By Jim Montague
If you can't see the forest for all the trees, it's time get up above those trees.
Because the need to know what's going on in process applications always demands more data and finer resolution from more places, one useful indicator just sparks the desire for more. That's why, after process controls engineers and other plant-floor professionals gain mobile tools and software, they still want to accelerate and diversify their capabilities even further, and extend them to new locations and applications.
"We had one user with a telescope pointed at a level instrument on an elevated water tower across town, which he used regularly until we added a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system and radio," says Robert Touchton, chief design officer at MR Systems, a CSIA-certified system integrator in Norcross, Ga. "He even kept the telescope for awhile during the transition period."