By Keith Larson, Control Magazine
Martin (Marty) Zielinski officially retired in the fall of 2019. But the 37-year Emerson veteran still maintains an active role on the company’s behalf, monitoring the activities of Technical Committee 65 and select subcommittees of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the global international standards group responsible for Industrial Process Measurement, Control and Automation.
Even part-time, there are few individuals more suited to this role than Zielinski, lead champion of open standards for digital field communications ever since there was such a thing. Starting in 1985, he led the effort within Rosemount to create the original HART protocol, which superimposed a digital, frequency-shift-keyed (FSK) signal atop the industry-standard 4-20mA current signal.
Perhaps more importantly—for Emerson and for industry—Zielinksi championed the release of HART into the public domain, leveraging the marketplace expectation set by the 4-20mA analog standard that field devices from any manufacturer interoperate with any distributed control system on the market. “He then visited virtually all the other suppliers in the process automation industry, sharing the values of standardizing on HART,” says John Berra, then Rosemount president and member of the Process Automation Hall of Fame.