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29/3/2015 AutomationBasics:HARTmakestroubleshootingeasyISA

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HomeISAPublicationsInTechMagazine2012/MarAprAutomationBasics:HARTmakestroubleshootingeasy

March/April 2012
Automation Basics
HART makes troubleshooting easy
Frompredictivemaintenancetoremotediagnostics,discoverhoweasyitcanbetomakeHARTworkforyou

By Shannon Foos and Brian Root


BasedonthesametechnologyusedtodevelopCallerID,theHARTProtocolwasdevelopedinthemid1980sforusewithfieldinstrumentation.Justlikethoseansweringthephone
soughtawaytoidentifycallers,manufacturersalsosoughtidentificationinformationaboutthedeviceconnectedontheotherendofthewire.Plantengineersalsowantedsmartfield
instrumentsthatallowedthemtomoveawayfromhandhelddevicesandinsteadquicklyidentifyproblematicconditionsfromthecontrolroom.

HARThistory

Theabilitytoremotelymanageassetshelpeddrivetheinitialadoptionofsmartinstrumentation,butsupportslowedasthetechnologyarrivedatatimewhenknowledgeableplant
personnelwereretiringinwaves.Manyplantmanagersinitiallythoughtincreasedintelligencecapabilitiescouldhelpmitigatethebraindrain.Buttheysoonfoundinstallingnew
knowledgemanagementsystemsbecametoobigofaprojectwhenunderstaffed,andmanyoptedtotrainnewemployeesinstead.

Now,today'snewgenerationofdatasavvyengineerswantanotherchanceatgainingmanufacturingintelligencefromfieldinstrumentation.Inaddition,plantmanagershavecost
constraintpressuresfromglobalcompetitionandneedsystemstobecomemoreefficientandimproveproductivity.TheseengineersarefindingHARTisoneofthesimplestwaysto
takeadvantageoftheincreasedintelligenceinprocessinstrumentation.

Nolongerisitnecessaryformaintenanceengineerstotraveltothefieldtoaccessdeviceinformationforfirstleveltroubleshootingandthenmakeasecondtriptothedevicewiththe
necessarytoolsorreplacementparts.Whenaninstrumentfaults,operatorscanidentifythesourceoffailureimmediatelyandeasilydistinguishbetweenafailurethatisprocess
related(suchasanemptypipe),installationrelated(suchasaloosewire),orafailurethatrequiresdevicereplacement.ThisismadepossiblebyHART'sabilitytocollectinstrument
dataintoahostsystem.Andinmanycases,operatorscanutilizeHARTtoproactivelytroubleshootmalfunctionsbeforetheybringanentiremachinedown.

HowHARTworks

HighwayAccessibleRemoteTransducerProtocol,orHARTProtocol,isaglobalstandardforcommunicatingdigitalinformationacrossanalogwiresthatconnectasmartfielddevice
andacontrolormonitoringsystem.Communicationoccursusingstandardinstrumentationgradewireandusingstandardwiringandterminationpractices.HARTprovidestwo
simultaneouscommunicationchannelsthroughthe420mAsignalthatcommunicatestheprimarymeasuredvalueandthedigitalsignalthatcommunicatesmoredetailed
informationsuchasdevicestatus,diagnostics,andadditionalmeasuredvalues.

HARTdataisorganizedintothreedifferentclassificationsuniversal,commonpractice,anddevicespecific.AlldevicesusingHARTProtocolmustrecognizeandsupportthe
universalcommands,asuniversalcommandsprovideaccesstoinformationusefulinnormaloperations.Examplesofuniversalcommandsincludereadprimaryvariablesandunits,
readmanufactureranddevicetype,readcurrentoutputandpercentofrange,andreadsensorserialnumberandlimits.

Commonpracticecommandsprovidefunctionsimplementedbymany,butnotnecessarilyall,HARTcommunicationdevices.TheHARTspecificationsrecommenddevicesto
supportthesecommandswhenapplicable.Examplesofcommonpracticecommandsincludereadaselectionofuptofourdynamicvariables,writedampingtimeconstant,write
transmitterrange,andsetfixedoutputcurrentandperformselftest.

Devicespecificcommandsrepresentfunctionsuniquetoeachfielddevice.Thesecommandsaccesssetupandcalibrationinformation,aswellasinformationabouttheconstruction
ofthedevice.Informationondevicespecificcommandsisavailablefromdevicemanufacturers.Examplesofdevicespecificcommandsincludereadorwritesensortype,start,stop
orcleartotalizer,andreadorwritealarmrelaysetpoint.

Whetheroutinthefieldorsittinginthecontrolroom,HARTarchitectureallowsengineersandoperatorstocollectdatausingavarietyofdifferenthostsystems.Fromahandheld
deviceorlaptop,toaplant'sprocesscontrolplatformorassetmanagementsystem,engineersandoperatorscanquicklycollectdatainwhicheversoftwareapplicationismost
appropriatefortheirneeds.Whencollectingdatafromsmartinstruments,HARTenablesavarietyofhostapplicationstoprovidestatusinformationthatnotonlyindicatesthe
measurementvalue,butthequalityofthatmeasurementaswell.

Becausealargemajorityoftoday'sautomationnetworksarestillbasedontraditional420mAanalogwiring,HARTtechnologyservesacrucialrolebyaddingvaluabledigital
informationtothe420mAsignal.Luckily,themajorityofsmartfielddevicesinstalledtodayarealreadyHARTenabled,allowinguserstoeasily"upgrade"tomoreinformationfrom
thesamedevice,oncetheautomationsystemarchitectureisHARTenabled.

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29/3/2015 AutomationBasics:HARTmakestroubleshootingeasyISA

TroubleshootingwithHART

Fromincreasingplantavailabilitytoimprovingregulatorycompliance,HART'sabilitytoprovideengineerswithquickandeasyvisibilityintodeviceshasavarietyofbenefits.Oneof
themaintroubleshootingadvantagesisHART'sabilitytodecreasethetimeittakestoidentifyandresolveproblems.Thisnotonlyreducesmaintenancecosts,butitcanimprove
safetyformanyindustrieswherethemostdangerouspartofthejobisventuringintothefieldtocheckonadevice.

HARTspeedstroubleshootinginavarietyofways,startingbyreducingtheneedforoperatorsandengineerstocrosstabulateinformation.BecauseHARTbridgesanaloganddigital
data,itprovidesplantpersonnelwiththeabilitytoconsistentlycheckalarms.Forexample,anoperatorreactingtoanalarmcanconfirmthefault'slegitimacybyensuringtheanalog
anddigitalvaluesmatch.Thisnegatestheneedfortheoperatortolookforafaultytransmitteroranyotherhiddencausesthatmighttriggerthesamealarm.Thisconsistencycheckis
asimplewayforplantpersonneltoconfirmtheyareseeingtheentirepicturewhenanalyzingafault.

Forissuesrelatedtotheprocessandnottheinstrumentation,gainingaclearpictureupfrontsavestimeandallowstheappropriatepersonneltoaddresstheissuesooner.For
example,plantoperatorsnoticeanerraticflowmeterreadingandnotifytheinstrumentationteam.Beforetheinstrumentationteamheadstothefield,theylookatthediagnosticsand
noticean"EmptyPipe"condition.Ratherthangoingdirectlytothefield,theinstrumentationteamengagestheprocessengineerstoassistindeterminingwhatiscausingthelackof
flow.

Intheeventthatamaintenanceengineermusttravelintothefieldtoaddressafault,gainingaclearerpictureupfrontallowsforproactivetroubleshooting.Armedwithinformationthat
accuratelytellsengineerswhatiswrongwithaninstrument,theycangatherallnecessarytoolsandsparepartsbeforeheadingintothefield.Thisultimatelyhelpssavetimeand
moneyandassistswithsafetyforengineersastheyarenotenteringpotentiallydangerousfieldsettingsmoreoftenthannecessary.

Insomesituations,engineersonlyneedtoknowwhethertobringatoolbeltorareplacementdeviceintothefield.The"sensoropencircuit"diagnostic,forexample,simplyrequiresa
screwdriver,ultimatelysavingtheengineertimefromgatheringunnecessarytoolsandreplacementdevices.

Tofurtheraidtroubleshooting,today'sHARTusersleveragethetechnologytohelpbringmeaningfuldatatotheoperatorscreen.Ratherthanasetofnumberspoppinguponthe
HMIwhenanalarmistriggered,advancedHARTimplementationsfromsupplierscanshowadetaileddescriptionofwhatiscausingtheproblem.Therefore,thereisnoneedfor
operatorstocrossreferenceanalarmcodewithafaultlistinordertounderstandwhattheproblemmightbe,whichinturnsavestimeincriticalsituationswhereeverysecondcounts.

HARTtodayandtomorrow

PlantsaroundtheworldcontinuechoosingHARTcommunicationbecauseofitseasyintegrationwithsmartinstrumentation,featurerichofferings,andcostsavingadvantages.
Thesebenefitswillonlybeenhancedasdeviceintegrationandassetmanagementtechnologiescontinuetoflourish.ThankstoitsflexibilityandcontinuousupdatesthatkeepHART
protocolinlinewiththelatestinstrumentationupdates,itissafetoexpectHARTwillremainasignificantcommunicationstechnologyforyearstocome.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS


ShannonR.Foos,P.E.(srfoos@ra.rockwell.com),SegmentManagerwiththeInformationSoftwareandProcessBusinessatRockwellAutomationInc.,hasmorethan15yearsof
experienceinprocessautomation.BrianR.Root(brroot@ra.rockwell.com),SeniorApplicationEngineerwiththeInformationSoftwareandProcessBusinessatRockwellAutomation
Inc.,hasmorethan20yearsofexperienceintheindustrialandprocesscontrolsindustry.

Why smart instruments?


Instrumentationvendorsarechangingtheplayingfield.Alldigitalfielddevicesprovide:

Increasedresolutionandaccuracy
Remoteconfiguration
Better/remotediagnostics
Automaticandremotereconfiguration
Moreinformationaboutthedeviceandtheprocess

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29/3/2015 AutomationBasics:HARTmakestroubleshootingeasyISA
Smartinstrumentationusersreceivethebestofbothworlds:

Theanalogsignalprovidescompatibilityandspeedoftheprimarymeasurementvariable.
Thedigitalsignalsuperimposedontheanalogwaveprovidesbidirectionalcommunicationofdiagnosticandmultivariableinformationtransferred.

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