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HART – Unlocking the Value of Data

Nov. 10, 2014
WirelessHART and Now HART-IP Deliver HART Data at the Speed of Ethernet
Ted Masters, President and CEO HART Communication FoundationHART technology continues to flourish worldwide in the digital age as reflected by our membership growth and increased number of registered devices. Now more than 320 members make up the HART eco-system in the process automation industry. Registration of HART products has doubled over last year, which further confirms adoption by our users as they demand products they can count on to take full advantage of the technical capability and interoperability of the HART Protocol.

Contributing to the growth are the powerful advances in the technology, which open new markets and help users share data in new places. WirelessHART is the first interoperable wireless communication standard for the process industries, and now HART-IP delivers HART data at the speed of Ethernet to enable ease of putting large amounts of data in the hands of decision makers within the enterprise.

More than 50% of respondents to a recent Control magazine survey report that they either have or will have wireless communication installed and running at their facility, with the majority of them using WirelessHART technology.  They see the cost benefits of using wireless to add new measurements quickly to comply with ever-changing safety, regulatory and operational improvements requirements, as well as to provide access to intelligent device data and analytics.

Also Read: Wired AND Wireless: What YOU Can Do With HART

Both of these HART Protocol capabilities are featured in this supplement with supporting documentation of their value to users through their own words and application stories. Here are real-world examples of the substantial and positive impact that HART technology has on plant reliability as well as improved maintenance and plant operations. In addition, Dow Chemical, the 2013 HART Plant of the Year Award recipient, tells its experience creating an asset management program that uses information from HART-enabled devices to significantly improve plant reliability and reduce unplanned shutdowns. Yet the technology alone is not the driver of the value. It merely enables actionable data to get in the right hands of people making decisions. In the age of digital intelligence and big data, the integration of this data and visualization in context with the assets and operation enables better decisions to be made. To meet this goal we need to collaborate with other technology providers and member solutions to deliver actionable intelligence to the user to integrate across the enterprise.

As we move ahead, we have a great opportunity to unify technologies and continue to improve how we deliver and integrate this valuable information to the user.  A landmark step toward this unification has recently been accomplished with the approval of our members to create the new entity, FieldComm Group.

FieldComm Group will include technologies from HART, Foundation Fieldbus and FDI, and not only will support and build on these technologies individually, but also will harmonize global standards and integration strategies for the future. Working cooperatively with industry leading organizations, FieldComm Group will provide a strategic service to the industry for years to come.

FieldComm Group is an unprecedented opportunity to leverage the best available technologies and develop a single future vision for the process automation industry worldwide. I have the privilege of leading this new organization and am excited about the opportunity to work together with distinguished leaders and technologies around the globe to integrate valuable process intelligence from devices to improve the operations of our users.

As we move ahead, there is much more value to be derived from data and improvement in ways to capture it, and this will be our primary goal. I hope you appreciate the real-life experiences within this supplement and the technological enhancements provided by our member companies to encourage and excite you about the possibilities for the future.

For more on HART®, WirelessHART® and HART-IP ™ go to www.hartcomm.org.

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