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Comment PDF Automation & Control

Getting the Most Out of Intelligent Devices

By Chuck Micallef |

    Since their inception, data buses have been highly acclaimed in the chemical process industries (CPI) for their potential to achieve interoperability and substantial wire-savings – advantages that are particularly easy to envision for a theoretical case in which a plant is constructed from the ground up and communicates by a single data bus. In the real world, however, the majority of process-plant instrumentation is integrated piece by piece into facilities that are already full of wired-in instrumentation. What’s more, there are few, if any, plants out there in which all installed instrumentation communicates via a single data bus.   For these practical cases, data buses offer value by (1) providing access to supplementary information available in both new and existing intelligent field devices and (2) helping integrate those data into control or asset-management systems. Whether the goal is to upgrade, expand, retrofit or simply use the instrumentation that they have more effectively, existing facilities can improve their operations and reduce costs without spending the resources to replace the complete system.   Real-world benefits, however, are accompanied by real-world challenges. Successful…
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