Success Story

A Revolution in Field Device Management

BARTEC technology increases productivity and digitalization in hazardous areas

In order to simplify the setting up, programming, and commissioning of hundreds of field devices, a leading global automation expert developed a specialist device management tool. The BARTEC Agile tablet PC series with HART add-on module has made the universal software solution available in mobile form for both Ex and non-Ex areas, thus greatly increasing efficiency.

A printing factory operations manager assisting her colleague working at multiple computers in the control room

The process industry utilizes millions of different field devices, all of which must be regularly programmed and maintained. As these devices can have extremely complex settings, a tremendous need arose within the industry for a standardized field device management system. This system was needed to cover the wide range of devices and communications protocols used and to simplify the completion of everyday tasks in both potentially explosive and non-hazardous areas. It was also intended as state-of-the-art efficiency-increasing solution for the current generation of mobile workers.


A mobile solution for HART and FDI standards

The optimized solution developed by a renowned automation provider combines their standards-based software tool with the BARTEC Agile tablet PC series. The tablet’s optional HART add-on module permits two-way communication with HART-compatible 4-20 mA field devices. The software uses the international Field Device Integration (FDI) to harmonize device management across various device and connection types.


An innovative solution

Fifty percent faster than its predecessors, the new solution represented a veritable quantum leap forward in field device management. The Windows-based solution optimizes field device management via a user-friendly app, a type of solution that is now ubiquitous throughout the industry. It enables robust communication with field devices to be performed from control rooms, from safe areas, or directly from individual devices. The appropriate versions of the relevant device drivers are automatically assigned and updated from a library. The solution automatically detects devices connected via HART or Remote I/O. If a specific driver is not found in the library, the device is assigned a generic driver for standard HART functions. The additional option of using EDD drivers means that practically every HART device is supported. The handheld version of the solution enables HART-compatible 4-20 mA devices to be pre-configured offline. It also shortens recurring tasks by using templates for simple duplication, comparing parameters, and documenting device configurations.


The BARTEC Agile tablet PC series with HART add-on-module

The BARTEC Agile tablet PC series can be used for Zone 1, Zone 2, and non-hazardous areas. Its Windows OS enables installation of the handheld version of the solution in under three minutes, making it ready for immediate use. Field devices are connected directly using the rear-mounted HART add-on module and two cables. The measuring range, tag number (measuring point name), unit and damping, for example, can be set on the touchscreen, where they can then be accessed more quickly using shortcuts. This also simplifies specific service functions, such as the Partial Stroke Test or Speed over Position Test for positioners and valve drives. Additional savings potential is offered by the device consolidation option. A single, standardized tablet PC solution eliminates the need to maintain separate handhelds and laptops for hazardous and non-hazardous areas, and the tablet‘s optional docking station converts it to a full desktop PC. Additional features such as an integrated 2D or RFID scanner support process digitalization, while the supplementary carrying system increases safety and convenience in the field.


Sustainable efficiency and safety gains

The solution and the BARTEC Agile Tablet PC series with HART add-on module have revolutionized both the management of and everyday work with field devices, creating lasting efficiency and safety gains. Today, managers can access field device information from anywhere in the system network. This single tool enables mobile workers to program, configure, and maintain HART devices in any environment, from potentially explosive to non-hazardous areas. The tablet PC also increases efficiency in other ways – it serves as both a multifunctional tool for further process optimization and a mobile office – one that can even be used directly in the field to order spare parts.


About the client

The client is a major international provider of automation technology.


The initial situation:

- High expenditure on field device management
- Lack of a solution for cohesive device management
- High costs due to specialized equipment with a low functional range

The challenge:

- Development of a standardized field device management system
- Simplification of routine tasks in the field
- Device consolidation and greater functionality

The solution:

- Specialized, client-developed management tool for field devices
- BARTEC Agile tablet PC series with HART add-on module and supplementary accessories

The result:

- Harmonized field device management (FDI) with automatic driver selection and assignment
- Extremely easy operation, e.g. using shortcuts
- Standardized hardware basis for Zone 1 through to non-hazardous areas
- Added benefits in the field due to integrated scan engine and mobile office capabilities (Windows-based tablet PC)

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