Adrian Fielding says...‘Honeywell safety solutions cater to safety across all plant operations and processes’
What is the Honeywell perspective on safety – the plant as well as the individual?
When we look at safety, safety is paramount, almost an obsession. The plant and the personnel safety go hand in hand – when you want to protect the plant you have to protect the people as well. Both have a direct impact on how successful and safe you are as an organisation. So Honeywell has a solutions portfolio where we look to take safety across all the plant operations and processes, whether it is from our new Process Safety Suite solution that takes the whole process safety lifecycle and streamline it into single data platform or worker safety right from the basic PPE right up to Intelligent Wearables and integrating them into the safety platform, so we ensure that the worker is not only protected with the right equipment but also compliant with the requirements of the particular job. And we are able to take this to another level, integrating it with the Access Control & Security System so that if one does not have the right certifications and qualifications, is not equipped with the right PPE or is fatigued, and then the entry is barred. We are taking out the human element in making that error in judgement.
So with Intelligent Wearables the personnel safety now moves to a more active role rather unlike passive safety measures of PPEs?
Yes, absolutely – it is real time and proactive. By having Intelligent Wearables, by taking data from the workers themselves – be it from the bioharness that measures personal vital statistics like heart rate, body temperature, etc., or the sound/noise exposure and things like that. We have a complete range of portable and fixed gas detectors – single gas and multi gas including sensor changes for exotic gases, the technology integrates into our personal gas safety software platform which brings information directly to the operator console in Experion. As there are a lot of lone workers in plants now, any eventually like a worker injured or collapses, that information is relayed instantly.
What are the highlights of the Process Safety Suite which has been launched recently?
What we have done with in the Process Safety Suite as I just mentioned, is take all the manual steps in the process safety life cycle and put it in a single data platform and automate it in the process. As you know in the Oil & Gas industry around 50% of the skilled manpower is set to retire in the next few years, and it is not just the workers in the field, the operations and control guys but also the process and functional safety experts, the people who do the hazard analysis. So as we move forward, this digitisation we are using to make their time more efficient and effective, and Honeywell is actually providing that as part of the service. So, I’ll step back a little bit. In the process safety lifecycle starting with the hazard analysis right through to operations and maintenance, the solution process safety suite can enter anytime.
So how does the Process Safety Suite work in practice?
For the purpose of this discussion we will start with a new facility. When we look at hazard analysis or Hazop, we could use any number of software tools, or we could put it in an Excel spreadsheet. The next step, laser protection analysis goes in another spreadsheet, and this might go round and round a few times, with a team doing this, another doing that and a few blocks before we get to the safety system design, and all this will be isolated. So what the Process Safety Suite does is right from the process hazard analysis put it on a common platform so that we do not have to duplicate a majority of that, so the protection analysis takes less time. This is purely in the safety loop system, and it is in one data system, so when we want to do the cause and effects matrix, just push it open – there is no need to take any reading or do manual calculation process, and we get the cause and effect matrix. Any changes that we make in the design of the safety system in the conventional method, we have to go back in each of those things and manually make the changes, so there is a risk there and it takes time, whereas any change in the Process Safety Suite is automatically backed up, so everything is accurate, at any given time.
What are the benefits of the Process Safety Suite?
We spoke to one particular customer who has gone through this process and the time taken for each of the steps and the time saved can be up to 45%. So if we look at a USD 10 billion refinery, for example, with a USD 6 million budget for the process safety, that’s a USD 2.7 million saving. It is big saving because of the efficiencies involved. Now if I am an EPC to take another example, I then shave days off the time it takes for this critical work, so the risk of project overrun is significantly reduced for an EPC. That’s in the Greenfield. When we come to the end of the delivery and are ready to go into operations we have a safety system that has no risks and is perfected 100%.
Over time, whether it is failure of instruments or elements going into bypass or a change in feedstock, or any other reason, we move away from that 100%, and the problem is the industry does not know how far it has moved away over time, until five years have elapsed and it is time again to go back to the process hazard analysis again. And then that is a long process where we interview all the people, take a look at the plant historian and take all the information of that five year period and discover all of a sudden you are 70%! That’s 30% of the risk you are carrying. So what the Process Safety Suite does is to take the information from the Process Safety Analyzer and the historian data and it analyses that, providing you with the risk status or the safety status of your safety system in real time.
Is there a real case scenario that illustrates such benefits?
There is this case, talking from the financial aspect of the operation, of a customer suffering from spurious trips. Over time it is found and rectified, but during a spurious trip, the process system trips and one could be losing a million dollars every time! That’s the customer feedback we have – this particular customer had 12 spurious trips in a year, so 12 million dollars lost! The Process Safety Suite can not only avoid this, it can look where it is likely to happen and prevent it so that a spurious trip does not happen in the first place. However, we put the software in this customer’s site and were able to identify the cause of the spurious trip, a saving of 12 million dollars – lots of benefits there.
So when you are talking about plant and personnel safety, you can see we are looking at the plant, we are looking at the process, also at the workers, and we are integrating all of that together. So when we look at the Safety Manager, we get the inputs from it, and if there are any changes, get to know in real time. So efficiencies in the analysis phase and the generation of the reports, efficiencies when making changes and the accuracies of the changes, and in operations, the ability to identify any potential issues, to keep the plant running more efficiently, more effectively.