Ever since Endress + Hauser launched FieldCare three years back, engineers and plant managers have been able to identify and evaluate the risk posed by each process measuring device to the integrity of their facilities and plant equipment.
FieldCare is based on the FDT/DTM standard and this technology provides engineers with the freedom to integrate field and communication components supplied by all complying third parties.
FieldCare is thus able to configure all intelligent field devices in the plant and support the user in managing them.
To generate a good return on investment, a plant must be operated in an optimum and controlled manner while at the same time minimising unnecessary maintenance and preventing the failure of critical equipment leading to plant shuts.
To do this effectively, plant engineers need to obtain and analyse additional relevant data from the field sensors so that operators can make informed decisions on what actions to take and when.
When field information arrives via the Fieldcare interface, ODBC (open database connectivity) enables the data to be transferred automatically to work scheduling programmes like Maxima or Datastream, thus maximising equipment uptime and minimising operational costs.
The successful integration of third party scheduling programmes with Endress+Hauser’s new Condition Monitoring package allows users to implement an intelligent predictive maintenance regime. This is especially critical to continuous process plants where plant failure and downtime can be costly.
Condition Monitoring, as part of an advanced FieldCare implementation, provides users with the predictive and critical information they need to optimise the scheduling of downtime, labour and materials, allowing plant managers to increase productivity while reducing costs.
The process industry often mistakenly refers to this as Plant Asset Management (PAM). But what is in fact being managed are smart measuring devices that often cost a few hundred dollars and cannot be described as a plant assets.
There is now a growing awareness in the industry that the real issue is maximising the return on investment, by reducing downtime, lowering spare parts inventory, cutting maintenance costs and improving overall equipment effectiveness.
For current and prospective FieldCare users, Endress+Hauser offers Condition Monitoring as a standard shrink-wrapped software component that externalises all diagnostic information into any web browser. It is pre-configured and can be used straight out of the box for all intelligent instruments from Endress+Hauser as well as devices from any other manufacturer.
The implementation of Condition Monitoring with FieldCare therefore allows plant managers to reduce their total cost of ownership by fully tapping into their current device information and existing control platform using an industry standard protocol.