Build Out Continues for SmartLine Instrument Platform

Temperature Transmitters Now Shipping; Guided Wave Radar Release Planned for Late 2014

By Keith Larson

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Honeywell Process Solutions continues to invest in its field instrument portfolio, announcing several new products and development milestones this week at its Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. First unveiled as a major revamp of the company's pressure transmitter family at the company's 2012 HUG gathering in Istanbul, the company's SmartLine temperature transmitters are now shipping, and guided wave radar is next on the horizon, said Don Maness, Honeywell vice president for field products.

"SmartLine is more than a product family; it's also a platform for future instrumentation development," Maness said. "SmartLine temperature transmitters are shipping today, and we expect to release SmartLine guided wave radar in the fourth quarter of 2014." Further, SmartLine will be the platform for future analytical, flow and other instrumentation releases, Maness said.

SmartLine temperature transmitters continue to build on the platform's central tenets of industry-leading performance, differentiated system features when integrated with Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS), and lowest total cost of ownership. "SmartLine helps reduce project costs and start-up time, avoid unplanned downtime, improve product quality and shorten time to repair," Maness said.

Differentiated Features

For example, SmartLine temperature transmitters feature two sensor inputs for added flexibility. "You can measure two different temperatures, use one as a hot standby or use them both across different ranges to boost accuracy of a single measurement," explained Jason Urso, chief technology officer, Honeywell Process Solutions. Like the SmartLine series of pressure transmitters introduced in 2012, SmartLine temperature transmitters are field-repairable, combining a modular design and enhanced communication abilities intended to improve operational efficiency and reduce lifecycle costs.

"Companies today are trying to do more with fewer experts," Maness said. "The SmartLine platform makes employees more efficient with the ability to use the display to communicate with field personnel. In addition, with the modular design, employees can use similar parts between both pressure and temperature models, making it faster and easier to change a part or upgrade the devices."

SmartLine units include an advanced, intuitive user interface that "lets you see your process the way you want," Urso continued. Process trends are displayed graphically, and formerly inscrutable error codes now are displayed as literal messages to guide field technicians in their work. A three-button interface allows speedy interaction and configuration without a handheld, and the transmitter even automatically corrects for polarity installation errors that can derail start-up and maintenance processes. "It operates correctly regardless of how you've wired it," Urso explained.

Honeywell SmartLine transmitters make it easier to support field devices and promote plant reliability with their unique efficiency-enhancing features, said Maness. These communication capabilities are part of the transmitter's Smart Connection Suite, and allow control room operators to send messages to the display to make it easier and faster for field operators to identify the correct transmitter and determine required maintenance tasks.

And while designed to work with any HART-based host system, unique messaging and maintenance mode indications are available when SmartLine transmitters are used in conjunction with Honeywell's Experion PKS automation platform. Local maintenance mode indication, for example, tells field operators if the control loop is in a safe state to perform maintenance.

SmartLine Only the Beginning

"Honeywell introduced the first industrial smart transmitter in 1983 and has since supplied millions of smart transmitters around the world," Maness said. "To build on this legacy, our latest generation was designed with input from our customers and distributors to provide the lowest total cost of ownership at every point in the project lifecycle. SmartLine helps customers' operations be more efficient, their processes more accurate and their plant more reliable."

The continued build-out of field device capabilities is one of a very short list of key strategic priorities for Honeywell Process Solutions, averred Vimal Kapur, president, Honeywell Process Solutions in his HUG Americas keynote address. "Investing in field instruments in the right thing to do and will only accelerate in the future," Kapur promised. "The journey has just begun."