Device management: New software expands configuration tools via fieldbus


Given the importance of improving asset performance and plant uptime, operators need all the tools they can get to manage and configure field devices. ABB has expanded the range of choices with the release of Asset Master, a new software solution that helps users optimize performance through set-up tools for instrumentation configuration and calibration.

"Asset Master is the first desktop device management and optimization solution that reduces the complexity of these solutions from larger control systems into a compact, easy to comprehend interface,” says Eric Olson, product manager. “Asset Master can manage up to 500 ABB and non-ABB devices, depending on the fieldbus configuration. Devices can include flowmeters, analyzers, actuators, control valves, and positioners—typical instrumentation that can be wired to a fieldbus.”

Intended for engineering and maintenance personnel, Asset Master supports ABB and 3rd party devices communicating via HART , Profibus , and Foundation Fieldbus . The company says basic functions include:

Configuration—Integrated fieldbus management tools support engineers throughout the planning phase of a project. It uses a comprehensive device integration library for easy configuration and DTM’s (device type managers) to make device parameterization simple and intuitive.

Commissioning—Fieldbus management tool features support commissioning and installation of fieldbus networks and devices. Bus timing and schedule are generated automatically.

Diagnostics—User is informed of degrading performance through Asset Master’s alarm and events features. Detailed device status information includes probable cause and suggested corrective actions.

Real-time asset optimization—Key plant personnel are automatically notified of alarms via mobile telephones, email accounts, and pagers. Fault tracking capabilities help find the malfunction cause and automatically transmit data to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to initiate the work order process.

Bob Hausler, marketing vice president adds, “Asset Master is built from the same software as our 800xA control system, meaning that configuration screens, asset alerts, and operations methods are identical in both. It also means that an Asset Master installation can be easily expanded into an 800xA control system without the need to re-engineer any existing configurations. Asset Master is another important element of ABB's strategy to make HMIs simple and consistent, reducing the customer’s cost of ownership, especially in the maintenance and training dimensions.”

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, , Control Engineering Weekly News

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