Chuck Micallef, FDT Group.
Why Integrate Smart Device Information?
Smart measurement devices provide a host of measurement, process and device diagnostic information. Yes, they deliver the process variable (PV) to the control system, but they can also provide valuable process and device status information. The information for these intelligent devices can help to:
- Identify a problem before it escalates to a possible shutdown,
- Move from a scheduled to condition-based maintenance strategy,
- Reduce the time of an outage by working on only the real problems,
- Improve product quality and reduce waste,
- Reduce the time from problem identification to problem resolution,
- Provide additional measurement and device status information from a single device,
- And much more.
The best way to learn about the valuable information in your smart devices is to ask your device suppliers and review the product's features. You will be surprised to learn how the intelligent information in your installed measurement devices can lower maintenance costs and improve productivity, saving you money!
But what is the best way to manage these smart devices? It is clear that users need a solution that is flexible, reliable, well-supported, easy to use, low-cost and applies to small and large applications in both the process and factory automation. That is way many of the leading measurement and control suppliers have FDT Technology solutions that meet all of these requirements.
What is a DTM?
The DTM runs in a device configuration application that provides a "window" into the device, independent of communication protocol and application/system supplier. Running on a PC, the DTM and the window application provide a clear and graphic information about the status, measurements, health and troubleshooting of a device using simple, easy-to-read drop-down menus, wizards, trends, graphs and other diagnostic tools.
Smart DTM Device Integration Benefits
There are many benefits to using the device DTM as part of your asset management strategy including:
- Getting proactive—rather than reactive—with your maintenance
- Reducing the time to diagnose a problem, avoiding a bigger problem,
- Identifying work that can be done before a shutdown,
- Avoiding unscheduled shutdowns and reduce the time during a shutdown,
- Lowering your maintenance and operations costs by using one universal tool.
Where Do I Get Smart Device DTMs?
The FDT-certified product catalog is available in "search and find" format for DTMs on the FDT Website. Or visit your device supplier's website and download the appropriate DTM. The DTM will then need to be uploaded to the specific "window" application you are using for device configuration and commissioning. Many of the devices you use today probably have a DTM – just ask for it!
By using the DTM for your device configuration and management, you become supplier-, protocol- and control system-independent. So when it comes to getting smart with your smart devices, the DTM can be your best solution. For more information on DTMs, please visit www.fdtgroup.org.
To learn more, please check out the FDT YouTube video on "What is a DTM?"