Aggregating Indian Smart Cities with Technology

“Honeywell has rapidly innovated to extend the capabilities of our Smart and Safe City technology deployments to support customer needs. Our Command and Control Centers are being used as the nerve center for operations to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in specific cities. We have also developed and deployed city-specific dashboards, portals and citizen applications to engage with citizens. Authorities can communicate necessary information in a consistent manner, and citizens can get the official view of a city’s status, reducing their need to go to different sources to gather information which at times may also be conflicting”: asserts Akshay Bellare, President Honeywell in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of BW Businessworld.

As a key smart city integrator, please elaborate the key services that Honeywell lays out for Smart City in India? How are you planning to upgrade it for the coming times?

Honeywell is proud to support India’s 100 Smart Cities vision to make cities smarter and improve citizens’ living standards through technologies and services that seamlessly connect an array of city services, including emergency response, traffic management, road congestion, crowd monitoring, pedestrian safety, and crime prevention. Honeywell has a team of experts who continuously share best practices on what could enable governments in building smart cities, which are aligned to India’s demographics and ambition to provide ease of living to its citizens. 

The company is a strategic partner with state governments and local authorities to implement Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled citywide security and surveillance systems, including the installation of 10,000 closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), automatic number plate reading system (ANPR), and intelligent traffic management technologies. For example, we partnered with the Rajkot Municipal Corporation and Rajkot Police to help the city install more than 450 integrated closed-circuit televisions and Wi-Fi at 13 key public places, supported by software and servers across strategic locations in the city. The city had also deployed intelligent traffic management technologies, including a stop-light violation detection system with e-challan, digital signboards at public places, and environmental sensors to monitor air pollution levels. 

In AURIC, Honeywell established an optical fibre cable network that covers 8.45 sq. km. to support the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, Wi-Fi access points and a centralized state-of-the-art command and control system that integrates various functions of city management including power, water, security, telecommunications and other utilities. For the Faridabad Smart City project, Honeywell supplied, installed, tested and commissioned a command and control system and also supplied a CCTV surveillance, automatic number plate recognition cameras, a facial recognition system, a red-light violation detection system, an adaptive traffic control system, IoT sensors for smart parking and cybersecurity.

Another interesting feature that we have developed is a “Lockdown Monitor” that passively counts the number of people and vehicles in CCTV camera feeds, and alerts authorities if it sees crowding. This feature allows authorities to promote social distancing, while ensuring citizen privacy, as it simply counts people, it does not and cannot identify them. 

 For cities that do not have command centers established, Honeywell has developed a cloud offering that can be deployed in a matter of days, thus enabling such cities to quickly benefit from its capabilities.

Would you share with us more about the Digital Twin technology that can bring in further efficient remote industrial operation for business continuity?

Digital twins are the replication of physical processes and assets in a virtual environment. Best-in-class digital twins rely on enabler IoT technologies like sensors, data connectivity and networks, scalable data storage, and analytics platforms that can process large volumes of information. 

Digital twins are powerful tools to deploy for remote operations settings. If digital twin models can be accurate and continuously refine the algorithms based on new information, the need for workers to be on-site 24/7 goes away. The models can predict equipment and process issues that require human intervention, and technicians can be sent on an on-demand basis. Further, digital twins can be integrated with other systems to create closed-loop autonomous control set-up. It is good practice to have the final decision-making authority always reside in a human – that is, the models can predict and even initiate a corrective action but cannot proceed without human oversight and approval. That said, the human decision maker need not be on-site, and can be connected to the applications and systems remotely via state-of-the-art interfaces. 

Covid-19 has shifted the focus towards operational technology as industries continue to look for ways to operate remote, while ensuring productivity. Honeywell Forge is pioneering this operational technology transformation with its customer-first technology enabled by Honeywell Forge offerings.

With the rising use of Information technologies across the domains, arises the digital threat or threat to cyber security. What measures you suggest ensuring full-proof cybersecurity for present day business operations, which run mostly on digital platform?

Honeywell has built a strong infrastructure of Managed Security Service Centers, and Cybersecurity Customer Innovation and Development Centers across the world. Our Managed Security Centers serve 400+ customers globally for operational technology (OT) cybersecurity delivering:

  • Managed Security Services 
  • Enhanced industrial-grade remote access
  • Patch and anti-virus updates 
  • Continuous monitoring & alerting 
  • Threat and vulnerability identification via SIEM & IDS analytics

We have helped our customers, including a company with over 100+ global sites, better protect and remotely monitor their operations through our Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity technology. By leveraging Honeywell’s cybersecurity centers, customers can save time, budget and use Honeywell’s experience and best practices to improve their organizations cybersecurity maturity.

Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity Suite resolves common security pain points for OT and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to better protect customer sites from cyberthreats and rising security costs across the enterprise. Our approach incorporates a unified operating model that is easily extensible. The Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity Suite is available in three versions, allowing customers to scale when needed to match cyber-requirements and budget withEnterprise Core, Enterprise Premium and Site offerings

One of the key offerings that Honeywell provide is healthy buildings. Please elaborate to us more about this.

Honeywell’s Healthy Buildings solutions are part of a comprehensive effort by the company to quickly develop solutions to help important sectors of the global economy, like commercial buildings, education institutions, hotels and hospitality, recover. In our new normal, there is a need to ensure health and well-being in all aspects of our lives. As employees across the country slowly prepare return to work from home and follow social distancing, building operators need to be able to minimize potential risks of contamination, ensure business continuity and reassure occupants that a building is safe.   This is where healthy buildings play a major role.  

The backbone of indoor air quality – ventilation, relative humidity, filtration and pressurization – is also the starting point for a healthier building. Every building has these functions, but they may not be optimized for building health. A building’s air quality should be frequently checked and optimized to comply with industry regulations and guidelines, especially in times of change. Our solutions like Electronic Air Cleaning and Ultraviolet sanitization for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), can help improve indoor air quality. Honeywell EACs are installed at point of air intake in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. They are easy to install, making them ideal for retrofits, property upgrades and new construction. 

In addition, Honeywell recently launched an integrated set of solutions to help building owners improve the health of their building environments, operate more cleanly and safely, comply with social distancing policies, and help reassure occupants that it is safe to return to the workplace. By integrating air quality, safety and security technologies along with advanced analytics, Honeywell’s Healthy Buildings solutions are designed to help building owners minimize potential risks of contamination and ensure business continuity by monitoring both the building environment and building occupants’ behaviors.  

How does Honeywell Forge operate? Please elaborate.

Honeywell Forge is an enterprise performance management software solution that helps businesses measure, analyze, and run their complex operations.

Honeywell Forge converts data from equipment, processes and people into intuitive, actionable insights that enable monitoring of enterprise operations from a single screen. In turn, this helps customers optimize the performance, sustainability and safety of their business and provides leaders and industries of complex businesses with the visibility to transform their operations quickly and efficiently, at every level and with minimum disruption. 

Coined Enterprise Performance Management software, Honeywell Forge is designed to be quick and cost-effective to implement, with a hardware- and software-agnostic approach that allows for use of existing systems. It leverages predictive analytics to help identify maintenance issues before they happen; enables workers to be more productive, proficient and safe; reduces costs; and increases productivity. Honeywell Forge incorporates the latest cybersecurity protections and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to innovatively bridge the domain knowledge that exists within most organizations with learning AI and ML models.

As we slowly embrace a ‘new normal’, we are ready to serve our customers’ needs to help provide a safer, more secure, and productive work environment, with our mobility solutions. Our Honeywell Forge offerings cover the OT (operational technology) space in multiple industries and can help with energy optimization in buildings, asset performance in the oil and gas industry, fuel efficiency in airlines and productivity improvements in industrial environments. For example - Honeywell Forge provides business aviation customers with an easy-to-use, integrated dashboard that sends real-time alerts on connectivity issues and flight plan changes. With full visibility into their services, customers can use the platform to tap into data that helps flight departments troubleshoot and fix issues as soon as they arise. Based on these insights, Honeywell Forge can improve the passenger connectivity experience, help manage profitability and give flight departments a better understanding of their fleet.