Demand for industrial automation is rising in India

With the evolution of digitisation, there is also a growing cyber security concern over the transmission and storage of data. In this interview with IPF, Rahul Khare, Regional Business Leader (India & South Asia), Honeywell Connected Plant, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), sheds light on IIoT and industrial cyber security.
Demand for industrial automation is rising in India

With the evolution of digitisation, there is also a growing cyber security concern over the transmission and storage of data. In this interview with IPF, Rahul Khare, Regional Business Leader (India & South Asia), Honeywell Connected Plant, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), sheds light on IIoT and industrial cyber security.

Kindly brief us about products & services offered by Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) in India.

Honeywell’s process solutions unit helps manufacturers harness the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and more rapidly deploy technologies that allows them to better manage and analyse data, making their operations safer, more reliable and more efficient. HPS is a provider of process automation control and industrial cyber-security, optimising and protecting manufacturing assets in the refining; pulp and paper; industrial power generation; chemicals and petrochemicals; biofuels; pharmaceuticals; and metals, minerals, and mining industries.

We have introduced our suite of solutions under the Honeywell Connected Plant (HCP) to promote digitisation in industries in support of the government’s Digital India effort. HCP combines our industrial expertise, software and cloud technologies to make our customers’ operations more reliable, profitable and secure than ever before.

Some of the solutions include the industrial cyber security risk manager, a solution that provides a single view for operations, IT and leadership teams to monitor, measure and manage cyber security across the enterprise.

How has been the demand for your products in India? Which are the key industries that you cater to?

HPS business caters to the process industry. When I say process industry, it is upstream, midstream and downstream oil & gas, including refineries, petrochemicals, pipelines, LNG and LNG terminals, pulp and paper, minerals and metals mining and electric utilities. We are witnessing a continuous demand from a technology standpoint specially with the digitisation at the cusp of industries across and with the upcoming 100 smart cities in India.

We are focused on providing technology solutions for customers to transform data into meaningful information, virtualisation, remote collaboration, wireless connectivity as well as in the area of cyber security. We will continue to look at industries like pharmaceuticals, metro railway and water management systems including the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so that we are able to bring the solutions in a cost-effective manner.

How is the present status of process automation in India? What are the demand drivers for process automation?

Today, software and process automation is becoming the change enabler in the way routine functions were ever thought of being performed. Automated technologies in the process industries are eliminating the need for human intervention especially in high-volume, repetitive tasks including IT support, remote infrastructure, and business processes. While automation is promising to impact various sectors, industrial and process automation are seeing real implementation on a large scale in the current scenario. With the changing demographics, increasing connectivity and the need for real-time insights, the process industries are steadily adopting advanced automation systems.

There is huge demand for industrial automation products as manufacturing sector in India is very vast. At Honeywell, the new technology inflection has seen us adopting them into our current offerings. The world of connected; of digital transformation; and of virtual reality, paves way for increasing opportunities to create solutions and industrial processes for our end customers and make a clear impact on their bottomline from control systems to maintenance training stimulators, mission critical apparatus to health and safety.

Why is industrial cyber security gaining importance in process industry? Are you seeing a rise in demand for HPS industrial cyber security solutions in India?

Digitisation has helped in large-scale and sweeping transformations across multiple aspects of business, providing unparalleled opportunities for value creation, while also representing a major source of risk. With the evolution of digitisation, there is also a growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner. At Honeywell, as we transform ourselves to become a software-industrial leader; industrial cyber security is at the core of our strategy.

Industrial cyber security is a little different to the general cyber security and needs much more rigour and careful implementation. We have been the pioneers in this special area of importance and have state-of-the-art facilities to continuously do research, development and render services to our customers world-over. The rise in demand has led Honeywell to investing into large labs which we call the cyber security facilities even while we embraced the whole Industrial IoT. This basically is under passing the connectivity between sensors, devices, equipment and bringing all into the cloud. We have already launched some products which have become very popular.

One of our products that is being used in the industrial context is called the risk manager. Risk manager is continuously looking at everything that is connected to the industrial network. It gives a dashboard which keeps telling you the possible threat can happen and actions that can be taken by the plant to avoid the cyber attacks.

What are the emerging trends in process automation space?

There has been a big shift in the industry with the costs of sensors and connectivity declining, a focus on mobility applications and advanced automation, and a new recognition of the value and power of advanced analytics. The adoption and subsequent integration of these new technologies with existing automation solutions is leading to the development of a whole new ecosystem of solutions not possible even a few years ago.

For instance, huge amounts of data are generated everyday from the operation of manufacturing plants, factories, energy systems and their supply chains. Using these new technologies, we can now gain better insights that can help us make far better decisions that favourably impact safety and security, reliability, efficiency and sustainability. The internet provides connectivity, collaboration and context. The linking of multiple digital solutions has taken in-plant connectivity beyond the precincts of the traditional plant to multiple locations – extending it to an entire collaborative industrial ecosystem.

Quintessentially, this is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). At Honeywell, we call this the power of connected. IIoT is the mega trend which has an ability to deliver meaningful information where and when it is needed most.

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