Understanding how to apply smart field devices

The ISA108 standard is being built to help users implement smart devices in a maintenance program. You should get involved in the standard writing process. See video.


Smart field devices are everywhere. Virtually any piece of process instrumentation available today has the ability to send diagnostic information, and yet this is arguably one of the most underutilized resources in process plants today. See video.

The frequent disconnect is that companies don’t know how to manage and use smart devices beyond the initial configuration phase. The barriers to creating a program that uses smart devices to improve overall plant performance seem to be too high to overcome.

ISA is creating a new standard for intelligent device management that intends to break down those barriers by providing advice for ways to use smart field devices and how to incorporate diagnostic information in an asset management program. ISA108 is being created now and it is still early enough in the process that you can make a contribution to its formation. In the attached video, Herman Storey, co-chair of the committee, says that he is looking for more participation from all the companies that can use the standard. That includes EPCs (engineering procurement construction companies), system and device vendors, and end users. Chances are you fit into one of those categories.

The standard has made progress over the last year (Read the report from 2013.), but there is still much to do. The ISA website has information on how you can participate.

Peter Welander, pwelander@cfemedia.com

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