Usually, you have many ways to set up field devices. These methods often depend on the model and vendor. Most HART communicator will have at the very least a couple of push buttons for zero and span adjust.

You can also find devices where you can navigate the setup menu using these buttons. Still, other devices offer a local display with push buttons or a touchscreen.

Endress+Hauser
RIA15 For the indication of the 4 to 20 mA signal or the HART values in the field or in the panel
in the shop from 159 €
RIA15

To read more about RIA 15, you can click on the Product Review here

And finally, you can use a HART communicator, or handheld, to connect with HART field devices. If the device doesn’t have HART protocol, some communicators can also use FOUNDATION Fieldbus or PROFIBUS PA.

HART communicator
Courtesy of Emerson

If you use a HART communicator, then you definitely need device description (DD) files. These files tell the handheld how to correctly interpret the data from the field device.

Usually, when you buy a new HART communicator, it has a bunch of DDs installed in the database. However, if you don’t have the right version of the file, you’ll need to update the database, an often unpleasant procedure. You may also need a license for your update.

Fortunately, vendors have begun pitching new handhelds that don’t need licenses or complex procedures for updating. So keep an eye out for those.

Anyway, if you have the DD for your device, you can connect to it using your HART communicator. Also, you need a 250-ohm resistor on hand. You can read more about that here.

The video below will tell you more about HART communicators.

When you have a question about process automation that needs a short answer, let us know with #WishIknew and @Visaya! We’ll reply with a #WishIknew post. It’ll give a quick explanation, then some related articles, videos, or reviews if you want to know more.

To know more about products with HART, you can Ask Alex!

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