Man in front of computer making comparison between As Planned and As Built

Digital twin in process automation Easy comparison between As Planned and As Built

  • Current, real data from the plant is available at all times with automatic As-Built documentation
  • Tours for manually recording the installed HART field devices are no longer necessary due to the field devices being continuously connected
  • Rapid troubleshooting and the avoidance of downtimes in the event of manufacturer recalls, changes, or discontinuations with optimized inventories
Production employee on a maintenance round in a process system

Systems in the process industry are constantly being rebuilt. Accordingly, the work involved in the as-built documentation is extensive.

Consistent system documentation

In large systems in the process industry, a huge amount of resources are dedicated to keeping system documentation up to date. Maintenance employees or external companies regularly inspect the production plant and document the changes identified through so-called red entries. The transfer of these red entries from paper lists to a P&I flow diagram often harbors the risk of transfer errors. As a result, manufacturer information cannot be assessed in the event of device discontinuation or product changes. Due to the constantly changing field device inventory in the production plant and the partially missing information, an inventory cannot be planned, which significantly complicates any necessary device replacements.

What we call a digital twin for the process industry is a digital map of all sensors and actuators present in the field, including the stored maintenance cycles, their configuration, and the error status of the devices in the event of errors. This is what we focus on with our solution.

Wilfried Grote - Phoenix Contact, Director Global Industry Management Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals
Director Global Industry Management Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Wilfried Grote
Digital map of the sensors and actuators installed in the field in the process industry

As soon as users have a sufficient digital twin including all sensors and actuators installed in the field, they automatically have digital access to the as-built state.

Digital system transparency

80% of systems in the process industry are equipped with digital, HART-compatible field devices. However, only 5% of these use digital signals.

We make it possible for you to retroactively tap HART data and provide the necessary field data in OPC UA format with no adverse effects. With this additional smart field device data, you benefit from digital system transparency – the so-called digital twin. With this transparency, maintenance, upkeep, and availability can be improved significantly.

Inventory list of HART devices at the touch of a button

With our web-based inventory, you always have all up-to-date field device information available at a glance. Any changes determined are framed for a better overview. This makes it easier for you to add red entries to your system documentation. You can also export the inventory lists. In this way, you are laying the foundation for entry into the world of the digital twin in process automation.

Inventory list of HART devices

Example of the web-based inventory list

From the field to IIoT

The electrical HART signals tap is retrofitted between the field and automation system without any negative effects. The field device data is normalized and standardized on the edge. It can therefore be made available, for example, for added-value services such as predictive maintenance and for sustainable process optimization.

Function overview: Digital twin in the process industry
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Work with your preferred programming languages, whether IEC 61131-3 or high-level languages. Integrate open-source code and apps, or network with PLCnext Control via cloud connections.
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Interface converters, device servers, and gateways
HART components provide a cost-effective, permanent connection to all your HART data, thereby optimizing maintenance and system operating times.
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Cloud solutions
Manage devices intelligently and shorten downtimes with Smart Services on the Proficloud.io IIoT platform.
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