Safety Instrumented Systems

Trebing + Himstedt and FDT Combine to Provide Complete Network Visibility

The THLink Network Adapter Himstedt Provides Visibility to Not Only Network Health, But Also Gives Operators the Ability to Troubleshoot Device Alarms from the Control Room

By Victor Wolowec

The manufacturing landscape is covered with industrial networks that pass information from devices such as sensors to controllers and back to other devices on the manufacturing floor. Keeping those networks healthy and operating at their optimum level is crucial to produce quality product on spec and on time. When networks and devices are not healthy, costs go up and quality goes down.

But how do you get full-time visibility of a network that consists of multiple devices and components easily? Is it possible to have information all in one place that is easily readable that could predict and potentially prevent costly unscheduled downtimes? Is it possible to know exactly the device problem before ever stepping onto the manufacturing floor? Using FDT Technology, Trebing + Himstedt provides visibility to not only network health, but also gives operators the ability to troubleshoot device alarms from the control room, with vital information for quick and efficient diagnosing of device problems enabling their quick repair and resolution.

Trebing + Himstedt's THLink network adapter does two jobs in one. With the embedded THScope software accessible via the on-board web server, the THLink gives full view to network diagnostics (Fig 1), showing events such as faults, lost packets and network bandwidth (Fig 2).

THScope can give trend indications of network occurrences (Fig 3), which can be precursors to device failures or even complete network failures.

In some cases, network devices fail without showing any symptoms prior to the failure. In this case, once a network event is detected (Fig 4), it is still difficult to know why that device is showing diagnostics. 

Knowing what is specifically wrong with the device is critical for swift and accurate resolution of the problem to bring the system back up and running again. The THLink will notify you that there is some sort of alarm being reported. Notification of this alarm could also be emailed to you from the THScope software, but to understand the cause of the alarm, you would need access into the digital diagnostics data of the device.

The second job that the THLink can do is become an FDT network adapter allowing access to digital data stored inside any FDT-enabled device on the network. Getting access to this data is as simple as activating any FDT frame application (Fig 5), such as Pactware, Fieldcare or others, and viewing the on-board data to determine the cause of the message.

Figure 4
Fig 4 –THLink/THScope shows which
device has an alarm.
Figure 5
Fig 5 – Endress + Hauser's Frame
Application, “Fieldcare,” displays
device-specific data.

Having DTMs that are produced by each device manufacturer gives you quick and precise information specific to that device. This allows the operator to be prepared to take care of the problem before ever stepping foot on the manufacturing floor.

In summary, the THLink can give quick and easy views of network health and also provide the FDT gateway function to access device-specific conditions. Having these two views, the operator has full access to all network and device information, enabling him and his maintenance staff to predict and prevent network downtimes, saving significant time and money.

Visit the Trebing + Himstedt website to see the full range of solutions to maintain the health of industrial networks and devices. Contact us at if you need more information or would like to be contacted by somebody in our sales department.