Though data on the HART/IP protocol is still difficult to come by – unless you want to shell out a membership or purchase the specifications for just under $1000. The need for the HART/IP protocol was for the backhaul network between WirelessHart gateways and the control system to provide access to the configuration and diagnostics information in the underlying WirelessHart transmitters, not just the process variable in a single environment. Until the HART/IP gateways are available and the protocol is ported to the associated Control systems, Users will continue to have to map parameters to other protocols such as Modbus/TCP or Ethernet/IP via the gateway access point.
HART/IP uses standard Ethernet hardware it therefore makes the HART network including the WirelessHart devices compatible with commercial and industrial grade LAN switches, fiber optic media converters, Wi-Fi access points, and related equipment.
Because the application layer is the same for HART field devices and HART/IP, time consuming and error- prone data mapping is eliminated thus making HART/IP is the backhaul network best suited for WirelessHART gateways and 4-20 mA/Hart multiplexers.
Just like USB and Ethernet complement each other on a computer the fieldbuses and their associated Ethernet network layers complement each other in the control system.
Other additions to the protocol ‘in response to User requests’ announced at the same time include:
Condensed Device Status Indicators – providing standardized support for NAMUR NE107 diagnostics.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) - additional standardized commands to support NAMUR NE124 for network health and reliability data.
Discrete Functionality - support of several types of discrete and “on/off” type devices with diagnostics.
Infrared Device Access –for device configuration and maintenance.
Like all protocols, HART is not standing still and of course with FDI in the future of all DD based protocols there will be more news on the horizon.