Honeywell's Emerging Enterprise Control - Intuition Executive | Automation.com

Honeywell's Emerging Enterprise Control - Intuition Executive

October 072012
Honeywell's Emerging Enterprise Control - Intuition Executive
October 2012
 
By Bill Lydon, Editor
 
During the Honeywell Users Group conference held in June, 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, I had the opportunity to discuss the new Intuition Executive initiative with Dan O'Brien, Director Global Solutions - Manufacturing Execution Systems. In May, 2012, Honeywell announced the Intuition Executive software for enterprise-wide information management, decision support and collaboration. The goal of Intuition Executive is to integrate and manage information that companies typically house in applications and spreadsheets, allowing them to manage complex production operations, monitor processes and make operating decisions.  This product follows a growing trend in general enterprise computing tailored for the industrial automation industry. Intuition Executive will enable industrial operators to anticipate problems and identify opportunities, collaborate, and create standard workflows. The software is developed on and extends the functionality of standard Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint 2010, SQL Server and StreamInsight. Honeywell acknowledges that Intuition Executive is powered by Matrikon software, making it vendor neutral, and will connect to any control system or underlying data source. Recently, Australia Pacific LNG selected Intuition Executive to consolidate data and reporting.  
 
O'Brien described the vision of Intuition Executive as Honeywell’s off-the-shelf product for enterprise wide information collection, visualization, collaboration, and workflow. O'Brien explained that key capabilities of the Intuition Executive is federation of existing operations, corporate data, inference rules applied to the data, and contextualization of the data for users and applications. “Right now Intuition Executive is a Honeywell consulting-led software license combined with our services,” said O’Brien.  “We are not quite ready out of the box to throw it out to other people to start using it.” The software is evolving, but at this time the implementation is being done with Honeywell consultants. O'Brien explained, “We are transforming how we take Honeywell-captured industry knowledge to our customers.” He explained that most of the data they are integrating now is extracted from OPC sources, spreadsheets, ERP systems such as SAP, and by using simple web services to extract recipes/bill of materials.
 
O'Brien described how Intuition Executive will be used with current Honeywell classic MES solutions including Mine to Port, Optivision, and POMS. O’Brien said, “I can spread Intuition across the top so I can have a much better dashboard…”  I suggested that this architecture could eventually replace all their existing MES offerings. O’Brien noted that as the software develops over time, “Honeywell will be focusing on fewer, better products.” Intuition is being built from the ground up as a component-based Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) consistent with current software industry thinking. This architecture provides the flexibility for Honeywell consultants to meet a wide range of applications using the software components as building blocks. 
 
Thoughts & Observations
 
During my travels, while talking to users and other automation suppliers, I can see a general trend towards intelligence-based manufacturing focused on harnessing the power of data, modeling, engineering and IT infrastructure. The goal is to move from responsive and reactive actions to preventative and proactive manufacturing strategies. This is a shift from stand-alone and isolated unit operations towards integrated manufacturing, leveraging a wide range of data. These systems are based on the concepts of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) - interoperable services that are built as software components that can be reused.
 
Based on our discussion with Honeywell, they are taking the approach of accessing data from various sources and not replicating it, thus preserving data integrity. Alternatively, I have had serious discussions with users that are applying business intelligence methods that replicate data for speed and system integrity reasons. The best practices of data replication will be an ongoing debate in the industry.
 
It is clear that Intuition Executive is currently a software toolset that Honeywell consultants are using to satisfy customer requirements. In the future, the intent is that Intuition Executive will add interfaces so users can configure the software themselves to meet their needs.
 
The big value adder in these systems is the rules-based engines that are used to capture data and apply knowledge based on past experiences.  The engines can ultimately provide an advanced level of automation, including predictive analytics, pattern recognition, and knowledge-based operations. 
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