Essentials of Smart Temperature Transmitters and NAMUR NE 107

Get insights into the benefits of transmitter self-diagnostics.
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In this article, we will discuss the importance of accurate temperature measurement in industrial settings. We’ll introduce you to smart temperature transmitters and their pivotal role in ensuring accurate and precise temperature control.

We will also introduce you to the impact of NAMUR NE 107 in enhancing the reliability of industrial processes.

Let’s kick things off with a brief introduction to the traditional sensor.

A sensor is a device that detects changes in physical properties and produces an electrical output in response to that change.

An example of a temperature sensor is the thermocouple that produces an increasing voltage across it when exposed to increasing temperatures.

Smart sensors and smart transmitters

Ok… now let's differentiate between a smart sensor and a smart transmitter.

A smart sensor goes beyond simply sensing basic physical properties. It combines a traditional sensor with a microprocessor that handles data conversion, digital processing, and facilitates communication with external devices.

Smart sensor

So… what is a smart transmitter?

Smart transmitters are devices designed to convert sensor signals, typically originating from traditional sensors, into standardized signals that can seamlessly communicate with control systems.

Smart transmitter

Some smart transmitters are equipped with various diagnostic tools to detect sensor faults.

Is it possible for sensors to be faulty? Absolutely.

Sensors are constantly exposed to harsh physical environments and often fail over time.

Smart transmitters can perform a variety of sensor diagnostic tests. Let’s look at a few.

Sensor drift detection looks for a gradual change in the sensor output that deviates from the expected behavior over time thus predicting when calibration or maintenance is required.

Sensor fault detection recognizes faults such as sensor damage, open circuits, or short circuits in the sensor circuit.

Out-of-range detection monitors if the sensor reading falls outside predetermined ranges.

Sensor health detection helps to predict sensor degradation by tracking the overall health of the sensor by analyzing various parameters.

When faults or anomalies are detected, smart transmitters often display error codes or trigger alarms to alert operators or control systems about the issue. This feature holds significant power as ensuring safe and efficient plant operations is a top priority.

Error codes in smart transmitters

We'll dive further into this topic when we explore NAMUR NE 107, a standard that leverages diagnostics in smart devices.

Redundancy & safety

Before we move on to NAMUR NE 107, let's discuss the dual sensor redundancy and fail-safe features of some smart transmitters such as the Endress+Hauser iTEMP TMT82.

Dual sensor redundancy in smart temperature transmitters involves using two separate temperature sensors. Why would it be advantageous to have two separate sensors?

Let’s look at two advantages.

If one sensor fails or malfunctions, the transmitter can switch to the other sensor ensuring a fail-safe environment and maintaining continuous and accurate temperature monitoring.

If the transmitter is capable, both sensor outputs are compared in real-time to detect abnormalities or faults such as sensor drift thus signaling the need for maintenance or replacement.

Dual sensor redundancy

Some smart transmitters have built-in self-diagnostics that ensure the device operates reliably, accurately, and consistently.

Temperature measurements hold critical importance in numerous industries, including pharmaceuticals and food processing.

Transmitter Self-diagnostics enables the transmitter to continuously assess its performance, ensuring that temperature readings remain accurate within specified tolerances.

Temperature transmitter applications

Self-monitoring smart transmitters can optimize their performance by compensating for issues such as sensor drift, or environmental factors that might affect temperature readings.


Ok… let’s move on to NAMUR NE 107.

The Endress+Hauser iTEMP TMT82 temperature transmitter is capable of producing diagnostic status information according to NAMUR NE 107.

NE 107 is a recognized standard detailing how to make use of smart transmitters and other smart device diagnostics.

NAMUR is a group of end users and systems integrators from European process industries.

Why is the NAMUR NE 107 standard becoming so popular?

There are several reasons but perhaps one of the most important is it ensures that devices provide clear and standardized error messages, facilitating quicker identification and resolution of issues.

Why is this important?

The heart of any plant is the Control Room where operators are constantly analyzing plant input and data to execute appropriate actions. NAMUR NE 107 with its standardized error messages greatly assists the plant operator in making timely and correct decisions.

NAMUR NE 107 in the Control Room

Knowing the device status is useful and can help the control room operator initiate appropriate action as required.

The device diagnostic status is displayed as one of four categories:

  • Failure
  • Out of Specification
  • Maintenance Required
  • Function Check

If you would like to learn more about Temperature Transmitters, then we suggest you check out our course Temperature Transmitters: Calibration, Principles & Industry Applications.

This course was developed in partnership with Endress+Hauser. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion from Endress+Hauser.

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