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Over 80% of the instruments installed today are HART communication-capable instruments. This installed base is huge and growing. Instrument and systems manufacturers have designed an extraordinary amount of "smart" digital information in today’ instrumentation using the HART Protocol as a design premise. These devices provide valuable digital process information and device status, riding on the existing conventional 4-20 mA process signals.Unfortunately, it has erroneously been assumed that this "smart data" was applicable only toconfiguration and diagnostic type applications. These are important and obviously valuable, however, there are many, many other applications for the HART data in the typical plant. The problem is that, here-to-fore, end users have had some difficulty in extracting the smart information and deciding how to make use of the information in their applications. End users and applications people are experts in theirapplications, and they may not want to become expert software designers. So, in many cases, the available "Smart" data may not have been fully utilized.Today, there are new tools and techniques available to solve this dilemma. The HART Communication Foundation, as an international non-profit standards organization supporting the HART technology, has made available a HART OPC Server and related tools for the industry. This paper will present a brief technology background and describe some of the HART Server applications and techniques in use and under development today, with a view toward explaining concepts useful to a wide audience.
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