Pen and Paper. Table and Chair. Bert and Ernie. These are example of the many items we often find together. These all provide some benefit when found alone. However, when we find them together, they are an unbeatable combination. The same should be thought of with AMS and Advanced Diagnostics. Individually, they work well. Working in combination they provide a powerful solution to improve your process control and instrumentation reliability. All too often plants will make the investment in one without the investment in the other. In order to get the maximum benefit out of each you should both.
As improvements with instrumentation are made they not only allow you to better control your process they allow you to control your process more reliably. The HART protocol was originally developed for calibration. As it evolved basic diagnostic information was added. However, HART information is only available if the device is interrogated. Burst mode provides a continuous information, but something must capture the information. Furthermore, basic diagnostic information only provided information about the device, not the process.
Concurrent with improvements in instrumentation was the development of an Asset Management System. Originally, it focused on critical equipment and expensive assets. As it evolved more equipment was added to it with the thinking that the process reliability is only as good as the weakest link. Not only were critical assets monitored all of the devices supporting the equipment were monitored.
There are Asset Management Systems that focus specifically on process control and instrumentation devices. Rather than setting a HART device to operate in burst mode an AMS will interrogate each device in the system. If there is a problem, an alert is sent to the host control system. The AMS also logs the information so device history can be captured and reviewed. The more diagnostic information that is available, the more valuable the software becomes.
A device with Advanced Diagnostics will not only monitor its performance it will monitor the performance of the process. Plugged impulse lines, temperature excursions and missing mixer impeller blades can all be detected. When this condition is detected the device will provide an alert. Of course, something must capture the alert.
Using AMS with Advanced Diagnostics is a powerful combination for improving process control and instrumentation reliability. Having an AMS without devices with Advanced Diagnostics only allows you to capture basic information. Having devices with Advanced Diagnostics only provide alerts if there is something to capture the event. Working together you get all of the information you need.
If you are considering investment in either an AMS or adding devices with Advanced Diagnostics, you should consider an investment in both. This will yield maximum benefit. Each will work alone and provide some benefit. Working together it is an unbeatable combination. When we complete the list of items, like bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, black and white, we should include AMS and Advanced Diagnostics.
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