Over the years, you’ve probably amassed many intelligent field devices, from valves to temperature transmitters. These devices can detect faults, and in many cases, enable you to trend incoming data to avoid faults altogether.
But things aren’t so simple; you’ve likely amassed these smart devices through different area owners, project owners and purchasers. They may have different manufacturers, are connected to different programmable logic controllers (PLC) and involve different protocols. Yet somehow, you must manage these devices effectively.
Equipped with their own computing capabilities, intelligent field devices provide valuable diagnostic and maintenance information in addition to offering actual process value. Extracting the intelligence from these systems is accomplished using vendor-specific communication protocols. Three of the most common protocols for process automation are PROFIBUS PA, HART and Foundation™ Fieldbus.
Over years of migration, modernization and plant upgrades, the challenge of maintaining multiple automation islands and communication protocols has been brewing. Because maintenance crews must have different tools in their arsenal to monitor each automation island, this issue can have a significant cost impact.
One way to reduce this complexity is to utilize a handheld, portable interface tool that supports multiple protocols simultaneously. One example is Softing’s mobiLink. Upstream, mobiLink connects your Asset Management software package running on a phone, tablet or PC via Bluetooth or USB interface. Downstream, mobiLink connects your field device over HART, PROFIBUS PA or FOUNDATION Fieldbus. As the interface in the middle, mobiLink connects your Asset Management software of choice to disparate field devices so you can manage all of your field devices more effectively.
Out-of-the-box mobiLink supports Field Device Integration (FDI) and Field Device Technology (FDT), enabling your maintenance crews to use it with FDI-compliant applications like AMS Device Manager, as well as FDT frame applications like PACTware, FieldCare and FieldMate. Crews can configure, change settings, perform diagnostics or perform predictive maintenance on smart field devices. In addition, users can use mobiLink in intrinsically safe environments thanks to Bluetooth capabilities
With interface tools like mobiLink, you can link to almost any intelligent field device, overcoming the pitfalls associated with using various communication protocols. To learn more, please visit our product page.