Study shows HART protocol leads in communications

A five-year study by the ARC Advisory Group revealed that 32 million devices--a total of 46 percent--use the HART communication protocol.


According to a recent market study released by the ARC Advisory Group, 46 percent of all field devices installed worldwide at year-end 2010—32 million devices—communicate using the HART Communication Protocol. This is the largest market share of any field communications protocol—larger than all other fieldbus devices (Foundation fieldbus, Profibus and other all-digital), proprietary protocols and 4-20 mA (analog/non-smart) combined, ARC said.

The ARC study estimates that the number of installed HART-communicating devices will grow to 35 million in 2011 and projects growth to continue to 37.3 million in 2012.

“Users worldwide are sending a clear message to industry suppliers by purchasing and deploying HART-enabled products in such overwhelming numbers,” said Ron Helson, executive director, HART Communication Foundation. “Users choose HART Communication because it is a simple, reliable, secure, low-risk, feature-rich and cost-effective intelligent communication protocol that delivers significant value during the entire plant life-cycle. HART is the field-proven global standard and its use will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.”

The ARC study includes a five-year market analysis and technology forecast of pressure transmitters, representing the largest product segment of field devices. The Pressure Transmitter Worldwide Outlook projects that the market for HART-enabled pressure transmitters will continue to grow and is expected to represent nearly 73% of all transmitters shipped this year. A comparison with the 2005 study shows that HART Communication is the only communication technology that significantly increased its share of the pressure transmitter market.

“What we see today confirms our projections. HART continues to have the largest share of the market, which includes fieldbus, conventional, proprietary and all other types,” says Wil Chin, ARC Research Director. “Rather than see level off, we see strong, continued growth for HART with proprietary and conventional decreasing and fieldbus gaining slightly.”

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering,

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