Why use smart instruments at all?

When we finally get smart instruments communicating effectively, what will we do with them?

By Ian Verhappen

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The basis for smart instrumentation is the intelligent devices on which they rely. The definition of an intelligent device in the ISA108 standard is, "a device that in addition to its basic measurement or control purpose also has digital communication capabilities and supplementary functions such as diagnostics and the ability to share this information with other devices on the network."

As a result of the many discussions on wireless and other forms of digital communication between these intelligent devices, and the need for smoother integration, there is a significant amount of work presently underway in IEC standards development. Under the auspices of TC65, Industrial-Process Measurement, Control and Automation, we have subcommittees working on SC65A, System Aspects; SC65B, Measurement and Control Devices; C65C, Industrial Networks; and SC 65E, Devices and Integration in Enterprise Systems.

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