Skip Navigation Links
Skip navigation links
About EDDL
Technical Resources
Device Management
Standards Groups
About FDI
Skip navigation links
About EDDL
Supporting Organizations
News Archives
Technical Resources
The Standard
Developer Corner
Technical White Papers
User Forum
EDDL/DD File Download
Device Management
Device Revision Management
Calibration Trim
Device Diagnostics
Internal Variables
Standards Groups
About FDI
Device Diagnostics 


Device Diagnostics/Troubleshooting

You may have been wondering if all devices around the plant can be diagnosed using the same single software. With a system based on EDDL it is easy. The information provided here includes many examples of basic and advanced diagnostics from simple and sophisticated (complex) devices and serves to explain how the device manufacturers make it easy to diagnose their device on any system.

Plants have hundreds or thousands of devices of different types from different manufacturers for which they must continuously monitor the health, and troubleshoot as necessary.

In the past, these devices required a technician to be sent to the field to check diagnostics with a handheld field communicator. Other times the opposite was true, when troubleshooting was done at the device in the field, somebody had to be in the control room to work from the software.

Predictive diagnostics from field devices is now checked using handheld field communicator or intelligent device management software based on EDDL, whichever suits the task at hand best.

Intelligent Device Management (IDM) focuses on type 2 and type 3 diagnostics

4 Types of Diagnostics

EDDL technology makes device troubleshooting easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards as well as know-how made available from the device manufacturer's experts. The result is lower cost of maintenance, and reduced downtime. Health is flagged using easy to grasp NAMUR NE107 "status signals".

What diagnostics intelligent devices provide is not well understood and will therefore be explained in technical white papers and videos below. The importance of EDDL for diagnostics is also explained.

EDDL technology supports small portable field communicators for easy troubleshooting in the field, there is no other way to achieve a comparable result.

Integrated Operation

EDDL enables diagnostics from critical devices to be integrated in DCS operator consoles to be accessed in less than three clicks, displayed as intended by the device manufacturer. Since operators are not forced to come and go between workstations to understand what is happening in their plant, device diagnostics becomes a natural part of daily predictive maintenance work practices.

Institutionalizing Device Diagnostics  

Many operation and maintenance problems around the plant can be solved by deploying intelligent devices and IDM software. However, regardless of communication protocol, plant procedures must be written so as to make full use of the device diagnostics. Furthermore, the device alarm management must be engineered; rationalizing by categorizing and prioritizing the device diagnostics alarms, such as to NAMUR NE107. The IDM software must also be kept up to date with new device types and versions as they arrive in the plant. With the hardware, software, and standard operating procedures in place, effective use of device diagnostics is possible. That is, device diagnostics must be institutionalized in daily work processes and turnaround planning to be effective.

Device Diagnostics Deployment and Adoption Guide

The work being done by the ISA108 committee in this area will also benefit incorporation of device diagnostics in daily maintenance work practices and turnaround planning.

Technical White Papers

Tutorial: Intelligent Device Diagnostics

EDDL makes working in the field easy


Incorporating device diagnostics in daily work practices: Smart Diagnostics integrated in operator consoles

EDDL in Daily Plant Work Practices (Diagnostics)


Intelligent on-off valves made easy (Control Engineering Asia July/August 2014)

Daily maintenance and turnaround planning (Control Engineering Asia, April 2013)

Ultrasonic flowmeter diagnostics (Mar/Apr 2010)

Temperature transmitter diagnostics (Jan 2009)

Integrated operations (Aug 2009)

Coriolis flowmeter diagnostics (Oct 2009)

Integrated operations (2009)

Magnetic flowmeter diagnostics (Nov/Dec 2009)

Pump diagnostics (Apr 2008)

Pressure transmitter diagnostics (May 2008) 

Temperature transmitter diagnostics (Jun 2008)

Pressure transmitter diagnostics (Oct 2008)

pH analyzer diagnostics (Sep/Oct 2008)

What is device diagnostics?

Device diagnostics is the ability of the device to detect and indicate faults or degradation in itself (self-diagnostics), the installation, or attached sensor, actuator, or valve etc. and flag it. Diagnostics may include the ability to detect some process problems. Diagnostics for different kinds of devices is explained in detail in the diagnostics tutorial.

What is an instrument diagnostic alarm?

An "instrument diagnostic alarm" is an alarm generated by a field device to indicate a fault (e.g., sensor failure) has been detected by the self diagnostics [See ANSI/ISA–18.2–2009]. Instrument diagnostic alarms are explained in detail in the Device Diagnostics Deployment and Adoption Guide.

What is alert monitoring?

Alert monitoring is a feature or utility in the Intelligent Device Management (IDM) software part of the Asset Management System (AMS) that monitors the devices to see if the device diagnostics is flagging any problems. Various degrees of alarm management capabilities may be included such as filtering, alarm logging, alarm summary, and acknowledgement mechanism etc. Instrument diagnostic alarm management is explained in detail in the Device Diagnostics Deployment and Adoption Guide.

What is ISA108?

ISA108 is a series of developing technical reports and standards defining the concepts and terminology, work processes, and other information, to utilize intelligent devices effectively using intelligent device management (IDM) tool. This will include the incorporation of device diagnostics into daily maintenance and turnaround planning.

What is valve diagnostics?

Valves have no intelligence or diagnostics of their own. Instead a control valve is diagnosed by the valve positioner, and an on-off valve diagnosed by the valve coupler. A shutdown valve is diagnosed by a Partial Stroke Testing (PST) device. Each kind of device has different diagnostics to detect problems associated with each kind of valve. Diagnostics for different kinds of valves is explained in detail in the diagnostics tutorial.

What is Partial Stroke Testing (PST)?

Partial Stroke Testing (PST) is a diagnostics done on shutdown valves to detect the valve is not stuck. It is performed periodically by a partial stroke testing device. Partial stroke testing is explained in the diagnostics tutorial.

What is NAMUR NE107?

NAMUR NE107 is a recommendation harmonizes the display of status for devices by defining that detailed device-specific diagnostics shall be summarized as four simple status signals for operators while detailed diagnostics is only displayed to the device specialist. This ensure that the plant operator is not inundated with device troubleshooting details and cryptic error codes. NAMUR NE107 is explained in detail in the NAMUR NE107 tutorial

What is a status signal?

A status signal is a simple and easy to understand summary of the device health displayed to the operators. NAMUR NE107 is explained in detail in the NAMUR NE107 tutorial.

What is plugged impulse line diagnostics?

Plugged impulse line diagnostics is found in some pressure transmitters. This diagnostics detects plugging of the impulse line between the process pipe/vessel and a pressure transmitter, and will also detect if a manifold or valve on the impulse line is shut.

How do I troubleshoot a device?

Start by checking the software first. The device diagnostics will identify the problem. The EDDL file for the device contains a description of the problem and recommended action, displayed by the software.