Smar Introduces HCC301 Hart Protocol - to - Current Converter

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Frees valuable, real-time data from field devices

Smar announced the introduction of the HCC301, a powerful HART protocol-to-current converter freeing valuable, real-time device data that conventional controllers previously could not access for use in sophisticated control algorithms and to improve plant safety.Employing Smar's "best-in-class" HART technology, HCC301 enables the transfer of useful information such as actual valve position and process temperature from smart instruments into conventional controllers and systems. This is accomplished without the need for additional field wiring. The device is permanently connected and can be mounted in the control room panel.

According to Jonas Berge, general manager of Smar Singapore, HCC301 is part of a new breed of Smar products which "unleash the power" of HART by applying the technology on a full-time basis. Other recent additions to the product line include HPC301 software and interface for Palm III, V and M Series; CONF401 configuration software; HI321 USB-HART interface converter; and HI302 HART gateway to H1 fieldbus.

"Smar is leading the way in developing new instrumentation and control products which maximize the benefits of the HART protocol," said Berge. "The fact is, the vast majority of control applications utilize only a fraction of the full capabilities of HART. As demonstrated by innovative devices such as HCC301, HART can easily and cost-effectively be applied on a full-time basis, allowing many applications to become more valuable to the enterprise."

He added, "Making the most of your HART device capabilities can breathe new life into a control system and extend its useful service for years to come."

HCC301 was specifically designed to add value and functionality to existing HART products – at a significantly lower price. For example, HCC301 can be used with Smar's DT301 multivariable density transmitter to obtain outputs for both density and process temperature. It can also be paired with the FY301 control valve positioner to access an actual valve position feedback current signal for the DCS or PLC. This enables fast detection of a stuck or poorly performing valve, and improves the safety of control loops by allowing operators to know that the controller output is actually taking effect.

Because of the interoperability of the HART protocol, HCC301 is compatible with all HART devices. Therefore, it can access data and read any dynamic variable available from another HART device. Polling of field devices is also very fast, ensuring the current is quickly updated. HCC301 converts variables to a dynamically-updated 4-20 mA signal according to a pre-configured range. The polled variable may be the primary variable, primary variable in percentage, or one of the dynamic variables: secondary, tertiary and fourth.

Additionally, HCC301 features diagnostics that can detect a communication malfunction on the HART network and set the output to a pre-configured safety value of 3.6 or 21 mA as per the NAMUR NE 43 standard to indicate failure. This allows the receiving controller to take safe action.

HCC301 is both easy to install and configure. A compact, DIN-rail mounted unit, it simply snaps into the control panel. HCC301 is a loop-powered, two-wire device just like a HART transmitter, and produces a 4-20 mA signal that connects to any existing control system. It is a completely self-contained and runs from a regular 24 VDC supply. Configuration is done by means of Smar's user-friendly HPC301 hand-held, which can also can be used to calibrate the current output of HCC301 if required and retrieve other useful information pertinent to the converter.