Although some believe that modernization and digital adaptation moves slowly within the process industries, within the last decade, the digital capabilities of process instruments has grown significantly. This growth has sparked a necessary increase in the need for digital instrument training.
Modern smart instruments, coupled with a knowledgeable user base, enable digital transformation that provides organizations with a host of digital information via HART, EtherNet/IP, and other communication protocols. However, many plants fail to take advantage of these numerous diagnostic and process data points, due to a lack of training for plant technicians tasked to work with these smart instruments.
By taking advantage of instrument training classes, plant personnel can learn about modern instrument data and its utilization in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Understanding instrument capabilities
Many of today’s instruments provide hundreds of data points, but effectively using this data for best operational outcomes requires extra effort. These data points include diagnostic, status, process value, calibration, and other data, which can be leveraged by sophisticated software systems to facilitate maintenance and process management decisions.
Most engineers and technicians understand how flow, level, pressure, and temperature instruments work to provide process values, but many are not familiar with the full range of digital capabilities. After gaining familiarity with these data points and associated performance metrics, users can begin to tie these in with higher-level software applications, such as computerized maintenance management, asset management, and modern distributed control systems.
The best training incorporates the entire chain from smart instruments in the field all the way up to an IIoT, edge, or cloud-based system. At an Endress+Hauser Process Training Unit (PTU®), students first observe how data is generated, transmitted, and processed—they then can perform actions themselves and see the resulting improvements in a typical process environment.
Equipping the workforce
Unfortunately, training is often one of the first expenses cut when companies tighten up their budget. However, proper training initiatives often result in a quick return on investment, and long-term strategy for IIoT adoption can only take place with the right IIoT training programs in place.
Smart instrumentation training keeps engineers and technicians up to date in their knowledge of modern digital technology, enabling them to evaluate the installation of new devices, and use data generated to improve operations. With the quick pace of development in the modern era, smart instruments on the market are gaining markedly new abilities every few years.
Some of the latest innovations include:
- Self-calibrating RTD temperature transmitters
- Flow- and level measuring devices with built-in self-monitoring
- Verification reporting capabilities
- Standardized diagnostic data reporting
- Multiple process variable measurements
However, none of these capabilities improve plant operations unless users understand how to leverage the advancements.
Utilizing learning opportunities such as a Process Training Unit, provides its attendees with hands-on learning and the latest instrumentation technologies, along with multiple communication protocols for connectivity from process to higher-level systems both on the premises or in the cloud. To take a virtual tour of a PTU like the one mentioned above:
Preparing the field for the future
As the implementation of smart instruments across industries rises, an increasing number of users are seeking out opportunities to learn, bringing knowledge back to their facilities and sharing it throughout their organizations. This methodology speeds companies on their digitalization journey to remain productive and competitive.
To learn more about new smart instrument training offerings from Endress+Hauser, visit the link below: