Changes in modern industrial plants present new challenges in maintaining uptime. On the one hand, an ever-increasing supply of operational data is now available, which can provide insights into the health of production assets. On the other hand, dwindling domain experience places additional strain on production staff responsible for analyzing data in a time frame needed for improved uptime and reduced operations and maintenance costs.
In order to make all of today’s robust diagnostic information useful, there needs to be a good method for accessing and displaying it. With the widespread adoption of FDT® Technology, accessing diagnostic data is no longer a challenge. State-of-the-art devices are capable of processing the collected diagnostics and presenting information about their condition in a visual format that can be understood instantaneously. Operations are also helped since many device DTMs comply with the Namur NE107 guidelines that define alert and notification symbols for fast and clear problem recognition and resolution. This makes the available information much more accessible to individuals without technical training and easier to use.
Predictive analytics pushes the pursuit of asset reliability from its reactive orientation to one that is fully forward-looking and better aligned with the goals and realities of today’s manufacturing environment. By supporting smart device information monitoring and analysis, FDT Technology optimizes the lifecycle cost of plants and factories while enhancing maintenance activities, increasing the safety of personnel and assets, and improving product quality. It also enables remote access to devices, helping pinpoint and address asset problems and eliminating trips to the field. Instead of getting answers to operational questions in days or weeks, these answers can now be made available in near-real-time, helping personnel make better and timelier decisions that affect the business.
The FDT solution delivers a superior presentation of complex diagnostic data such as valve stroke tests. Detailed and easily understandable diagnostics and device manufacturer recommendations allow for quick resolution of problems.
The addition of OPC UA to the FDT specification allows developers to create applications never before possible. A simple example is an Android tablet application that contains an OPC UA client but allows a maintenance technician to ascertain the operational status and health of an asset by interrogating the remote FDT/FRAME enabled system as he or she roams the facility. To the operator, it will appear as if the wireless tablet is connected directly to the asset in question.