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The HART protocol was established as an open, de-facto industry standard in 1990. More than 10 million installed devices are in operation worldwide benefiting from HART communication. A traditional view shared by many in the user community is that data from the intelligent HART-capable field instruments is only obtainable via a standard hand held terminal. The reality is far from the perception. This paper describes how a personal computer based server productivity tool can use HART communication to connect one or more intelligent instruments to the rest of the enterprise. The server, which is based on the OPC standard, enables application software packages such as SCADA/HMI software, Internet web browser, Excel spreadsheet, SQC/SPC, MES, DCS, and Enterprise Resource Planning software to receive real-time information from HART-capable instrumentation. The open system standard based approach results in lower integration costs and improved productivity for a very small investment.
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