Device configuration historically has been done one device at a time by manually entering values for each parameter that needs to be defined in the device. There are a couple of notable risks to watch out for with this approach. First: It’s easy to make typing errors. Second: It’s not unheard of for a technician working out in the field to miss a new device during the configuration process or to take a device out of service, reconfigure it and then forget to put it back into service. In the latter case, it may look to the control system like it’s working properly, but it’s actually not measuring the process.
Additionally, plants can run into trouble if the individuals doing the configurations don’t have expertise in the device’s actual operation. For example, it’s common to set the transfer function in a differential pressure transmitter to square-root when the transmitter is used for flow applications, rather than setting the function to linear as it would be for pressure applications. An errant press of a button can make the output of the device totally inaccurate.