Honeywell has introduced a control technology solution that increases productivity for batch operations and speed-to-market of batch products by allowing operators to “look ahead” into their processes and see an intuitive and comprehensive timeline of every task required to complete a product batch.
Honeywell’s Experion Batch uses patent-pending visualisation technology to provide batch automation processes with the benefits of distributed control capability, said a statement.
This approach provides operators with insights into upcoming events or potential delays, which make it easier for them to conduct multiple tasks, take appropriate actions sooner and adjust next steps accordingly, it said.
It also makes operations less critically dependent on individual operator experience, which will help manufacturers overcome skill gaps at a time when more veteran operators are retiring, it added.
Matthias Maaz, director of pharma and specialty chemicals, Honeywell Process Solutions, said: “Many operators currently say they don’t have enough visibility into their batch processes.”
“Not knowing what tasks are coming when or being unable to foresee delays can lead to reduced production. Experion Batch solves this issue and allows operators to do more with less,” he said.
Experion Batch is designed for industries such as pharmaceutical, specialty chemical and food processing, where manufacturers are challenged to increase operator efficiency and product quality while using fewer resources to reduce costs.
The technology simplifies ongoing maintenance by eliminating the need for a centralised, dedicated batch server.
This provides added benefit to customers by enabling engineering and maintenance personnel to take a unit controller out of service without affecting other units. Experion Batch also allows plants to easily and quickly transition from recipe testing to execution while reducing testing and validation efforts, and it is aligned with international batch standards ISA S88 and IEC 61512-1.
Janice Abel, principal consultant, ARC Advisory Group, said: “Industries using batch software management solutions are characterised by increasingly complex production processes, more multi-product lines and increasing numbers of recipes.”
“Product innovation and speed to market are vital to the success of these manufacturers. The trend for batch manufacturing is toward real-time manufacturing, which requires closer coordination between the batch and control system software and sensors, and improved operator visibility into the process,” she said.
“Any solution that can improve visibility into what has happened, what is happening now, and how the operator can anticipate subsequent actions should be of high value to batch manufacturers,” she added.