Networking technologies streamline new and retrofit projects
For process automation projects, whether greenfield or the much more common brownfield, the combination of Ethernet-APL, HART-IP, and PA-DIM technologies provides the most flexible and practical upgrade path for monitoring and real-time control. By Sean Vincent, FieldComm Group
Digital transformation for industrial process automation is progressing at an accelerating pace, as ever more intelligent field devices become available. Therefore, users are looking for better ways to access and act upon the associated data so they can improve operational and asset efficiencies.
While new projects can be designed with a clean-sheet approach for communications media and protocols, the reality remains that most projects are retrofits, or at least must interact with existing systems.As new technologies come to market, there is a transition during which not every product or product type is available in the new technology. This creates a need for blended networks. And even new projects may not be funded to initially take advantage of the very latest technologies, so designers are faced with the problem of how to incorporate essential digital technologies, while providing a practical upgrade path for improvements over time.