ARC says HART is still smart

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 new ARC (ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, Mass.) market survey, sponsored by the HART Communications Foundation, Austin, Tex., recently investigated communication protocol plans of global users working in knowledgeable positions across the automation industry. Survey results corroborated long-term mass adoption trends of HART-enabled control systems and instrumentation.

More than three-quarters of respondents consider the HART Protocol important when selecting products. Nearly 70% expect to maintain or increase their HART investments over the next 12 months.

The majority of respondents believe HART will be important as they evaluate process instrumentation over the next five years. Survey results also indicate the largest growth for HART devices will be in final control elements and HART- enabled DCS/PLC systems. This equates to increasing demand for HART support and training from DCS, PLC and control valve suppliers.

“The survey clearly shows continued market support for existing communication technology which bodes well for the future longevity of HART,” says ARC’s Director of Field Systems Wil Chin (“ARC Insights”Dec. ’04 p22). “This should be a clear signal to suppliers to expand HART solutions to match users’ needs.”

Chin recommends suppliers enhance their products, increase their knowledge base, and educate users on the benefits in their HART-enabled devices. Chin recommends users investigate the hidden benefits of HART technology and determine how HART can improve the productivity of their plant.

Chin also notes that both suppliers and users can benefit from becoming members of the HCF.

“HCF membership is open to anyone interested in the use of the HART technology,” says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson. “HCF members have access to all HCF resources, technical information and programs to expand their knowledge and maximize HART smart instrumentation investments.”

The HCF recently initiated the HART User Associate Membership Program, which is applicable for businesses that use products based on the HART Protocol, including end user and system integrator sites, non-profit government agencies, universities, colleges and technical training schools.

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