DTM Diagnostic Module Simplifies Troubleshooting

Endress+Hauser devices support NAMUR NE 107 diagnostics and the new Fieldbus Foundations FF-912 Diagnostics

An increasing number of Endress+Hauser devices currently on the market now have device DTMs which include the uniform NE107 diagnostics module as well the new FF-912 Diagnostics specification. These modules display status signals in accordance with the criteria of the NAMUR recommendation NE 107. NE 107 Diagnostics is independent of the fieldbus communication protocols HART, PROFIBUS or FOUNDATION fieldbus.

NAMUR is an international association of process automation that provides recommendations to help end users by showing best practices. NAMUR also guides suppliers and industry foundations on future technologies and product development. NAMUR represents about 15,000 process control experts, of whom approximately 300 are active in 33 working groups. Names like Novartis, BASF, Bayer, Evonik, Shell and Clariant are typify membership in this association.

“The new method to display the NE107 status symbols has advantages for both plant operators and maintenance staff,” explains the responsible technology manager at Endress+Hauser Process Solutions. “They receive only the information they need. The information sent to the operator or maintenance station can be tailored to the needs of the plant. Uncertainties in operating the plant can be thereby avoided.”

The dynamic diagnostic information is automatically presented as health status after opening the device DTM in FDT-based Plant Asset Management tools such as FieldCare. It comprises a clear, plain text message. If there is a diagnostic need, details of possible causes of failures and exact resolution instructions for fixing the problem are provided. In this way, it is possible to access quickly and efficiently remedy errors without digging into the operating manual.

Display of diagnostic information in FieldCare

One example of how to create a beneficial implementation of the NE107 specification was implemented for the Endress+Hauser FOUNDATION fieldbus DTMs. Available diagnostic messages from a field device are generally predefined by Endress+Hauser. Depending on application requirements, the user is able to customize diagnostics to his application needs.

For example, the category MAINTENANCE receives higher importance. It can be marked as highest level by easily checking the related field in the DTM. On the other hand side, a failure of an unimportant event should receive a low ranking. Related checkboxes have to be selected.

In the standard area of the Endress+Hauser DTM application, the user has the possibility to group diagnostic events which are independent from the device types. For each of the four categories (failure, function check, out of specification and maintenance required), the events are grouped into further subcategories called sensor, electronics, configuration and process.

In addition, specific diagnostic messages can be changed according to the needs of the customer. These events are mostly application-related diagnostic events, e.g. lost echo detection from a radar level device.

Endress+Hauser’s implementation of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Field Diagnostic Profile specification and NAMUR NE 107 diagnostics is an excellent example of how an automation supplier can utilize the FOUNDATION fieldbus standard while building in specific functionality for managing diagnostic data. The Endress+Hauser implementation of FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostics also conforms to NAMUR’s recommendations both by distinguishing between device and process problems and by using the standard NAMUR diagnostic FCSM classifications as its standard diagnostic classification.

More information? fdt@solutions.endress.com

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