SMAR Introduces Hart/FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Interface

Monday, June 10, 2002

HI302 protects user investment during migration from HART to FOUNDATION™ fieldbus

Smar announced the introduction of the HI302, an easy to use interface that integrates HART devices into FOUNDATION™ fieldbus networks. Designed to fit virtually any network topology, and provide full access to all HART variables, the HI302 protects the user's investment in installed HART assets when migrating to FOUNDATION fieldbus technology.

Fully compatible with Smar's best-in-class SYSTEM302 enterprise automation system, and embedded with the Smar field device configuration, the HI302 can be paired with the DFI302 linking device for integration of the plant control architecture. The HI302 is a unique solution for integrating HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus networks, allowing multi-drop or point-to-point connection of up to 32 HART devices, eight HART Master channels, and one H1 (31.25 kbit/s) FOUNDATION fieldbus channel.

According to Smar International Corp. General Manager Marcelo Dultra, the HI302 is a versatile tool offering users of HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus the best of both worlds. "Those connecting HART transmitters or positioners to a FOUNDATION fieldbus system were previously limited to 4-20mA signals, with digital information only available separately through a hand-held communicator or similar device," said Dultra. "This approach required duplicating wiring from the devices to the fieldbus network — a costly and time-consuming procedure."

He continued, "With the HI302, the user is liberated from the constraints of duplicate wiring to support communications between new and legacy systems. The pair of wires connecting HART devices to the fieldbus system can now carry digital information which can be made available for historization or use by an asset management system."

The HI302 is offered in three different configurations: the HI302-N for HART communication only, the HI302-O for FOUNDATION fieldbus to current conversion, and the HI302-I for current to FOUNDATION fieldbus conversion. Additionally, the interface employs new Flexible Function Blocks (FFBs) such as HCFG (general configuration and HART communication diagnostics), HIRT (all universal and most usable common practice commands, HVT (HART variable template for specific command variables), and HCD and HWPC (description of manufacturer-specific commands.)

Typical applications for the HI302 interface include use with parallel HART Master channels to improve network performance and flexibility, and multi-drop connection of 4-20mA topologies to support legacy systems.