Management of intelligent measurement devices doesn't have to be difficult or complicated. When you use the right tool, it becomes a lot easier to deal with devices from multiple suppliers and with multiple field communication protocols. FDT Technology is such a tool.
Think of a Frame Application as similar to your favorite Internet browser. By using a common browser — like Internet Explorer, Google or FireFox — you can access different websites provided by many companies. On each website, you find information and tools of all types, depending on what the website owners want you to know and see. In the case of FDT Technology, the Frame Application is the browser and the website is the device DTM. One single Frame can support many different DTMs from many different suppliers of many different device and measurement types, eliminating multiple or proprietary software tools. The Frame can be embedded as part of a DCS, PLC, asset management tool or can be a stand-alone application.
Chances are good that your current automation or host suppliers may offer a Frame Application to provide the "view" into your devices. Suppliers create and offer DTMs to work in all FDT-compliant Frames because they want to offer the most powerful device configuration and diagnostic tool possible so you get the most value from their device.
Now, using this standard toolset, the intelligent field device provides early warnings of device or process problems — the check engine light — that you can view using a Frame. And since this technology is protocol independent, it works with HART, FF, Profibus, DeviceNet, Profinet and many other automation protocols.
By using a device configuration and management Frame Application you can:
- Reduce device configuration and loop-check time,
- Lower risk because Frames work with current installed devices and systems and can be incrementally implemented,
- Standardize the work process over multiple device types from multiple suppliers,
- Prevent unscheduled shutdowns by checking device diagnostics and status,
- Shrink outage time by doing only necessary work and repairs, and
- Move from a scheduled to predictive maintenance strategy— lowering your maintenance and operating costs.
Getting a Frame Application and DTMs is easy. In fact, your current system might be FDT enabled already! Contact your automation suppliers and you might be surprised how fast you can get started. Or, visit http://www.fdtgroup.org/product-catalog/certified-dtms for more information and a list of available certified Frames and DTMs.
So the next time you want to see if the "Check Engine" light is on in a measurement device, don't grab your hard hat, handheld and tool belt. Just change the view! Save time and reduce errors by using the diagnostics and device information sitting in your intelligent devices. Start using a FDT Frame Application and change the view!