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HART in the Real World

In today's competitive environment, everyone wants to find ways that can help
reduce operational costs, deliver products rapidly, and improve quality. The
HART Protocol directly contributes to these business goals by providing cost
savings in:

• Commissioning and installation


• Improving plant operations
• Providing improved plant quality
• Reducing maintenance costs

About the HART Protocol

The HART Protocol was developed in the mid-1980s by Rosemount Inc. for
use with a range of smart measuring instruments. Originally proprietary, the
protocol was soon published for free use by anyone, and in 1990 the HART User
Group was formed. In 1993, the registered trademark and all rights in the protocol
were transferred to the HART Communication Foundation (HCF). The protocol
remains open and free for all to use without royalties.

Wireless HART Technology

Wireless HART technology provides a robust wireless protocol for the full range
of process measurement, control, and asset management applications. Based on the
proven and familiar HART Communication Protocol,WirelessHART enables users
to quickly and easily gain the benefits of wireless technology while maintaining
compatibility with existing devices, tools, and systems.

The HART Communication Foundation, its member companies and the industry
leaders developed Wireless HART technology to meet the unique requirements of
wireless networks operating in process plants.

Key Capabilities:

• Reliability even in the presence of interference, thanks to technology like


mesh networking, channel hopping, and time-synchronized
messaging. WirelessHART coexistence with other wireless networks is
assured.

• Security and privacy for network communications through encryption,


verification, authentication, key management, and other open industry-
standard best practices.

• Effective power management through Smart Data Publishing and other


techniques that make batteries, solar and other low-power options practical
for wireless devices.

The majority of smart field devices installed worldwide today are HART-enabled.
But some new in the automation field may need a refresher on this powerful
technology.

Simply put, the HART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) Protocol


is the global standard for sending and receiving digital information across
analog wires between smart devices and control or monitoring system.

More specifically, HART is a bi-directional communication protocol that


provides data access between intelligent field instruments and host systems. A host
can be any software application from technician's hand-held device or laptop to a
plant's process control, asset management, safety or other system using any control
platform.

A DIGITAL UPGRADE FOR EXISTING PLANTS


HART technology offers a reliable, long-term solution for plant operators who
seek the benefits of intelligent devices with digital communication – that is
included in the majority of the devices being installed. In many cases however,
most applications cannot retrofit their existing automation systems with a system
that can accept the digital data which is provided by the HART Protocol.

Because most automation networks in operation today are based on traditional 4-


20mA analog wiring, HART technology serves a critical role because the digital
information is simultaneously communicated with the 4-20mA signal. Without it,
there would be no digital communication.

A CRITICAL, DIGITAL ROLE


HART technology is easy to use and very reliable when used for commissioning
and calibration of smart devices as well as for continuous online diagnostics.
There are several reasons to have a host communicate with smart devices. These
include:

• Device Configuration or re-configuration


• Device Diagnostics
• Device Troubleshooting
• Reading the additional measurement values provided by the device
• Device Health and Status
• Much more: There are many benefits of using HART technology, and more
users are reporting benefits in their projects on a continual basis. For more
information please visit Success Stories

Years of success using these benefits explain why HART technology is the largest
of all communication protocols, installed in more than 30 million
devices worldwide.

If you've ever used a land-line telephone and noticed the Caller ID display to take
note of who is calling, you already know half of what the HART Protocol does—it
tells "who" is calling. In an industrial automation network "who" is a
microprocessor-based smart field device. In addition to letting such smart field
devices "phone home," HART Communication lets a host system send data to the
smart instrument.

HART emerged in the late1980s based on the same technology that brought Caller
ID to analog telephony. It has undergone continued development, up to and
including automation products now shipping with built-in Wireless HART
Communication.

How Companies Use HART

We like to think of this portion of the web site as a best practices tutorial that is
designed to help users gain the most benefit from their HART products. With
information about different applications and suggestions of how to get the most
value this section will provide suggestions on how to help users save money and
down-time with simple cost-effective solutions.

Inventory Management Applications


Accurate measurements for inventory management are essential in all industries.
The HART communication protocol enables companies to make sure inventory
management is as efficient, accurate, and low cost as possible.

HART Multidrop Network for Tank Level and Inventory Management


Tank level and inventory management is an ideal application for a HART
multidrop network. The HART network digital update rate of two PVs per second
is sufficient for many tank-level applications. A multidrop network provides
significant installation savings by reducing the amount of wiring from the field to
the control room as well as the number of I/O channels required. In addition, many
inexpensive process-monitoring applications are commercially available to further
cut costs.

Inventory Management with Multidrop

One company uses a HART multiplexer to digitally scan field devices for level-
measurement and status information. The information is forwarded to the host
application using the Modbus communication standard. Multivariable instruments
further reduce costs by providing multiple process measurements, such as level and
temperature, which reduces the wiring and number of process penetrations
required.

Multidrop for Tank Farm Monitoring


In one tank farm application, 84 settlement tanks and filter beds on a very large site
(over 300,000 m2) are monitored using HART multidrop networks and HART
RTUs. The HART architecture required just eight cable runs for 84 tanks, with 10-
11 devices per run. Over 70 individual runs of over 500 m each were eliminated.
Cable savings were estimated at over $40,000 when compared to a conventional
installation. RTU I/O was also reduced, which resulted in additional hardware and
installation savings. The total installed cost was approximately 50% of a traditional
4-20 mA installation.

Tank Farm Monitoring with Multidrop

Underground Petroleum Storage with HART Communication for Accuracy


Underground salt caverns are frequently used for crude oil storage. One customer
pumps oil from barges into the storage caverns. An ultrasonic flowmeter records
the total flow. To get the oil out of the caverns, a brine solution is pumped into the
cavern through a magnetic flowmeter. Brine and crude oil flowing in both
directions are measured and reported to the DCS using the HART communication
protocol for accuracy. The DCS tracks flow rate and total quantity to maintain a
certain pressure inside the caverns.
Use HART multidrop networking to reduce installation and maintenance costs.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade


A Texas wastewater treatment plant replaced stand-alone flowmeters and chart
recorder outstations that required daily visits for totalization with a HART system.
HART-based magnetic flowmeters were multidropped into HART RTUs to create
a cost-effective SCADA network. The use of HART technology reduced system
and cable costs, enhanced measurement accuracy, and eliminated time-consuming
analog calibration procedures.

A system of 11 HART multidrop networks was used to connect 45 magnetic


flowmeters from different plant areas. Each flowmeter communicated flow rate
and a totalized value over the HART network. Multidrop networks eliminated the
need for additional hardware and PLC programming while providing a more
accurate totalized value. Complex and costly system integration issues were also
avoided--for example, there was no need for synchronization of totals between the
host and field PLCs.

Multidrop networking further reduced the installation cost by reducing the required
number of input cards from the traditional 45 (for point-to-point installations) to
11. Maintenance was simplified because of access to instrument diagnostic and
status data.

Continuous HART Communication Increases Safety Integrity Level


By Bud Adler
Moore Industries International, Inc.

Despite the reliability delivered by today’s process transmitters and valve


controllers, devices do fail. The more risk associated with a failure, the more
important it is to ensure the operational integrity of the device. For example, a
runaway exothermic reaction is (of course) far more serious than an overcooked
batch of cookies (although to some, burnt sweets is a major tragedy as well!).

HART DIAGNOSTIC ALERTS

All HART smart devices have diagnostic indicators that can alert users to a change
in instrument status from a remote location. This data, in the form of status bits, is
embedded in the HART digital messages superimposed on the 4-20mA signal.

The diagnostic status bits available in a HART communicating device are:

Bit 7—Device Malfunction


Bit 6—Configuration Changed
Bit 5—Cold Start
Bit 4—More Status Available
Bit 3—Primary Variable Analog Output Fixed
Bit 2—Primary Variable Analog Output Saturated
Bit 1—Non-Primary Variable Out of Limits
Bit 0—Primary Variable Out of Limits
Many users have discovered the value of accessing these diagnostics with their
Hand-Held Configurator (HHC).

GOOD NEWS:
Users can detect a problem when the HHC is connected to the loop.

BAD NEWS:
Unless the control system or a loop monitor is communicating with the device on a
continuous basis, the ability to detect problems ceases as soon as the HHC is
disconnected.

CONTINUOUS FAULT MONITORING


HART-capable control systems and interfaces can continuously monitor the
diagnostic status bits in important field devices and provide early warning if
problems are detected. HART- capable Loop Monitors, such as the Moore
Industries SPA, provide a cost-effective alternative if the control system is not
HART-capable.

The SPA is typically mounted behind the panel and connected across the loop just
like an HHC. When the HART status bits change, the SPA provides both LED
indication and relay output(s). This relay action can warn of the situation and/or
institute a shutdown, or transfer the instrument to a safe mode of operation pending
resolution of the situation.

In addition to monitoring the diagnostic status bits, the SPA can also initiate an
alarm or provide a 4-20mA signal based on any three of the Dynamic Process
Variables available in HART devices. Device manufacturers define up to four
process-related variables to be communicated in these Dynamic Variables.

MULTI-VARIABLE DEVICES

• Pressure: Pressure, Temperature and Differential Pressure

• PH Transmitters: Electrode output, compensation temperature and sensor


impedance

• Coriolis Meters: % solids, density and temperature

• Valve Positioner: Actual Stem Position, Actuator Pressure, and Target Stem
Position
• Temperature Transmitter: Cold junction compensation value HART
communication allows monitoring of these Status Bits and
Dynamic Variables on a continuous basis providing valuable insight into both hard
failures and subtle offsets.

EXAMPLE #1
Excess friction in a control valve often leads to surging conditions that can result in
dangerous process upsets. Loss of actuator pressure from a clogged air filter or a
torn diaphragm may also lead to a dangerous or costly control offset. The HART
Loop Monitor can be configured to alarm on either or both of these conditions. It
can also annunciate any of a variety of other performance-related situations.

EXAMPLE #2
Potentially catastrophic results can occur when an emergency shutdown valve does
not close when triggered by a dangerous process upset. These critical valves often
go for months, or even years, without being stroked to assure proper operation.
Clogged air filters, corroded shafts or failed control wiring can all lead to a
malfunction. Where the operation of this valve is safety critical, a prudent strategy
is to upgrade it with a smart HART positioner complemented with a HART Loop
Monitor. With this combination, the presence of adequate air supply can be
verified and the valve can be partially stroked on a regular basis to insure its ability
to move off of the seat. The loop monitor provides stem position feedback alarms
to insure that the valve is only partially stroked thus avoiding a process upset.

EXAMPLE #3
Most temperature transmitters incorporate sensor diagnostics. In general, the main
task of sensor diagnostics is to drive the 4-20mA output either upscale or
downscale upon sensor failure. In a safety critical application, this high or low
action would often trigger an expensive (and perhaps unnecessary) process
shutdown. A HART Loop Monitor can be configured to use the status bits to
provide a relay output indicating sensor failure. To avert a process shutdown, this
strategy provides differentiation between a non-serious sensor problem and
potentially dangerous process condition. For more safety critical applications, a
dual non-voting scheme or a two-out-of-three scheme provides even more
reliability.

EXAMPLE #4
A subtle failure that may go overlooked for days is a transmitter lock-up
characterized by the signal being frozen at a given value. This can occur when a
Hand-Held Communicator is used to perform a loop test and is disconnected
before returning the transmitter to automatic operation. If the signal happens to be
at either 0% or 100%, the condition will be quickly recognized. However, if it were
left at 50%, the oversight may go unnoticed and possibly cause a dangerous
situation. The HART Loop Monitor would call attention to this condition
immediately with a relay output.

HOW SAFE IS SAFE


When performing a Risk Analysis on a process operation, each loop is analyzed for
its potential contribution to an unsafe condition should a failure occur. This
assessment will define an acceptable Safety Integrity Level (SIL) for each loop in
that process. It is up to the design team to select the proper products and
procedures to demonstrate the achievement of the required SIL. Guidelines are
offered in the ISA standard SP84.01 and in the IEC standard 61508 for methods to
improve loop reliability.

Every device in a loop has potential failure conditions. Sometimes increased


maintenance will insure a higher degree of reliability. For many devices, online
diagnoses of failures or potentially dangerous conditions is required to insure the
level of reliability demanded by the SIL of the process. Using HART
communication allows the diagnosis of potentially dangerous failures and
conditions to be significantly increased. This increases loop reliability. By
increasing the detection of potentially dangerous failures, the Safety Failure
Fraction (SFF) is increased. This results in a reduced Probability of Failure upon
Demand (PFD). [Refer to the standards for a complete definition of these terms.]

With HART communications, a single senior technician can now diagnose


problems and manually initiate calibrations for many analyzers from a convenient
location. When a trip to the analyzer is required, the problem is identified and the
necessary tools and spare parts can be carried along.

Open Architecture Applications


Oil Refinery Expansion
The best way to judge the openness of a communication protocol is by the number of
products supported. By this standard, the HART protocol is perhaps the most open of any
field-communication protocol available today.
In a major refinery expansion, an oil company weighed the advantages of using either a
proprietary system or a HART-based system. The results indicated that the company could
use HART digital instruments in 92% of their applications, compared to only 33% with the
proprietary system. Choosing HART products resulted in an incremental $23,000 in savings
due to commissioning efficiencies and ongoing maintenance and diagnostic capabilities.

The oil company used a traditional control system with analog I/O and supplemented the
control capability with an online maintenance and monitoring system. All of the HART field
devices were monitored from a central location.

HART Within a PROFIBUS Network


HART field devices can be seamlessly integrated with PROFIBUS DP networks using the
HART/DP Link, which enables the connection of four HART devices and facilitates the
passthrough of HART commands to host applications on the DP network. The HART/DP Link
supports IS installations.

HART Within a PROFIBUS Network

HART/DDE Server
Cost-effective level- and temperature-monitoring systems can be designed using HART
multidrop networks and commercially available HART/DDE interface software. HART/DDE
interface software allows any compliant application (e.g., spreadsheet) to directly read the
process data and status information available in HART field devices. A HART interface
module connected to the PC's serial port is needed for this HART monitoring application.
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Home > About the HART Protocol > How HART Works

About the HART ProtocolWhat is HART?How HART WorksBenefits of HARTDevice Descriptions


DD Library Current ReleaseDDL - Use and BenefitsEnhanced DDL Features
HART SpecificationsFAQ

How HART Works


“HART” is an acronym for Highway Addressable Remote Transducer. The HART Protocol
makes use of the Bell 202 Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) standard to superimpose digital
communication signals at a low level on top of the 4-20mA.

Figure 1. Frequency Shift Keying (FSK)

This enables two-way field communication to take place and makes it possible for additional
information beyond just the normal process variable to be communicated to/from a smart
field instrument. The HART Protocol communicates at 1200 bps without interrupting the 4-
20mA signal and allows a host application (master) to get two or more digital updates per
second from a smart field device. As the digital FSK signal is phase continuous, there is no
interference with the 4-20mA signal.

HART technology is a master/slave protocol, which means that a smart field (slave) device
only speaks when spoken to by a master. The HART Protocol can be used in various modes
such as point-to-point or multidrop for communicating information to/from smart field
instruments and central control or monitoring systems.

HART Communication occurs between two HART-enabled devices, typically a smart field
device and a control or monitoring system. Communication occurs using standard
instrumentation grade wire and using standard wiring and termination practices.

The HART Protocol provides two simultaneous communication channels: the 4-20mA analog
signal and a digital signal. The 4-20mA signal communicates the primary measured value (in
the case of a field instrument) using the 4-20mA current loop - the fastest and most reliable
industry standard. Additional device information is communicated using a digital signal that
is superimposed on the analog signal.

The digital signal contains information from the device including device status, diagnostics,
additional measured or calculated values, etc. Together, the two communication channels
provide a low-cost and very robust complete field communication solution that is easy to use
and configure.

The HART Protocol permits all digital communication with field devices in either point-to-
point or multidrop network configurations:

Figure 4. Point-to-Point Configuration

Multidrop Configuration

There is also an optional "burst" communication mode where a single slave device can
continuously broadcast a standard HART reply message. Higher update rates are possible
with this optional burst communication mode and use is normally restricted to point-to-point
configuration.
Figure 5. Multidrop Configuration


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Benefits of Using HART Communication


Engineers operating in analog automation environments no longer need utter the words "if
only" as in "if only I could get the device information without going into the field" or “if only
I could get this configuration information from that pressure transmitter into my PC."

Users worldwide who have realized the benefits of HART Communication know that they can
gain quick, easy visibility to devices in the field when using HART-enabled handheld test,
calibration devices and portable computers. In fact, device testing, diagnostics and
configuration has never been easier!

However, many have yet to realize HART technology’s greatest benefits which come from
full-time connections with real-time asset management and/or control systems.

HART technology can help you:

• Leverage the capabilities of a full set of intelligent device data for operational
improvements.
• Gain early warnings to variances in device, product or process performance.
• Speed the troubleshooting time between the identification and resolution of
problems.
• Continuously validate the integrity of loops and control/automation system
strategies.
• Increase asset productivity and system availability.

Increase Plant Availability

• Integrate devices and systems for detection of previously undetectable problems.


• Detect device and/or process connection problems real time.
• Minimize the impact of deviations by gaining new, early warnings.
• Avoid the high cost of unscheduled shutdowns or process disruptions.

Reduce Maintenance Costs

• Quickly verify and validate control loop and device configuration.


• Use remote diagnostics to reduce unnecessary field checks.
• Capture performance trend data for predictive maintenance diagnostics.
• Reduce spares inventory and device management costs.

Improve regulatory compliance

• Enable automated record keeping of compliance data.


• Facilitates automated safety shutdown testing.
• Raise SIL/safety integrity level with advanced diagnostics.
• Take advantage of intelligent multivariable devices for more thorough, accurate
reporting.

The standard features of HART technology range from simple compatibility with existing 4-
20mA analog networks to a broad product selection:

• Compatibility with standard 4-20mA wiring


• Simultaneous transmission of digital data
• Simplicity through intuitive menu-driven interfaces
• Risk reduction through a highly accurate and robust protocol
• Ease of implementation for maximum “up-front” cost effectiveness
• Broad product selection, with compatible devices and software applications from
most process automation providers
• Platform independence for full interoperability in multi-vendor environments
Worldwide support by leading suppliers
Most of the world’s leading process instrumentation and control system suppliers,
comprising most of the industry’s solutions, actively support HART technology. There are
990+ registered devices in 20 device categories manufactured by 230+ members of the
HART Communication Foundation.

Types of HART-enabled
Devices
Device Category No. of Companies No. of Devices
Actuator 2 9
Analytical 29 152
Calibrator 4 6
Control 3 6
DCS 4 4
Density 5 5
Development Services & Tools 8 25
Flow 24 159
Handheld 8 9
I/O System 11 32
IS Barrier 7 25
Isolators (IS) 5 46
Level 34 153
Modem 8 15
Modem IC (chips) 1 3
Loop monitor 3 6
Multiplexer / Gateway 7 7
Positioners - Valve 16 47
Pressure Transmitters 37 110
Software 14 25
Total 238 990

For a complete list by Manufacturer or Device Type, see our Product Catalog.