Digital Twin Along With AI & ML Are Shaping The Future Of Industry: Ashish Gaikwad, MD, Honeywell

  • Hannah
  • February 1, 2021
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Analytics India Magazine caught up with Ashish Gaikwad, the Managing Director of Honeywell Automation India Limited and Honeywell Process Solutions India Leader for an interview. Gaikwad dilated on Honeywell’s digital twins, Enterprise Performance Management systems, cybersecurity practises, quantum computers and more. 

Excerpts:

AIM: Tell us about the proprietary algorithms and AL/ML model HoneyWell avails

Ashish Gaikwad: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based solutions require aggregating, arranging and analysing large sets of data and then make sense from it. We create ‘models’ from this data, and then ‘train’ them to behave in a real-world context. 

We have also incorporated AI and ML algorithms in our Honeywell Forge Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) applications. 


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Honeywell is a leader in creating ‘digital-twins’. These are the first principles-based software simulation models for the process industries we serve. These ‘digital-twins’ demonstrate a high-fidelity representation of the real-life process plants. 

We define a process digital twin as a digital representation of a physical asset that is configured to respond just as that physical plant or asset would in the field. We use these digital-twins effectively in our overall AI/ML algorithms. 

Last year, we announced that by 2025, Honeywell would release the world’s most powerful quantum computer. Combining this computing power with the AI/ML technology – will be a game-changer for the industry. This capability will help us in better prediction, efficiency, safety, and reliability.

AIM: What are the various technology leadership initiatives Honeywell has undertaken?

Ashish Gaikwad: At Honeywell, we are working on several cutting-edge technologies and initiatives. These include Quantum Computing, Blockchain-based solutions, Additive printing, Digital Twins, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Connected Aircrafts, smart and healthy buildings, Smart Cities, IIoT, Connected workers and supply chains, to name a few. All these will work in conjunction with the concepts of AI/ML. And all these are being worked upon by our engineers in India in collaboration with other Honeywell global offices. Honeywell engineers based in India are engaged in design, analysis and technology development activities for a variety of products and solutions.

AIM: What are the various learning tools/frameworks/libraries that you use regularly?

Ashish Gaikwad: We call it the Honeywell Forge framework. This is a native cloud deployable, enterprise-scale, performant architecture and microservices.

Honeywell has been at the forefront of leveraging the power of IIoT to solve customer challenges by consolidating data from multiple systems in the Cloud. We use higher‐level analytics and leverage domain experts who may not be required to be physically present at the customer site.

Factors such as process safety, efficiency, reliability, productivity, and security are key drivers across sectors.  

All this comes together as an Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) suite — applications that leverage Honeywell Forge framework to solve real-life industry issues and address challenges.

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AIM: What is Enterprise Performance Management?

Ashish Gaikwad: The Honeywell Forge Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is a software-as-a-service (SaaS), purpose-built on a native edge-to-Cloud, data-driven architecture to accelerate our customers’ digital transformation by: 

  • providing apps that deliver value in days – and not months
  • delivering an up-to-date system of record  
  • future-proofing investments via extensible applications
  • avoiding the rip-and-replace approach to expensive capital projects

AIM: Tell us about the data and cybersecurity measures at Honeywell

Ashish Gaikwad: Honeywell was one of the first organisations to recognise the need and importance of Industrial Cybersecurity. We started developing a comprehensive portfolio of products, solutions, and services a few years ago. Honeywell released a report based on a survey of business leaders in India recently. As per the study, industrial cybersecurity breaches are damaging organisations and impacting their bottom line and reputation. Nearly half of the affected enterprises had their operations suspended for a period after they suffered the breach.

We have developed a three-pronged strategy to help our customers fortify against cyber-attacks. 

  • The first is to collaborate with the industry ecosystem — from other technology providers and integrators to end-users and government agencies — to build awareness, provide education, share best practices, and accelerate the development and adoption of cybersecurity. 
  • The second is through creating and acquiring new technologies. In mid-2017 we acquired cybersecurity and remote monitoring company Nextnine with around 6,200 clients in the oil and gas, chemical, utility, manufacturing, and mining sectors. The acquisition also helped us increase the cybersecurity quotient within our organisation. We have bundled Nextnine’s flagship system into our existing cybersecurity offerings as part of the Honeywell Connected Plant initiative.
  • The third is by creating industrial cybersecurity centers of excellence (CoE). These CoEs are strategically located. We opened the first cybersecurity center in Atlanta, USA. This was followed by a security center in Dubai serving customers in the Middle East and Europe. And the third is based out of Singapore that covers customers in Asia. All these CoEs are designed to help defend industrial manufacturers against evolving security threats.

AIM: Give us a glimpse into Honeywell’s roadmap for the future

Ashish Gaikwad: I would like to share our ‘Vision for Industrial Solutions’, which entail the following objectives:

  • Everything is always connected with everything else
  • Operations run from anywhere – bringing work to the person and not the person to work 
  • Cybersecurity on top of the Industrial Assets that is impregnable 
  • Every day – the best production day, and every employee an ‘expert’ – using AI/ML and other tools

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