuals from anywhere, and support interactions with remote experts. Automation and IT suppliers alike stepped up to help meet these needs with innovative solutions.

In addition to improving efficiency and providing a safer working environment for employees, these remote machine connectivity solutions also help companies capture and manage knowledge and incorporate and deploy new workflow processes. These tools allow the remote user to see any machine in the plant regardless of their visualization device, ranging from control rooms, to laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Operational Resilience Becoming a Key OEM and End User Objective

One of the objectives of a company’s digital transformation journey is to ensure resilient operations to improve its capabilities to overcome today’s heightened business risks. These include increasing cybersecurity threats, supply chain instability, and more strenuous plant and personnel safety and regulatory requirements.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers faced numerous challenges such as market and commodity uncertainty; rapid fluctuations in demand; supply chain disruptions; and the need to become more agile, efficient, and sustainable. However, the pandemic magnified those challenges, especially the issue of being able to monitor, operate, and control machines remotely, leading manufacturers to focus on operational resilience as a key corporate objective.

To achieve operational resilience, companies must often break down physical and organizational boundaries to engage both its local and remote workforce, connect machines, and enhance real-time collaboration more fully. Operational resilience also requires supply chains to be managed in real-time to maintain their integrity, agility, and flexibility, allowing production to enable machines to respond to real-time market demand and shifts in material availability. Companies are deploying new methodologies to protect against unscheduled downtime and machine failures, ensure product fulfillment, protect personnel, and enhance security architectures. OEMs and end users will continue to seek remote machine connectivity solutions to further increase their operational resilience to reduce supply chain vulnerability, lower safety risks, improve remote operational performance, and optimize production throughout the machine lifecycle.

Honeywell Connected OEM Designed for Remote Machine Connectivity, Monitoring and Secure Collaboration

To address these market trends and the needs of its end user and OEM customers, Honeywell introduced its Connected OEM solution, designed to help OEMs to reduce maintenance and servicing costs and identify new income opportunities. Honeywell Industry 4.0recognized that OEM machines do not just fail or perform below expectations. They know it is a combination of how the machine is used, how it is maintained, and did something unforeseen happen, such as a load increase. Honeywell also understands that machines and other assets need to be connected to drive OEM analytics and asset performance. End users need better insight on how to manage their machines and assets to maximize performance and lifespan with minimum downtime and maximum throughput. OEMs are sometimes disconnected from their machines, and look for effective ways to provide expertise, performance, and advisory services to their end user customers.

Honeywell developed its Connected OEM solution to address several issues faced by its end user and OEM customers. They wanted a solution that eliminates the need for frequent in-person technician site visits to troubleshoot machines, which will lower overall services costs and enable plant personnel to focus on more critical issues. They also wanted a solution that can access difficult-to-get asset health data after machines are installed at multiple sites, which will help to lower the risk of unscheduled downtime and shorten the analysis cycle due to access to critical asset data. Also, they wanted a solution that provided information on KPI’s such as OEE and deviation from standards and design limits, Industry 4.0which will help operators to make decisions that maximize KPI’s and prevent long-term damage to assets. They wanted a solution that can historize key asset parameters and access those required for performance contract management, too. Addressing this need will lead to shorter response times and lower service costs, more efficient troubleshooting with access to key data, and higher performance contract yields.

Honeywell’s end user and OEM customers needed a solution that eliminates sending asset data to OEMs through unsecure means, such as USB drives, emails, or FTP sites to eliminate vulnerabilities that expose confidential asset data. The solution also must eliminate manual analysis, and provide tools such as dashboard, trends, or calculations to support service engineers to shorten turnaround, increase asset availability, and ease internal and customer collaboration to review and analyze issue. Finally, the solution must provide early notification of asset health condition to lower the cost of repair and eliminate causes of irreversible damage to assets and components. Honeywell believes its Connected OEM addresses each of these issues for its end user and OEM customers.

How Honeywell Connected OEM Works

Honeywell Connected OEM provides OEMs with connectivity and visibility to their installed assets to identify the causes of subpar performance or failures due to, for example, component failures, faulty operation, inadequate maintenance practices, changing conditions or increasing loads. It enables OEMs to work with end users to prevent and resolve issues more quickly and effectively, at a lower cost. Honeywell Connected OEM gathers data from sensors on OEMs’ equipment across sites using PLCs, such as Honeywell’s ControlEdge™ PLC, and ControlEdge™ RTU controllers. It is then securely transferred to the Cloud through an intermediate modem or smart gateway. Leveraging Honeywell’s Experion® platform, it offers a secure, scalable, and continually improving solution. Once there, the data is stored in a historian and users can draw on a range of Honeywell analysis and Industry 4.0visualization tools, such as for point building, parameter displays, setting alarm and notification rules, multi-parameter trends, analysis and KPI dashboards, and dashboard and mobility access for end users for collaboration.

Machine builders can monitor the vital health parameters of their geographically dispersed machines and assets across their end user customers and sites from their central operations center. Field engineers can use the data for notification, trending, and monitoring to identify and resolve maintenance and performance issues more quickly.

Honeywell provides the tools needed to get Connected OEM up and running. Connectivity hardware is delivered as a standard communication enclosure package, including the modem, cellular data plan, SIM card, power, and connectivity to controllers. The mobile app runs on Apple and Android mobile devices and features an intuitive interface for users to find any required information. With equipment featuring embedded cybersecurity, Honeywell also applies its data security policy to help to ensure complete protection of the customer data.

Closing the Connection Between OEMs and End User Customers

Honeywell’s Connected OEM helps machine builders to get closer to their end user customers. With visibility into their installed base, OEMs can help to ensure that their equipment is delivered and that customer expectations are met. End user customers benefit from enhanced troubleshooting, more timely maintenance and replacements, and better operational guidance. With Connected OEM in place, the end user customer will see improvements across maintenance and operations to help boost performance, reliability, and efficiency

Honeywell Connected OEM Use Case Examples

Honeywell Connected OEM enables OEMs and end user customers to collaborate more effectively for improved outcomes across operations and maintenance.

For Performance Contract Management, certainty and transparency for service contracts is required, such as defined and Industry 4.0managed performance service contracts with historical performance records of asset and operating conditions. With access to asset health data, OEMs can improve and provide evidence of equipment performance and KPIs, such as OEE. Benefits include improved payouts on performance contracts with real-world data to support manufacturer claims; increased customer satisfaction and trust through consistent delivery of promised performance; and enhanced equipment performance based on feedback from performance contracts.

For Remote Troubleshooting and Performance Enhancement, solving problems and improving OEE is required. Having structured data and trends information enables remote analysis for troubleshooting problems and advising on-site engineers. OEE calculations and supporting trends information help in gathering insights into asset performance. The ability to share asset KPIs and notifications supports more effective collaboration between the OEM and end user. Benefits include faster resolution of problems with reduced site trips; improved optimization of resource planning and asset performance; and improved OEE insights incorporated into machine designs for long-term performance enhancements.

For Remote Monitoring of Geographically Dispersed Assets, solving problems with asset health and condition across end user customers and sites is required. Having asset specific KPI dashboards enables monitoring key health parameters to support predictive maintenance programs. Having customized rules for mobile notifications and alarms can alert OEMs and end users of potential problems. Benefits include cutting travel and accommodation costs through reduced site visits; accelerating maintenance activities to cut periodic servicing costs; and optimizing services resource locations to reduce failures and unscheduled downtime.

Conclusion

In today’s complex global competitive environment, real-time information is vital to help manufacturers at both the plant and enterprise levels make decisions that improve efficiency and effectiveness, bringing intelligence to their business. Leveraging real-time information requires connectivity to all machines and assets, which acts as the foundation of digital transformation.

Digital transformation leverages IIoT, cloud computing, mobile devices, social networks, advanced search engines, and predictive Industry 4.0analytics to create the information-driven enterprise. However, many machines that have been connected for many years are not leveraging digital transformation technology. As a result, these machines are not properly utilized to provide this abundance of data and information, which combined with analytics can be used to provide artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

Honeywell designed its Connected OEM solution to address these machine connectivity issues. With Connected OEM, OEMs gain access to customizable KPI dashboards from their central operations centers, as well as a mobile app for field workers. Assets are organized by end user, site location and type for quicker navigation. Tailored views based on assigned responsibilities make it easier to readily find information. With an intuitive interface, OEMs can manage users and recipients and thresholds for mobile notifications, alerts, and alarms. OEMs can also choose to share data, dashboards, or reports with end users to aid collaboration, facilitate troubleshooting or support service contracts. The solution is scalable and makes it simple for users to add, edit and remove assets, end users and locations as required. It is a secure, remote monitoring solution for equipment, skids and other assets, giving access to critical asset KPIs on dashboards for PCs or mobile devices. With Connected OEM, machine builders can implement remote condition monitoring for their products across sites and the customer base with its IIoT platform used for improving equipment performance, cutting costs, and boosting revenues.

 

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Keywords: OEM, Machines, Service, Industry 4.0, Subscription, IIoT, Cloud, Historian, Remote Monitoring, Connectivity, Maintenance, Digital Transformation, Honeywell, Performance Contract Management, Remote Troubleshooting, Performance Enhancement, OEE, Equipment, Asset, ARC Advisory Group.

 

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