Hear from our product expert, Nathan Hedrick, as he answers some frequently asked questions around smart plant instrumentation, how to get started with Heartbeat Technology® and how to ensure you are reaping all the benefits your instruments have to offer.
What does smart instrumentation mean to Endress+Hauser?
Smart plant instrumentation provides end users opportunities to make informed decisions as well as plan and execute thoughtful maintenance strategies. Having devices equipped with features such as Heartbeat Technology, enables plant personnel to gather process data to be able to make educated and quick decisions regardless of how they interface with their instruments including their laptop, phone or tablet.
What is Heartbeat Technology?
Heartbeat Technology is comprised of three aspects: Heartbeat Diagnostics, Heartbeat Verification and Heartbeat Monitoring. This technology enables preventative, proactive and/or predictive maintenance depending on how a user chooses to employ it. Heartbeat Technology continually audits the instrumentation it is enabled on to ensure it is operating at peak conditions.
Instrumentation equipped with permanent and extensive self-monitoring capabilities offers end users a high degree of confidence regarding reliable performance. In the event of an error of upset process conditions, Heartbeat Technology can even relay and convey messages to operators before running into failure, which gives them the opportunity to be proactive, avoiding plant shutdowns.
Why should you consider implementing smart online diagnostic and verification technology in your processes?
Smart plant instrumentation with online diagnostic and verification capabilities enable better process control, efficiency gains, better quality and can eliminate downtime and shutdowns. They also generate additional data that can support your decision making regarding your process. They provide a preventative measure to enhance your maintenance strategy.
Where do I start when I already have multiple measuring points in my process but want to add these capabilities?
The best place to start is with an installed based audit (IBA) which a user can perform on their own or be provided as a service. Many users already have smart instruments installed in their operations today, but there is a lot of untapped potential. It’s quite possible that the user already has what they need in terms of the installed base, and they simply need to make a few upgrades rather than purchasing new equipment. For example, many of the products Endress+Hauser provides can be upgraded in the field to include Heartbeat Technology if it was not purchased originally.
This can be a much more cost-effective way to start gaining experience without the need to purchase entirely new equipment. The other recommendation would be to start with a process that you know has a challenge you would like to resolve. Some common application challenges where Heartbeat Technology can provide preventative, proactive, and/or predictive maintenance include: build-up, corrosion, foaming, and entrained gas/gas breakout.
What does this kind of technology add to a process that similar technologies don’t?
Heartbeat Technology ultimately allows end users the opportunity to gain process data and insights right into their process. Without technology features like online diagnostics, verification and monitoring, there are risks and gaps between the plant personnel and the process because you will not know the health status of your instrumentation. While other manufacturers do offer some of these same elements, Endress+Hauser takes pride in employing a consistent methodology and availability across the broadest range of process measurement technologies. Having a consistent offering across a broad portfolio allows simplicity for its users.
Check out our entire product portfolio with Heartbeat Technology:
Coriolis – Proline Promass 10/100/200/300/500
Thermal– T-mass 300/500
Electromagnetic– Proline Promag 10/100/200/300/400/500/800
Ultrasonic– Proline Prosonic Flow 200/300/400/500
Vortex- Proline Prowirl 200
Radiometric– Gammapilot FMG50
Free space radar– Micropilot FMRx/6x/6xB
Guided wave radar– Levelflex FMP5x
Radiometric– Gammapilot FMG50
Metal membrane– Cerabar PMP71B
Ceramic membrane– Cerabar PMC71B
Want to read more on Heartbeat Technology? Check out this blog that walks you through the journey of why implementing this technology can help improve your processes:
How has this technology evolved since its launch?
The biggest evolution has been through the extension to other technologies and measurement tasks. Heartbeat Technology was first offered on Promag electromagnetic flowmeters. We have not only expanded its offering in flow measurement, but it is now featured on numerous level, pressure, temperature, liquid analysis, and gas analysis products as well. Additionally, we’ve continued to learn and expand the types of application device challenges that can be identified through Heartbeat Technology.
Endress+Hauser now offers several different measuring technologies which can monitor for and diagnose similar application challenges. For instance, if a user knows that they have issues with build-up in their process, it can be extremely valuable to have multiple technologies installed informing them when build-up is occurring. One device alone indicating a possible build-up is present could be sufficient, but if two, three, or four devices start to warn of the same thing, it becomes even more credible.
Should you go with one vendor for smart plant instrumentation or a variety? What are the pros/cons of doing each?
A user should research and explore their options before making a decision on which vendor to use. If they have the opportunity to do a pilot with multiple vendors, that could be particularly valuable in identifying which one does the best at helping them address a particular process challenge. Endress+Hauser has great confidence in what Heartbeat Technology can offer. Our brand promise is to help our customers improve their processes. We definitely welcome the opportunity to be evaluated alongside other vendors to see if we are the best fit for you. There are certainly some benefits to using one manufacturer.
As stated before, Endress+Hauser has developed Heartbeat Technology across a wide range of technologies. For those users who are having to do more work with less resources, having a consistent approach and user experience from one manufacturer can certainly add value. Having said that, there are some thoughts for safety critical applications, a user should consider heterogenous redundancy to minimize common cause concerns that could arise from using the same vendor and technology. This same thought process could be employed for a process critical application challenge that imposes significant risk to the reliability of production.
I have instruments with Heartbeat Technology currently, but how do I know if I am reaping all the benefits?
The best place to start is to engage with your local Endress+Hauser representative. It may be that you are already leveraging Heartbeat Verification but could benefit from Heartbeat Monitoring based on your current application needs, as an example. However, it also should be mentioned that not every application calls for every aspect of Heartbeat Technology. Just because additional data may be available, it doesn’t mean it’s 100% relevant to your application.
If you have further questions about how Heartbeat Technology can improve your processes, please contact us