HART survey confirms growth

The HART Communication Foundation (HCF) confirms that industry users and suppliers are firmly committed to the growth of the HART Communication technology for years to come. A new ARC market survey, sponsored by the HCF, recently investigated communication protocol plans of global users working in knowledgeable positions across the automation industry. Survey results corroborated long-term mass adoption trends of HART-enabled control systems and instrumentation.

More than three-quarters of respondents consider the HART Protocol important when selecting products. Nearly 70 percent expect to maintain or increase their HART investments over the next 12 months.

The majority of respondents believe HART will be important as they evaluate process instrumentation over the next five years. Survey results also indicate the largest growth for HART devices will be in final control elements and HART- enabled DCS/PLC systems. This equates to increasing demand for HART support and training from DCS, PLC and control valve suppliers.

"The survey clearly shows continued market support for existing communication technology which bodes well for the future longevity of HART," says ARC's Director of Field Systems Wil Chin (ARC Insights 22 Dec 2004). "This should be a clear signal to suppliers to expand HART solutions to match users needs."

Chin recommends suppliers enhance their products, increase their knowledge base, and educate users on the benefits in their HART-enabled devices. Chin recommends users investigate the hidden benefits of HART technology and determine how HART can improve the productivity of their plant.

Chin also notes that both suppliers and users can benefit from becoming members of the HCF.

"HCF membership is open to anyone interested in the use of the HART technology," says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson. "HCF members have access to all HCF resources, technical information and programs to expand their knowledge and maximize HART smart instrumentation investments."

The HCF recently initiated the HART User Associate Membership Program for users of HART Communication technology. HART User Associate Membership is applicable for businesses that use (but do not develop or manufacture) products based on the HART Protocol, including end user and system integrator sites, non-profit government agencies, accredited universities, colleges and technical training schools.

For a copy of the ARC Insights #2004-56MHLP, go to:  www.hartcomm.org.

The HART Field Communications Protocol is the global standard for smart process instrumentation.  Seventy percent of all smart process measurement and control instruments installed worldwide each year use HART Communication. The global installed base of HART-enabled devices is the largest of all communication protocols at more than 15 million.  Key features of this unique open standard communication technology are ? 4-20mA compatibility, ease of use, low risk, and cost-efficient implementation for both users and suppliers.

The HART Communication Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization providing worldwide support for application of HART technology.  Established in 1993, the Foundation is the technology owner and standards setting body for the HART Communication Protocol. The Foundation is supported by major instrumentation manufacturers and users around the world. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of HART technology. For more information, go to www.hartcomm.org.

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