PROCESS managers are increasingly recognising the value of optimising the availability of measuring devices.
Current control systems deliver standardised, system-wide device support. Such tools however usually require a special driver for each device, do not support all device functions, have no documentation on device parameters, complicate device integration, and severely limit customer options in terms of communication equipment, infrastructure components and maintenance strategies.
Based on the FDT/DTM standard, Endress+Hauser’s FieldCare solution offers full device functionality (with no device or manufacturer dependencies), unrestricted choice of communication and topology components (with no protocol dependencies), and full support for existing devices.
FieldCare is characterised as a plant asset management (PAM) system. Like a process control system (PCS), it is linked to a plant’s process control technologies.
While the PCS provides the real-time control needed to produce a certain volume of products at a certain level of quality, PAM handles information that is used to maintain or increase the production system’s efficiency. This means that the crucial real-time features of the PCS need not be overloaded with asset management functions.
As a result, PCS and PAM updates can be run independently. Maintenance activity on one system has no impact on the performance of the other, the performance and availability of the PCS are unaffected by the PAM system, and for each system the best-of-breed solution can be independently selected and installed.
As a PAM system, FieldCare enables users to evaluate the risk posed by each process measuring device to the integrity of the overall system. Firstly an inventory is taken of the installed based of field instruments, to determine exactly what assets are present. Secondly, for each device, consideration is given to how seriously the process would be affected if the instrument fails, and to the availability of a reliable repair service and a source of spare parts.
FieldCare is fully scaleable, and coordinates all information management requirements throughout a system’s life cycle.