15 June 2009
Innovation, imagination will spark growth
The economy seems to be slowly creeping out of its downward slide, but to get a faster return, it means the same old solutions just won’t cut it any more.
That is where innovation and imagination come in, said Frank Whitsura, vice president general manager Americas for Honeywell Process Solutions.
“Albert Einstein once said imagination is more important than knowledge,” Whitsura said during his morning kickoff presentation at the Honeywell Users Group Americas Symposium Monday in Phoenix.
That sentiment remained in place throughout the morning as Honeywell leaders talked about possible ways to guide users through these turbulent times.
When it all comes down to it, getting through these times means understanding and controlling the massive amount of data hitting plant floors every day.
“It is estimated that 40 exabytes of data will be executed this year alone,” said Honeywell Process Solutions President Norm Gilsdorf. “That is more than the previous 5,000 years.
“How do you manage the information generated, and how will it be consumed? All this data and all this pressure, it is all about how we manage this (information),” Gilsdorf said during his keynote address Monday. “It is about bringing the right data to the right person.”
“One thing every company discusses in light of industry challenges is business optimization. But few are achieving the level they’re capable of,” said Jason Urso, vice president of technology at Honeywell, during his presentation at the users group Monday.
Best-in-class companies actually focus on three areas: process safety and security, operations excellence, and business agility. But they treat it as a technology problem, weeding together islands of automation to achieve a single solution. Yet when companies do this they have really “created a complex solution, and the benefits degrade, then go away entirely,” Urso said. “Then the cost of maintenance is higher, and overall you’ve created poor visibility when it comes to maintenance staff.”
The time fearing the economy is over, business leaders and managers have to think and act as entrepreneurs. It is time to think of opportunities, not dwelling on the what has happened. Learn from the past, but keep moving forward. And innovation is critical.
One of the ways Honeywell is moving forward is also focusing on a relatively new venture called One Honeywell. About 18 months in the making, the company is looking to meld all parts of Honeywell into an entire factory instead of having individual components on the plant floor in the operations area and safety, to name a few.
Everyone knows there is greater financial instability and market volatility, or a rising need for improved safety and security, along with higher energy costs driving needs for improved energy efficiency, and more stringent environmental standards regulated by EPA/FERC and carbon tax regime. But the trick is to optimize.
“We need imagination more than ever. Economics are an issue, and some trends may lead to lifestyle changes,” Whitsura said. One Honeywell goes beyond the plant. “We have the technology and capability today.”