We have the following dilemma with our Honeywell's Total Plant Solution (TPS) system...
The system was commissioned in Year 2000. It's working pefectly well till date. No issues... Now the problem is that the GUS stations have begun to show failures. We have in all four GUS stations... Two of them have already failed. Talked to Honeywell and they say that GUS is no longer supported since Dell has stopped making GX1 Optiplex Model PCs. Honeywell's TPS software runs ONLY on Dell GX1 Optiplex Machines. Upgraded Dell Machines are no longer compatible with Honeywell's TPS.
Honeywell's suggestion is to go for a EST/ESVT replacement for the two GUS stations which are currently down... The price?? A whooping 4.5 Million Indian Rupees (Roughly a USD 100,000)... A few thousands worth of PC can lead to such a crushing outcome???
Any suggestions or solutions that may be cheaper and compatible are welcome...
We could probably help you out with spares. Please contact my colleague Johann Nemetz:
5073 Tilly Mill Rd
Dunwoody GA, 30338
phone +1 770 986 9018
Fax +1 770 986 9019
mobil +1 678 707 2709
Joe @ nauticview. com
What type of failure are you experiencing?
You should be able to get replacement parts for the Dell whcih are compatible or buy an equivalent PC. Using the LCN-P in any model Dell computer should work as long as there is sufficent space for the LCN-P card.
I would suggest getting an old tower computer of 2-3 year age and placing the LCN-P card into the computer.
Thank you all for the responses...
The failures are related to PC ONLY... (in all cases, it was the PII processor and once a RAM module needed replacement) None with the Honeywell Hardware. And that is our "grudge" too... That hardware that really "doesn't matter" (a PC for viewing) warrants such a huge investment whereas the Robust Honeywell Hardware which really matters is quite up and running and even the support they claim is available, provided the Dell Support for GX1 Optiplex is available...!!!!!
The LCNP card in our system fits in a ISA slot of GX1 Optiplex. The Pentium-II based, Dell GX1 Optiplex model PCs don't have ISA slots directly on the Motherboard. Hence they have provided a "Riser Card" (It fits in a special slot of the Motherboard) that has three ISA slots and Three PCI slots. The LCNP card fits in the ISA slot of this Riser Card.
Dell customer service support centre says that they dont have an equivalent of GX1 Optiplex PC... GX1s are upgraded to GX200-300, etc., which are P4 based, probably. Now these PCs don't have an ISA slot... And Honeywell seems unwilling to commit supporting a LCNP hardware with these upgraded Dell PCs.
An equivalent PC of any other model, except Dell, works with the LCNP card, partially... One can see the Native window, etc., but it doesn't support GUS Graphics/GUS display builder, so effectively it's useless. Plus Honeywell guys say that such a practice might be risky as it can lead to damaging the LCNP card....(????....????....????)
The bottom line is that Dell doesn't support spares for GX1 Optiplex. Honeywell has LCNP hardware and is "willing" to support it ONLY on Dell GX1 Optiplex... The midway solution still looks far-away...
Nonetheless, I am thankful for your inputs... Looking forward to more suggestions, if any...
Have you tested it with a different PC of the same clock rate? Some software was written in a way which makes it sensitive to the speed of the computer, especially when communicating to a plug-in board.
As for getting another Dell GX1 Optiplex PC, try a used computer dealer or an auction site such as E-bay. Dell's main market has been large companies and government departments, so you may find someone selling off a large stock of old computers cheaply. A quick look on E-bay shows a number of them being sold off very cheaply. If you decide to buy used equipment, I suggest getting enough spares to last you a while.
I would expect there are thousands of that model
someplace. So, if you can't upgrade, lay in some
spares. They should be very reasonable when you
find them. And not having Dell support borders on
being a good thing. A little Google work and a few
bucks and you should have plenty of time to work
out the next step.
I agree with John's reply, you should be able to get Dell parts for what ever part is faulty. As a last resort, you might want to also check out Honeywell's Evergreen Group. They usually have used parts they buy from customers that have upgraded.
It is not exactly true that you need to use Dell Optiplex PC's to run the Honeywell software - if you use something else it won't be "supported" by Honeywell. You may have to spend some time resolving BIOS settings for interrupts and other issues, but that shouldn't be a major problem.
(ITOX motherboard G4E620-B-G for example)
What you need is a case that will handle a "long" card for the LCNP, a motherboard with an ISA slot for the IKB card (assuming you use one).
Think there's a newer version of the GUS hardware that uses a PCI interface for the keyboard so ISA might not be an issue for you.
Does it mean it is possible to use other third-party software or are the specs of the LCNP available? The idea would be to plug it into a Linux box and write up a simple gateway using, say, Modbus TCP/IP. We have a Linux based NMPC system and such simple gateway could eliminate the OPC over DCOM hindrance. Oh, yes, I am aware of the OPC UA specs, too.
IPN, Rua Pedro Nunes
The statement "Honeywell's TPS software runs ONLY on Dell GX1 Optiplex Machines." is simply not true. I know personally of a reasonably robust application running on a Dell Precision 380 Workstation (Win2k O/S). I suspect that many different PCs could serve as GUS. The issue you may have if you explore these alternatives may be whether or not Honeywell would support a machine running on 'alternative' hardware.
Qualifier: I work for Emerson Process Management, as a Migration Consultant assisting users transition from Honeywell to Emerson's DeltaV.
This is NOT intended as a sales pitch (I'm not a salesman), but it is a reasonable technical solution to your existing concern (since you asked...). Emerson has a solution called "DeltaV Connect(TM) Solution for Honeywell(R) Systems". It is not endorsed or supported by Honeywell(R).
This solution connects DeltaV(TM) directly on the network and can replace the failed GUS stations with DeltaV operator stations without completely overhauling your existing installation. Then, you can add DeltaV controllers phased in over time to expand or make additions to your system or to replace other failed equipment.
And this solution does not require any update to the existing Honeywell software revision, which you would have to do for EST/ESVT (forcing you to move up to R660). Emerson's solution works on any R5xx or R6xx release, without changing the NCF or incurring any shutdown of nodes from that NCF change.
You can find more information here:
I would love to see a working example of this. In my previous role our management decided to replace some of the Honeywell stations with Emerson's PlantWeb as the Emerson bid was cheaper than the Honeywell upgrade route. This was a decision they later came to regret. The upgrade turned out to be an expensive nightmare. The basic operations work ok but the essential stuff that can be done with the proper equipment just isn't there.
We are a Honeywell ISA contract customer so I may be seeing things "behind the scenes". As has been stated, Honeywell has an upgrade solution for TPS GUS nodes including Dell PE1600SC, PE1800 and WS360. It is true that Dell updates their hardware frequently but you can still even get GX1 from Honeywell (I checked yesterday).
We are also facing the same problem. Honeywell vendors here say Dell has stopped production of GX1 and TPS will not run on anything except Dell GX1 Optiplex.
Pls suggest a location/contact in Honeywell from where GX1 machine with complete LCNP4 hardware can be procured.
Actually, the problem was Microsoft. They told PC manufacturers that Windows would no longer support ISA slots on motherboards.
We have a limited supply of Optiplex GX1 computers available for sale, along with many other obsolete Honeywell parts. We are ex-Honeywell employees and can be contacted through our websites -
In response to tommy's post...
The Honeywell installed Dell GX1 computers do NOT have the standard Dell BIOS, Honeywell GX1 models have a special Honeywell BIOS burned in.
We also have that BIOS in our machines.
Also, depending on the application, because Honeywell uses products across the corporate divisional lines, (Plantscape or Experion being called EBI or SymmetrE in a different market), you may have to be aware of the UL listing requirements in some facilities.
TPS and GUS are still fully supported products. GUS is available for use on Windows XP and on the latest Dell platforms. Latest platform is T5400 which succeeds the Dell 470 and 490 platforms. Your account manager should be able to provide you with details as to how to order the hardware and/or software upgrade to get on a release compatible for Windows XP (to avoid W2K obsolesence). The Honeywell Technical Assistance Center can also help provide some advice.
Good morning ...
i have a problem with our GUS. why the integrated keyboard not function for my factory setting, but IKB board and LCNP still WORKING Good..
TPS is fully supported product and dell 360, 370, 470 and 490 and t5400 machine is supporting all tps gus application with both type of lcnp4 card.
GUS machine which work on GX1 or GX200 worked well till 9 years of continuous operation. Congrats. Cuz they are COTS hardware, what more do u expect? And if this is an Indian installation that you are talking about, it is an outstanding performance where you cannot get rid of dust, moisture, heat etc though you have AC.
Further for the ESVT/EST upgrade:
- With the new h/w of PCs u will get a LCN upgrade with new features. Ask honeywell for benefits of LCN release upgrade to the latest R680.
- You will get Experion PKS software of R3XX, which is ready to integrate with their next generation C200/C300. So your TPS and latest EPKS can co-exist.
- If u wish to upgrade from TPS, all u need is C300, cuz it very well works with your existing PMIO (Process Mgr family I/O ). Easy migration without touching I/Os or marshaling.
- Better MIS integration compared to the LCN based CG.
- Better APC integration compared to LCN based APP
- Limitless historization of process data and events on ESVT compared to your HM which does not have archiving. ESVT can archive data and u may keep it as long as you want.
- Windows based system which is truly open, you get excel reports!
- Ur modbus based 3rd party equipment needs no h/w practically as your ESVT will take care of all 3rd party comms.
- HTML Graphics. easy to build, troubleshoot and modify in ESVT/EST compared to LCN graphics.
In short, by going to ESVT/EST you are actually taking a step ahead towards your system migration since TPS is phasing out.
Your step-wise migration will save you bucks instead of one shot migration at a later stage.
Moreover, from the operator's purview your LCN native window and EPKS windows graphics will co-exist giving them a chance to get acquainted. It will give you a smooth timely transition from TPS to EPKS.
GO FOR IT.
I have created Acronis backup of the GUS station, purchased a DELL computer with PCI slot and restored the Acronis image (Universal restore) turn on the new DELL computer, make sure all the drivers are working. Then shutdown the new DELL computer, insert the LCNP card and restart the machine. Everything worked fine. Honeywell used to tell me that the DELL computers have special BIOS and backup and restore won't work. I proved them wrong.
I have been told the same thing about GUS stations by a coworker. I haven't tried it yet, but intend to soon. I have 4 GUS stations and an extra LCNP card.
>I have created Acronis backup of the GUS station, purchased
>a DELL computer with PCI slot and restored the Acronis image
>(Universal restore) turn on the new DELL computer, make sure
>all the drivers are working. Then shutdown the new DELL
>computer, insert the LCNP card and restart the machine.
>Everything worked fine. Honeywell used to tell me that the
>DELL computers have special BIOS and backup and restore
>won't work. I proved them wrong.