Wireless Hart How to Reduce Costs and Time for Wireless Hart in Industrial Networks

Author / Editor: David Burrell, Garrett Schmidt / Dr. Jörg Kempf

With process instruments getting “smarter” year over year, their capabilities are often under-utilized. Important data that could help save costs remains unused. This potential can be tapped by using WirelessHart.

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Fig. 3: Installation of the WirelessHart gateway at the various levels of the plant network
Fig. 3: Installation of the WirelessHart gateway at the various levels of the plant network
(Picture: Phoenix Contact)

Intelligent devices, whether they are valve positioners, temperature devices, flow meters, or level meters, supply additional data such as secondary process variables or device diagnostics that can be used to obtain a better insight into the process. This data can be made accessible using a Hart data transfer protocol.

Although new control systems are Hart enabled, the many legacy control systems in the field frequently lack the ability to collect Hart data. The WirelessHart standard can be used in both retrofit and greenfield installations, providing distinct advantages for each.

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Wide-Ranging Advantages

The time to engineer and develop the expansion or construction of a process unit can be drastically reduced by installing wireless systems to replace both infrastructure and signal cabling. Moreover, investment costs as well as the costs associated with obtaining the necessary approvals are reduced.

A signal that previously took days to bring online using traditional wiring can now be commissioned within just a few hours using WirelessHart. Less time and higher flexibility allows maintenance crews to deploy wireless nodes for temporary troubleshooting or adding “stranded” measurement points to increase safety or improve efficiency.

By utilizing previously unused Hart diagnostic data, a maintenance department can detect issues, for example plugged lines or worn valve seals. Leaks and contamination may also be detected before they ever cause a problem to other instruments or the complete process. What’s more, plant personnel are protected against safety risks. A logistics department can better plan when to turn assets on and off. What also should not be forgotten is that the efficiency of critical parts of plants and systems can be monitored from remote locations using WirelessHart.

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