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January 4, 2016

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Honeywell’s ‘connected vision’ for safety – part 2

HSP00556 - Sean ClayIn the second of a three-part series, Sean Clay, vice president/general manager at Honeywell Industrial Safety EMEA, delves deeper into its connected safety solutions approach.

In the previous article, I discussed some of the key safety challenges that today’s industry is faced with. At Honeywell, we believe that the solution to such challenges lies in sensors. Whether they are on workers or on walls, it’s about integrating the data they provide to give real-time visibility into operations. With this people can know exactly what’s happening, at the second it is happening and make better decisions – be that sending the right emergency response team or correcting a small equipment problem or saving a worker’s life.

Honeywell began its life as a sensor company when it developed the thermostat and since that moment, more than a century ago, we have developed the business around critical sensing functionality. In the aerospace sector we produce a vast array of sensor technology for directional assistance (gyroscope) or ground or other aircraft proximity sensing.

In our $2bn security business we have technology surrounding access control and movement detection and in our process engineering business there is a range of flow meter and gas meter technology. By volume sales Honeywell is one of the major sensor companies in the world and it’s this technological muscle (for want of a better phrase) that the company is now bringing to bear on the safety industry.

Honeywell Industrial Safety’s connected vision is though, a good deal nearer to becoming a reality. In recent years we have begun to lay the foundation for this vision and have some projects and systems in existence that, while perhaps not fulfilling the vision completely, do go a long way down that path.

For example, the ConneXt Safety Solution is a wireless gas detection system that combines portable gas detectors, location tracking and software to provide a real-time view of gas status throughout a facility.

Plant managers in the oil and gas industry for instance are using ConneXt Safety Solutions to immediately determine the location and severity of any gas alarm, get instant awareness of a ‘man down’, make better decisions about rescue and evacuation and proactively monitor the readings from any gas detector.

Ultimately, ConneXt merges data from many detectors into a single map-based display for real-time hazard monitoring. And, it’s not just for toxic gas, the solution is also compatible with portable monitors for the weather, a workers’ vital signs, dust and other factors – all of which combine to form a real-time centre for managing safety risk.

Even closer to realising the connected vision is a new service – Honeywell Safety Suite. In a world where safety is becoming more complex, companies need a dizzying array of documentation to keep track of training and accreditations, equipment service histories and asset registers; which contractors are on site and what permissions they have about where they can work and what they can do.

Furthermore, making this situation more complex and virtually impossible to manage effectively is the fact that all this information is stored in different places, on different platforms that are not linked or integrated. The suite’s purpose is to bring this all together into one place. All equipment, all sites, all training histories, all contractors, all reporting using one cloud-hosted platform. It’s an extremely modern solution, but a simple one, as I will explain in the third and final part of this series.

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