HART Foundation names its 2003 Plant of the Year

Austin, TX—HART Communication Foundation recently announced that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD, Detroit, MI) was selected as HART’s 2003 Plant of the Year. DWSD uses HART in its daily operations to eliminate metering disputes, improve system reliability, and streamline operations.


Austin, TX— HART Communication Foundation cognize success in the innovative use of Highway-Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) technology in real-time process applications.

'We congratulate Detroit Water and Sewerage for unleashing the power of their HART-enabled devices to achieve real-time operational improvements,' says Ron Helson, HART’s executive director. 'Its innovative use of HART-enabled plant instrumentation serves as a powerful model for industry users worldwide. It’s a working illustration of how to realize far greater benefits from HART than ever before.'

Dennis Green, DWSD’s head engineer, adds that, 'We determined that HART would provide the best solution for several reasons. HART minimized the additional investment we had to make, since most of the existing instrumentation was HART-capable and could use existing wiring. HART is also a stable protocol posing a low compatibility risk for planned expansions. And, HART allowed us to digitally extract secondary variables and diagnostic information, while the intelligence built into the HART instruments enabled them to perform calculations, freeing computing power in higher-level platforms for other tasks.

The foundation reports that HART is the globally accepted standard and most widely used digital communication protocol for industrial process and manufacturing operations. Well over two-thirds of all smart instruments communicate using HART, and more than 12 million HART-capable devices are installed worldwide.

'Automation suppliers are now delivering HART-enabled system solutions that leverage the intelligence in HART-smart devices for real-time advanced device diagnostics and process information,' adds Helson. 'Real-time connections are the key to unleashing the power of installed HART devices to improve plant operations, increase system availability, lower maintenance costs and aid regulatory compliance.'

Other networking technologies have matured considerably since 1996, when DWSD began piloting its system. However, Green explains that he would still use HART, even if the project were beginning today. 'I know these newer fieldbus technologies are the hot thing right now, but they could have cost us twice as much money,' Green says. 'HART does the job for us, and it's done on our standard equipment that was already installed. You don't pay extra for it. It certainly was ideal for what we wanted to do.'

DWSD used HART to help develop and implement an extensive Automatic Meter Reading/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (AMR/SCADA) system, which is a $10 million piece of the utility’s major infrastructure upgrade project. This system relies on HART to deliver consistent, reliable performance data. DWSD integrated a vast array of diverse field devices and technologies onto one networked system to take full advantage of HART's digital communication capabilities.

Cebrace Cristal Plano Ltda (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was selected as a 2003 Plant of the Year finalist. Both companies will be recognized on Oct. 21 at the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA) Expo 2003 trade show in Houston, Texas. Cebrace is a plate and specialty glass manufacturer.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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