If small process applications can’t come to the distributed control system (DCS) mountain, then the DCS mountain needs to miniaturize, pull up stakes and go to the small process application.
For most of their existence, the DCSs have primarily handled large process control and automation applications. This was because the cost and implementation expertise required limited the systems to such applications. Now, as happens so often lately, the world is turning upside down, and a major DCS has been retooled for use by smaller process users and their applications.
Honeywell Process Solutions is introducing its Experion LS control system, which incorporates years of learning and functionality from the Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) and provides a DCS’ power and reliability in a small and flexible solution. Experion LS manages all continuous process control applications and optimizes batch and sequence-oriented applications found at specialty chemicals, pharmaceutical, and other manufacturing sites. Scalable from a single PC and controller to multiple stations, Experion LS is said to ensure plant reliability and flexibility, while lowering lifecycle costs for smaller sites.
“The historical focus for Experion was the largest, most complex applications,” says Tim Sweet, Honeywell product marketing manager. “So, to meet the unmet needs of adjacent markets, especially those in emerging economies such as China and India, we knew we needed to offer a smaller process application. Many small firms are moving from manual batch into automation to improve quality, and they need small, inexpensive and simple control systems.”
Experion LS suits smaller plants because it allows users to better respond to market changes, while offering robust process and batch control. “Our customers asked for a DCS that was less complex to configure, easy to reconfigure for new product changes, with built-in alarming and historian functions to improve their process quality and drive out costs. As a result, we also built Experion LS to run on less costly, off-the-shelf PCs.
Because it requires less engineering effort to configure and is easier to maintain than a PLC or large DCS, Experion LS can help plants save up to $20,000 per year in support per system, says the company. This easier configuration also enables faster and more reliable changeovers, allowing operators to more readily modify batch recipes and increase production.
“Smaller manufacturing operations tell us they need DCS functionality, such as system reliability and greater flexibility, which PLCs can’t offer, but many leading DCS systems are just too big for their operations,” says Norm Gilsdorf, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “Experion LS offers the best of both worlds. It provides agility to respond to product mix changes and offers advanced optimization and batch technology usually found in larger DCS systems.”
Experion LS features Honeywell’s S88-compliant and scalable solution for batch automation that can be fully redundant. The system minimizes engineering costs with drag-and-drop configuration, pre-built algorithms, a global database, pre-configured displays and out-of-the-box batch functionality. Users gain operational advantages by making automation configuration changes without stopping production and giving operators a run-time view of control strategy and sequence status, truly redundant unit execution and integrated operator instructions.
“For many years, smaller manufacturers faced a dilemma. They needed to quickly adapt their processes to market changes, though doing so could reduce system reliability and increase life-cycle costs,” adds Gilsdorf. “As the creator of the first DCS system, Honeywell took its extensive DCS knowledge and designed Experion LS to deliver the agility manufacturers need to survive in today’s business environment without sacrificing system stability.”
Also, plants now have the option to work through local, authorized Honeywell Experion Implementers to provide project implementation and ongoing application support.
For more information, visit www.honeywell.com/ps.