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HART Devices In EtherNet/IP Environment Connect Easy With FDT

James Winter, Global Process Director, Rockwell Automation

Process maintenance teams have long been challenged with gaining access and connectivity to service their lowest-level field devices. Traditionally, plant personnel needed to walk out to the processing area and use a handheld communicator or web server to connect to each device individually – a process that can take hours.

As more operations are connected using next-generation process field networks, like EtherNet/IP, the need for an easier connection method is imperative for more efficient process-instrumentation management.

To this end, Rockwell Automation offers solutions that leverage the seamless integration and time-saving benefits of FDT® technology and the network reach of EtherNet/IP to connect, configure and maintain HART devices. This gives maintenance personnel the ability to remotely access intelligent HART devices from a centralized, secure and safe location, reducing field-device maintenance from hours to mere minutes.

Getting Connected

To enhance plant operational efficiency, modern facilities want a fully enabled IIoT architecture with connected applications, automation systems, and process devices throughout the enterprise. To access plant floor data, Rockwell Automation and its Encompass Partner, Spectrum Controls, supports HART process devices in an FDT architecture with a variety of DTMs supporting HART IO Modules in the following families:  1756, 1794, 1718, 1719, 1734 and 1769. 

The HART IO Module DTMs allow asset management software that is based on FDT technology, such as Endress+Hauser FieldCare, to communicate with HART devices. Maintenance technicians can now use the FactoryTalk® Linx Comm DTM and the IO Module DTMs to connect to various IO sub-systems across all systems and skids, regardless of a plant’s size. With this solution, technicians can identify any HART device by its serial number, perform configurations such as parameter changes and get the health status of each device – all from the central control room. This not only saves significant time, but also helps eliminate the risks associated with field maintenance.

Ethernet Topology Integrates Field Devices

EtherNet/IP™ enables industrial automation applications with enterprise connectivity using standards-based Ethernet technology (IEEE 802.3 with the TCP/IP Suite).  As an IIoT enabler, EtherNet/IP provides the opportunity to connect a wide variety of ‘Things’ ranging from software applications to industrial controllers and field devices.  One of the most common field device protocols installed in the Process Industries is HART with its ability to communicate both analog and value-adding digital information over a current loop.  EtherNet/IP provides additional architectural benefits to HART-enabled applications by providing a harmonization layer allowing integration of multiple IP and non-IP based networks.  By eliminating disparate networks and trips to the field for troubleshooting the network, EtherNet/IP optimizes the workflow experience for technicians.  Key enhancements include centralized management of the installed-base of HART devices, a consistent user experience for device and network configuration, and security management through the FDT-enabled hosting interface.  EtherNet/IP and FDT- both proven technologies, together bridge the current installed-base to advance the ease of access to field level information while improving work efficiencies for the IIoT era. 

To download the latest HART IO Module DTMs, please visit our Product Compatibility and Download Center (PCDC)

Article provided by Rockwell Automation

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