A recent study performed by Invensys and Fieldbus Inc. concludes that process industry automation users are frustrated with the low success levels provided by current plant production management strategies.

According to those interviewed, while field device-centric asset management strategies can provide a helpful point solution, they ignore the vast majority of installed plant equipment. Equipment-centric asset management strategies, on the other hand, are often not well integrated with either intelligent field devices or the plant automation systems.

"Our big concern is that we get too much data, but we don't know what to do with it, and we sure don't have the time to go through it all," commented one of the users surveyed.

Today's process manufacturers have had to significantly reduce their internal resources to maintain profitability, said Mike Caliel, president of Invensys Process Systems. "In today's tough regulatory environment, plant managers are very much concerned with their personal accountability in the event that something preventable goes wrong," he added.

The study, conducted last summer, involved face-to-face interviews with almost 70 plant managers, engineers, maintenance supervisors, and instrument technicians at 21 process manufacturing organizations in North America and Europe.