SEE region is an emerging market in many areas
Mr. Evans, please present Honeywell Analytics as a company, history, scope of activity, product program, etc.
As the definitive gas detection expert, Honeywell Analytics brings together nearly 200 collective years of expertise in design, manufacture and technology. Our pioneering spirit has always been a key theme and as a result we have been originators of state-of-the-art technologies for the last 50 years. From commercial gas detection’s humble beginnings in 1959 when Joshua Sieger (founder of J&S Sieger Ltd), invented the first stable catalytic bead to the latest innovations in Open Path technology, Honeywell Analytics has always played a key role in forming industry developments, earning an enviable position as both a global market leader and originator of a number of industry firsts.
Chemcassette technology was developed by the company in 1971, providing unique, tangible evidence of a presence of gas; using colorimetric paper tape which changes colour when exposed to the specific target gas. 1986 saw the invention of one of the first point Infrared-based flammable gas detectors, the 5050, marking the company’s migration into Infrared technology. Infrared flammable gas detection was enhanced further in 1988, with the evolution of Open Path technology in partnership with a global oil company, based on their conceptual idea. The commercially available version, known as the Searchline, was the first hazardous area certified Open Path detector on the market. It even featured on a prime-time technology television programme airing in the United Kingdom!
When the company launched Series 2000 in 1992 (a range of certified gas transmitters), it brought to market the first complex product certification combining increased safety and Intrinsic Safety concepts in one design. This revolutionary device provided simplified sensor replacement in hazardous areas without the need for a hot work permit.
Building on the existing electrochemical cell technology for detecting toxic gases, many manufacturers tried to develop the basic cell construction in an attempt to improve performance in harsh environments. However, it was Honeywell Analytics’ radical re-design of the electrochemical technology that lead to the launch of the Surecell™ in 2000, now the World’s leading and most reliable electrochemical cell, particularly in high temperature and high humidity environments. The company was also the first to fully automate sensor production of the Surecell, eradicating the traditional errors and faults associated with manual production.
The Impact portable gas detector was launched by the company in 2001, this was the first time that a multi-gas portable detector had a replacement multi-sensor cartridge with ‘plug and play’ operation. It remains one of the World’s most popular portables, thanks to its functionality and robust design. At the time of the Impact release, an automatic calibrator was introduced named “Enforcer”. This was the first device to offer full calibration at the cost of a bump test, revolutionising the maintenance of portable devices with over 200 calibrations from a single gas cylinder where previously only 15 were possible.
And it is not only in the commercial and industrial sector that Honeywell Analytics has acted as key innovator and industry pioneer. The company also provided the first mass produced Carbon Monoxide detector for the home - the SF310 in 2001 - and a subsequent model, the SF350 was the first to get a kite marked European approval. Today, we are one of the key industry players involved in trying to change the legislation around the use of Carbon Monoxide detectors in the home, and we actively campaign to raise awareness and save lives.
Honeywell Analytics has offices all over the World and sells a large and comprehensive range of products globally to all types of industries and applications. From Carbon Monoxide detectors used in homes to protect families from poisonous gases to the latest Infrared technology protecting people and plant on offshore oil platforms from risk of explosion, Honeywell Analytics’ name is one that is synonymous with the highest standards of product, service, innovation and expertise.
Where are your current main markets and what markets you are targeted at in near future?
There is a wide variety of markets requiring gas detection and Honeywell Analytics is actively involved in all of these. Our product offering has been specifically designed to deliver flexible, affordable and functional solutions to a wide array of customers; we are market leaders in the petrochemical extraction & refining and semiconductor manufacturing industries however, the technologies that have helped us become a key supplier to these industries are also ideally suited to other key markets such as power generation, water, construction, chemicals, food and beverage, gas distribution and pharmaceutical.
What are the latest technologies of Honeywell Analytics with the biggest market potential in the South-Eastern Europe?
Our superior offering of IR (Infrared) fixed and portable solutions offer the biggest opportunity for south-east European markets; as the World leaders in Optical technologies, our benchmark solutions – Optima Plus (fixed point IR detector) and Searchline Excel (fixed open path IR detector) - have the potential to revolutionise the market place in terms of benefits, functionality, reduced maintenance requirements and suitability for applications.
Conventional technologies that are already widely used in the region, such as catalytic sensors used for detection of combustible gases, have three major problems in operation; they require the presence of Oxygen to work; they can be poisoned or inhibited by Chlorine or Sulphur based compounds; they are not fail-to-safe, meaning that function failures can occur and go undetected.
An additional limitation with catalytic bead detection includes the need for regular checking and sometimes regular or even unplanned exchange, which can have a large effect on the maintenance cost of a gas detection system. Customers often choose these solutions because the initial cost appears to be low, but in reality, when you take into consideration these additional factors, the ongoing cost of ownership is actually quite high.
Fitting Searchpoint Optima Plus or Searchline Excel products will not only significantly reduce maintenance cost in resource hours, training and spare parts - these products have no unseen modes of failure. The speed and accuracy of response is also much better than catalytic methods; typically T90 in just a few seconds.
What are Honeywell Analytics advantages in comparison with those of competition?
With over 50 years of product innovation, our solutions provide the highest quality in terms of materials of construction, functionality and ease of use. We take a holistic approach to the provision of gas detection, and pride ourselves on offering flexibility to our customers and solutions that minimise the ongoing cost of ownership, whilst improving the ease of use and operator experience.
Another key differentiator is our Service and Support offering. This, backed up by our strong global infrastructure of Technical Support Centres, enables us to respond to customer requests quickly and provide end-to-end support. Again, a theme of flexibility is key in our offering, with the provision of an all-encompassing array of options, enabling customers to create their own bespoke packages.
What comprises your market plans for South-Eastern Europe (SEE), including Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Greece and Turkey?
We have three main objectives in these regions. Firstly, we want to build on the good awareness we have already created for our brand by making more people aware of us as the definitive expert in gas detection. We plan to promote our comprehensive product range and inform the market place of how we can help customers to save costs and comply with local safety regulations. We also want to catalyse a positive change in the market place and make customers aware that quality, functionality and minimised ongoing maintenance do not have to equate to high costs; when you work with us you get robust solutions that deliver what you need, whilst also saving you money.
Could you define the most specific features of markets in SEE compared to Western or global?
There are a number of features defining the SEE region as an emerging market in many areas. We are seeing increases in manufacturing output in relation to the rest of Europe, the adoption of new EU laws relating to safety and the environment and the up-take of new technologies.
For those countries that recently joined the EU and those looking to join in the near future, many new opportunities exist to strengthen trading links, attract investment in manufacturing and increase supply of raw materials to Western EU nations. With these opportunities also come the requirements to comply with EU standards related to the environment, safety and quality. This applies not only to the goods supplied, but also to the processes used in the manufacture of those goods.
As well as this move to adopt new legislation, the region is strategically important for the supply of oil & gas. SEE is geographically placed between the largest sources of supply around the Caspian Sea and the consumers of Western Europe. The network of oil & gas pipelines is constantly being extended and increased in order to meet future demands. The growth in demand for oil based products is manifested in the growth in refining plants, power stations and transportation. With this infrastructure in place, the region will continue to grow as its own demands for power and oil for domestic supply increase.
What technology and market trends do you think will affect the safety product market within the next years?
IR gas detection is becoming ever more popular due to the many benefits it offers, and we expect to see this trend continue to grow in coming years. Aside from the functionality it offers, IR also provides the additional bonus of reducing the ongoing cost of maintenance. It is the combination of these two factors, coupled with the enhanced safety aspect this type of technology offers that makes it so attractive to such a wide diversity of applications.
We also anticipate an increase in the prevalence of wireless detection technologies for communication between field devices and control systems. The cost of cabling is usually the highest expense in any plant so we expect wireless capabilities to have a big impact in coming years. This is a technology that Honeywell is heavily involved in developing and evolving into its product lines.
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