Friday, December 21, 2012

Updated FOUNDATION For Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) Interoperability Test Kit Available

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced the release of the latest version of its FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) Interoperability Test Kit (ITK). This powerful test solution has been updated with new test cases to verify the functionality of H1 (31.25 bit/s) fieldbus devices based on the current Foundation for SIF technical specifications, including the newly introduced H1 dual-mode device capability employing powerful field diagnostics.

FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is an excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging fieldbus instruments, and provides all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer’s complete device interoperability as specified by the Fieldbus Foundation’s official registration testing procedure. By using the test kit, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for registration.


Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke said, “The updated Foundation for SIF ITK verifies advanced functionality such as the new dual-mode H1 device capability, allowing automation suppliers to bring new safety products to market without having to design two entirely different devices. Developers can implement H1 instruments with SIF features activated or de-activated. More importantly, this means that plants will only have to stock one type of instrument that can be used as either a process device or a safety device.”

According to Mitschke, multiple Foundation for SIF pilot projects are underway at locations around the world with different end users. Saudi Aramco has successfully launched two pilot projects and is preparing to install working systems within operating oil and gas facilities. After these smaller pilot projects are complete, the company plans expanded deployment of FOUNDATION for SIF technology in order to exploit its benefits on larger, mega-scale projects. In addition, Shell Project & Technology has specified FOUNDATION for SIF for use on the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) project in the Netherlands. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.

The FOUNDATION for SIF ITK includes a host of test cases verifying the functionality of a fieldbus device and its conformance with the Foundation fieldbus function block and transducer block specifications. It also incorporates a DD “Super Viewer” allowing examination and verification of a device's DD, and a conformance test procedure for the Physical Layer. Device developers can “walk” their DD, execute methods, and render visualization elements supported by DD 5.1 technology. The interoperability test suite can be paired with an ITK automation tool designed to eliminate several manual intervention steps required when performing pre-registration testing of fieldbus devices. The tool improves ITK schedule efficiency and provides a direct reduction in the person-hours needed to complete the testing phase. It is available with a maintenance agreement to keep the test suite software up to date with the latest enhancements.

FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is available to current users with maintenance agreements, as well as for new purchases. For more information, please visit the Tools page of the Fieldbus Foundation Website or e-mail sales@fieldbus.org.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation and ISA100 Wireless Collaboration Delivers Backhaul Architecture Model

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced approval of a backhaul architecture model, developed in collaboration with International Society of Automation standards committee ISA100 that provides a common framework enabling multiple industrial communication protocols to run over a shared wireless backhaul network in process automation systems.

Completion of this work is a key milestone supporting implementation of the Fieldbus Foundation's wireless High Speed Ethernet (HSE) backhaul included in FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology.

In June 2008, ISA100 leaders established a new working group, ISA100.15—Wireless Backhaul Networks Working Group—to develop standards and technical reports to address one or more dedicated or shared wireless backhaul(s) to support technologies running multiple applications. At the same time, Fieldbus Foundation end user members identified the wireless backhaul as critical for FOUNDATION for ROM development.

To expedite the work, the Fieldbus Foundation and ISA began joint collaboration on wireless networks combining Fieldbus Foundation application protocol expertise with ISA100 communication networking resources to complete the architecture model. ISA will publish the work as technical report ISA-TR100.15.01, Backhaul Architecture Model: Secured Connectivity over Untrusted or Trusted Networks, within the ISA100 family of standards.

Dr. Penny Chen, principal systems architect with Yokogawa and co-chair of the ISA100.15 working group, praised the results of the wireless backhaul collaborative effort. "Working together, dedicated engineers have a developed a solution meeting industry requirements for a wireless backhaul transport network to facilitate interoperability, end-to-end security, and end-to-end quality of service in industrial wireless installations," Dr. Chen said.

Dave Glanzer, Fieldbus Foundation director of technology development and co-chair of the working group commented, "The Fieldbus Foundation has consistently supported wireless advancements, and this joint initiative is crucial to FOUNDATION for ROM. Our ROM solution extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to countless wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. It provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even OEM skids."

According to Glanzer, plans are underway for a series of field demonstrations using the FOUNDATION for ROM wireless HSE backhaul. Major end users hosting the demonstrations include Reliance Industries (India), Petrobras (Brazil) and Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia). Additional end user sites in Japan and Europe are expected to join the program. The field demos will offer a look at the full functionality of FOUNDATION for ROM, including wireless device integration, remote I/O integration, and wireless backhaul capabilities.

FOUNDATION for ROM was designed to enable fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, and is the first successful integration of ISA100.11a, WirelessHART®, wired HART®, and wired H1 protocols into a single standard environment without sacrificing the diagnostic capabilities of existing wireless devices. Instead, these capabilities are mapped into the FOUNDATION block structure to provide a standard environment for data management and quality, eliminating techniques which are highly customized and much more costly to maintain throughout the plant lifecycle.

As part of this solution, FOUNDATION for ROM provides a way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O back to the control room using HSE communication. It also employs Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and function blocks to ensure interoperability with FOUNDATION for ROM devices. This is essential to improve integration of critical functional areas, including machinery health monitoring, safety interlocks, fire & gas detection systems, and video surveillance.

To learn more about FOUNDATION for ROM, go to www.fieldbus.org and select the ROM navigation button, or call (512) 794-8890. For more information about ISA100, visit www.isa.org/standards.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation 2013 General Assembly To Be Held in Shanghai, China

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced that our 2013 General Assembly will be held in Shanghai, China, on March 12-15, 2013. This annual event is open to Fieldbus Foundation members and non-members, and will be attended by leading Foundation fieldbus suppliers, end users and industry participants from around the world.

The highlight of the General Assembly is the conference to be held March 14. The conference program is focused on automation end users and will provide an overview of the many Fieldbus Foundation developments across the globe. It will include updates by leading fieldbus experts on the latest initiatives in Foundation technology, as well as presentations by major end users who have installed fieldbus in their industrial operations.

Representatives of Fieldbus Foundation member companies are invited to attend the General Assembly business meeting on March 15.

"Foundation fieldbus is a technology that's helping to drive global industrial development, so it only makes sense that our 2013 General Assembly would be held in Shanghai, China - the heart of one of the world's fastest growing markets and location of some of the largest fieldbus projects to date," said Rich Timoney, Fieldbus Foundation president and CEO. "Our annual meeting will attract a wide spectrum of the fieldbus community throughout China's burgeoning manufacturing and industrial base. We strongly encourage all end users of Foundation technology, and those looking to become users, to actively participate in this event."

Additional information on the 2013 General Assembly will be announced in the coming weeks. For more details and registration, please contact me at larry.obrien@fieldbus.org.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Updates to FOUNDATION Spec Allow for Easier Device Replacement

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced the latest updates to its open, non-proprietary FOUNDATION fieldbus specifications. These updates help automate device replacement and enable backwards compatibility among different revisions of FOUNDATION devices used in plant automation systems. End users will benefit from greater predictability in fieldbus implementation, while reducing integration risks and eliminating manual intervention for device configuration.

The most significant updates to the Foundation technical specifications are a revised series of function block and transducer block profiles, as well as requirements for H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device replacement that are now part of the Fieldbus Foundation’s device registration process. This enhancement enables the H1 interoperability test kit to verify consistent behavior between device and host implementations in fieldbus-based control systems.

End users are seeking increasingly automated replacement of intelligent devices. Device replacement automation makes it easier to reproduce an existing FOUNDATION device configuration (including function blocks and parameters) in a newer instrument by enabling a minimum set of functionality to exist so end users can get their process back up and running quickly and simply. This enhancement allows for final configuration to be completed after other critical tasks associated with the process outage have been addressed. This saves time and money and simplifies stocking of replacement devices.

Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke commented, "The Foundation recognizes that ease of device replacement is an important concern for engineers and technicians in process plants. We see these updated specifications as a valuable opportunity and a first step in a series of things we can do to provide more value to the end users. It’s another example of our commitment to continuous improvement and being an end user driven standard."

Automation of device replacement allows the configuration in an existing field device to be restored in a newer version of that instrument without manual intervention. This ‘plug and play’ solution ensures features are consistent between different generations of devices without reengineering the host configuration or changing any other element of the H1 network other than the new instrument.

In addition to device replacement, the specification update provides improved positioner profile in fieldbus devices. This technology supports organization and integration of advanced device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. It provides standard definitions for positioner transducer blocks and includes parameter structure definitions for better data organization with fieldbus devices, including partial/full stroke test (PST/FST) of valves.

The new specification release also includes definitions for discrete process variables clarifying how variable values are interpreted in conjunction with state tables, as well as several new or updated application and technical notes.

For more information, please visit the Technical Specifications page of the Fieldbus Foundation’s website at www.fieldbus.org. You may also view the Spec Index for a full list of specifications included in the Foundation Technical Specifications package.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

UK Marketing Committee Welcomes Richard Barnes as New Chairman

The Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee (FFUKMC) welcomes Richard Barnes as its new Chairman.

Currently AMS Consultant - Strategic Services Group Europe, at Emerson Process Management, he replaces Mike O'Neill of R.Stahl who stepped down from the position after nearly two years, following a career move.

Mike Keightley of Yokogawa has taken over the position of Vice-Chairman from Barnes.

The FFUKMC was formally established in 1999 to promote an increased awareness and adoption of Foundation technology throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland through a range of end user focused activities including technology seminars and roadshows, technical demonstrations and support, and trade show and conference participation. Barnes has been an active member of the FFUKMC since June 2011 when he took over the position of Vice-Chairman.

Fully supported by the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council (EAC) and the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee, the FFUKMC plays an important role in promoting the primary value propositions of Foundation technology, which include process integrity, business intelligence and open, scalable integration of information across process manufacturing plants.

Marc Van Pelt, Vice-President - Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, welcomes Barnes into his new role. "I am delighted that Richard has offered to take on an increased role within the UK marketing committee. His enthusiasm will continue to build on the achievements of the past few years. We are very grateful to Mike O'Neill for his contribution to these efforts and we wish him well in his new role."

Barnes studied electrical and electronic engineering and has worked with Emerson Process Management for over 25 years in various roles with Rosemount and Fisher-Rosemount system projects and asset optimisation business units. In his present role at the Nottingham facility, he supports the asset management and optimisation strategies of his European customer base.

Over the next 12 months, Barnes is keen to clarify to users and prospective users of Foundation technology how effective the technology can be in process plant control and monitoring solutions - especially in the significant reduction of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX). He is also committed to promoting the importance of up-front project planning and the adoption of industry best practices in order to maximise the success and maintenance of a Foundation project implementation.

The FFUKMC has announced the first of its 2013 schedule of end user events - a study day in London on Tuesday 26 February, 2013. With a morning session focused on an introduction to Foundation technology, a lunch break with tabletop displays and additional break-out sessions, and an afternoon session offering a more advanced programme, delegates will be able to tailor the day to suit their own requirements. Visit the FFUKMC events webpage for more information.

The FFUKMC recently welcomed Rotork and Beamex as member companies, bringing the total membership to 16 companies. Rotork is a British-based manufacturer of electric, pneumatic and hydraulic valve actuators and associated control systems, and Beamex is a provider of integrated calibration solutions.

The FFUKMC membership now includes: ABB, Beamex, Beka Associates, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL -Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Moore Industries, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Rotork, R.Stahl, Smar, Turck, Vega and Yokogawa.

Membership inquiries are always welcome.  You can email me at larry.obrien@fieldbus.org.   

Report from the Seminar in King of Prussia, PA

We held our end user and sales force training seminars in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania last week, just outside of Philadelphia.   We had a very good crowd for both the end user seminar on Wednesday and the sales force training seminar on Thursday.  It has been a long time since we visited the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware area, but we have many fieldbus end user sin this area from the life sciences industry to chemicals and refining, as well as a some large suppliers including ABB, Honeywell, and Siemens.

For those of you that have not been to one of our end user seminars, we include presentations from some of the leading voices in fieldbus. David Lancaster of our FOUNDATION Certified Training Program partner Trine University and formerly of Bechtel does a series of presentations on engineering, installation, and commissioning.  John Rezabek of Ashland Chemical and chairman of our End User Advisory Council provided excellent presentations on the value of the FOUNDATION fieldbus user layer, control in the field, and  how to use FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostics.   Following the presentations, our host system demo sponsors step in and do a real life demonstration of the technology, these include a Yokogawa host system demonstration of how to commission a device, an Invensys host system demo of control in the field, and an Emerson host system demonstration of device diagnostics.  The demonstrations follow the phases of the fieldbus project lifecycle, from engineering and design through installation, commissioning, operations and maintenance.

Special thanks go out to the local ISA chapter, who really helped us get the word out to potential attendees. We presented ISA Philadelphia Section President Bill Dugary with a certificate of appreciation and offered one time discounts on ISA fieldbus related books for the seminar attendees.  We look forward to our next visit to the Philadelphia area.

Fieldbus Foundation Presents a Certificate of Appreciation to ISA Philadelphia Section
Left to Right, Brian Ivey and Bill Dugary (President) of ISA Philly Section
Larry O'Brien and Talon Petty of Fieldbus Foundation

Dave Lancaster of Trine University Talks About Engineering a FOUNDATION fieldbus Project

Monday, December 3, 2012

Register Now for the FOUNDATION Fieldbus Seminars in Oman and Kuwait

The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) and Fieldbus Foundation End User Council - Middle East (FFEUC-ME) are hosting the first in its series of four end user seminars across the Middle East region on December 11 at the Golden Tulip Seeb hotel in Muscat, Oman.  On December 12 our seminar tour continues with a stop in Kuwait City, at the Al Manshar Rotana hotel.

These end user seminars aim to take the mystery out of FOUNDATION fieldbus and allow end users and systems integrators to realise the true lifecycle benefits of the technology. Whether you are a new user contemplating your first fieldbus project, an experienced user trying to get the most out of your installation, or a systems integrator that wants to implement fieldbus successfully – then these seminars are designed for you. The events are supported by Fieldbus Foundation member sponsorship and there is therefore no charge to attend.

The comprehensive agenda for both seminars includes overviews and updates about the latest technology developments and initiatives from FOUNDATION experts, an insight into FOUNDATION system design and implementation, and a presentation from an end user of FOUNDATION technology.

Question & answer sessions offer an open forum for the sharing of end user experiences and queries and are always a very valuable aspect of these end user events.Delegates will have the opportunity to meet representatives from the sponsoring members of the FFMEMC and review the technical catalogs of FOUNDATION fieldbus products and services that they offer.

All attendees are invited to stay for a complimentary dinner - providing a valuable opportunity for questions & answers or general discussions with fellow delegates, presenters and FOUNDATION fieldbus experts.

The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the region and is pleased to be cooperating with the ISA Saudi Arabia Chapter and ISA Kuwait Chapter to host the events in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Similarly, the FFMEMC is delighted to be working with members of the Fieldbus Foundation End User Council - Middle East (FFEUCME) in Qatar, KSA, Kuwait and Oman.

E-Register for Muscat, Oman Seminar

E-Register for Kuwait City, Kuwait Seminar

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Fieldbus Valves for Shanghai SECCO

Shanghai SECCO, which is one of the larger FOUNDATION fieldbus installations on the planet, has ordered even more FOUNDATION fieldbus control valves, according to a recent press release by Emerson Process Management. From the press release:
"SECCO is the largest integrated chemical facility in China. The complex includes a naptha-fed ethylene cracker and ten downstream derivative plants with thousands of control valves of different brands, types and sizes. Temperature fluctuations in the process caused high variability in the end product which, combined with vibration of the pipeline, often led to damage and replacement of the positioners on these valves.  After SECCO engineers and Fisher valve specialists from Emerson discussed ways to address this problem, SECCO decided to replace the facility’s positioners with Emerson’s Fisher FIELDVUE DVC6200f digital valve positioner."
You can read the entire press release here.  SECCO predicts the new valve order will save them $40,000 a year in maintenance costs, in addition to what they are saving already with their many fieldbus devices.

Quick Video of ROM Display at Jemima

Here's a quick video I shot with my Flip recorder at the Jemima show, which shows the FOUNDATION for ROM display unit.  There are some interesting devices included here, including wireless devices on both the ISA100.11a and WirelessHART protocols, wired HART, and of course H1 FOUNDATION fieldbus.  The demo also highlights our wireless backhaul network technology, which we are doing in concert with ISA100.15.  Devices come from a variety of suppliers, and include remote I/O from Pepperl+Fuchs and Stahl, an azbil linking device, wireless Ethernet hardware from MTL, and devices from companies like azbil, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fuji Electric, and more.


YouTube: Jemima FOUNDATION for ROM Display


Friday, November 9, 2012

New Series of YouTube Videos

Thanks to the cooperation of CFE Media and Control Engineering we have a series of new YouTube videos on various fieldbus topics.  Shot at our certified training center at Lee College in Baytown Texas, these videos feature Lee College Chief Instructor Chuck Carter and our own Talon Petty discussing various fieldbus topics, including control in the field, signing up tags in the host and troubleshooting device addressing, and out of scale readings (overpressure) with FOUNDATION fieldbus.  You also get a really nice look at the Lee College Fieldbus Center lab, which has a lot of nice equipment and resources!


FOUNDATION Fieldbus Videos at Control Engineering Web Site

YouTube: Control in the Field Demo Part I

YouTube: Control in the Field Demo Part II

YouTube: Signing up Tags in the Host and Troubleshooting Device Addressing

YouTube: Out of Scale Readings (Overpressure) With FOUNDATION Fieldbus


Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Emerson FOUNDATION Fieldbus FPSO Project Win

Emerson Process Management recently announced a new project win with BP for an offshore Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which will form part of BP's North Sea Quad project.  From the press release:
"On the heels of being named BP’s automation contractor of choice for offshore oil and gas operations in the North Sea, Emerson Process Management has been awarded a $21 million contract to provide integrated control and safety systems for a new BP floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The new vessel, which will replace the existing Schiehallion FPSO, forms part of the North Sea Quad 204 project that will access the remaining hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, located approximately 130 kilometers west of Shetland, UK."
The integrated Emerson solution will use Emerson’s PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture, including its DeltaV™ digital automation system and DeltaV SIS™ process safety system, and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software. The DeltaV system will control and monitor platform operations using FOUNDATION fieldbus and HART® communication technologies. Advanced process control software functionality within DeltaV will optimize facility performance, production and yield. The DeltaV SIS system will perform process and emergency shutdown functions, if needed, plus control fire and gas detection systems to enable secure control of oil production on the platform."
FPSOs area great application for fieldbus because of extremely restrictive space requirements, and there are many success stories related to fieldbus and FPSOs.  You can access a previous BP presentation on FOUNDATION fieldbus in FPSO applications here.

Press Release: Emerson awarded multimillion-dollar contract to provide automation technologies, services for new BP FPSO

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation End User Roadshow Comes To Brno, Czech Republic

The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC) is pleased to announce the venue for its next end user FOUNDATION™ technology seminar.

The event will take place on Wednesday 14 November, 2012, at Hotel Myslivna, Brno, Czech Republic, from 10.00am – 14.00 hours.

With its theme ‘FOUNDATION Fieldbus Live – Best in Class Instrumentation’, the roadshow is open to all parties interested in the implementation of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology including end users, systems integrators, contractors and designers. The agenda for the day includes a comprehensive programme of presentations in Czech or Slovakian language.

In addition to the presentation program and demonstration, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss applications and suitable FOUNDATION solutions with representatives from several member companies at a table top display throughout the event. Complimentary refreshments and seminar materials will also be provided.

FOUNDATION fieldbus is the technology of choice in process automation applications across the CEE region. End users are realising the benefits of FOUNDATION fieldbus in terms of reduced commissioning times, reduced maintenance, wide availability of registered devices and host systems and the CAPEX and OPEX savings achievable. The FOUNDATION solution delivers open, scalable integration, process integrity and business intelligence across the plant enterprise.

The FFCEEMC is committed to promoting FOUNDATION technology to end users and EPCs through end user focused training seminars and is actively supporting users and prospective users in the local languages of the region. A network of “partners” is being established to ensure that support is available to all users or potential users – whether it’s a need for basic training, the sharing of installation experiences, project definition, commissioning or maintenance.

The FFCEEMC includes representatives from major suppliers of control systems and instrumentation including Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.

To register for the Brno roadshow contact Ing. Jozef Schulcz, email: jozef.schulcz@at.yokogawa.com or telephone +421 905 391 247.  For more information about the function and activities of the FFCEEMC, please visit the Central & Eastern Europe section of the Fieldbus Foundation website www.fieldbus.org or email: cee_info@fieldbus.org.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rockwell Automation PlantPAx Process Automation System Registered as FOUNDATION Fieldbus Host

In conjunction with Rockwell Process Solution User Group meeting and Automation Fair, we are happy to announce that the company is the latest process automation system supplier to announce that its PlantPAx process automation system is now registered as a FOUNDATION Fieldbus integrated host system. The PlantPAx system passed tests for the “61b” integrated host profile, the Fieldbus Foundation’s latest and most demanding host profile.


“This distinction further solidifies the status of Rockwell Automation as a leader in FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology,” said Steve Pulsifer, director of Process Market Development, Rockwell Automation. “Meeting the Fieldbus Foundation’s interoperability standards demonstrates the ability of the PlantPAx process automation system to help manufacturers address production issues with real-time, plantwide intelligence.”

Within the Fieldbus Foundation's automation infrastructure, interoperability is possible because devices and software must all conform to the same standard and they are tested and registered to that standard. Products bearing the FOUNDATION Product Registration symbol have undergone a series of common tests administered by the Fieldbus Foundation. End users can select the best device for a specific measurement or control task, regardless of the manufacturer.  

The 61b hosts also support advanced diagnostic functions, such as NAMUR NE 107 recommendations for presenting diagnostic data in a standard format. Using the NE 107 recommendations for field diagnostics, the Fieldbus Foundation developed a profile specification enhancing the organization, integration and presentation of device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. The diagnostic profile includes a standard and open interface for reporting all device alarm conditions, and provides a means of categorizing alert conditions by severity. 


Fieldbus Foundation at Rockwell Automation PSUG Meeting

The Fieldbus Foundation will be at Rockwell Automation's Process Solutions User Group meeting (PSUG) this week.  PSUG has grown considerably over the past several years as Rockwell Automation has grown its process automation business.  With Rockwell's commitment to FOUNDATION fieldbus and its recent registration of its DCS host under the latest 61b profiles, it only makes sense for us to be there at the show.

Fieldbus Foundation Booth at PSUG
One thing that also distinguishes Rockwell Automation from other fieldbus suppliers is its relationship with leading field device supplier Endress+Hauser.  The two companies formed a special relationship in 2004 to provide a premier level of integration between the PlantPAX process automation system from Rockwell Automation and Endress+Hauser field devices.  The two companies have also collaborated in the Plant Asset Management system space.

Rockwell Automation also offers many other FOUNDATION fieldbus products through its network of ENCOMPASS partners, which you can see here.  Partner companies include names like Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, GE Energy, Metso Automation, many others.

So if you are in Philadelphia this week come stop by and see us at Rockwell Automation PSUG!

Friday, November 2, 2012

FOUNDATION Fieldbus at Jemima 2012 Osaka

We just spent three days at the Jemima Measurement and Control show in Osaka Japan, which is the biggest process automation trade show in Japan.  Thanks to the efforts of our Japanese marketing committee, Fieldbus Foundation had quite a large booth at the show this year, which consisted of FOUNDATION for ROM technology and overall FOUNDATION fieldbus technology, including a wide range of products from all the leading suppliers.  Automation trade shows may be a thing of the past in North America, but in places like Japan they are still thriving.  Jemima had an estimated 10,000 attendees this year and booth traffic was quite brisk all the way through Friday afternoon.

Jemima 2012 Fieldbus Foundation Booth
Fieldbus Foundation also held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to officially announce FOUNDATION for ROM technology to the Japanese market.  Jemima also held a technical seminar where we provided an additional update on FOUNDATION for ROM technology, FDI, and an update of the overall fieldbus market.  

Our thanks go out to the many people that made our presence at the show possible, including our many supplier sponsors.  Sponsoring companies included ABB, azbil, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fuji Electric, MooreHawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Stahl, Turck, and Yokogawa.  Representatives from our Japanese FOUNDATION Certified Training Program partner Waseda University were also on hand.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

University of Miskolc Becomes FOUNDATION Certified Training Partner


The Fieldbus Foundation held a press conference yesterday at the University of Miskolc, Hungary, to announce that the university has been successful in the rigorous certification process required to become a Foundation Certified Training Program (FCTP) training site. This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.


The University of Miskolc is now the preferred site for certified FOUNDATION fieldbus training in the Central & Eastern Europe region.  There are rigorous procedures that educational institutions must follow to gain certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers are required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. They are also audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits; device replacements; commands, icons, menus and screen designs of different software packages; and communication, scheduling and function block assignments enabling configuration.

For many years, the University of Miskolc, Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences - Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics, has been actively involved with several research projects to use, develop, and teach industrial communication systems.

Fieldbus Training Laboratory at University of Miskolc

Three instructors at the University of Miskolc have been certified to conduct FCTP courses. József Subert, Viktor Füvesi and Ildikó Bölkény are all members of the Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences - Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics and, in addition to their teaching and research roles, are key members of the program and organizing committees of the annual Distributed Control Systems (DCS) meeting, a key event in Hungary for control engineers.  The press conference was given in conjunction with the DCS event this week.

The University of Miskolc will be offering the Foundation Certified Support Specialist course.

Dr. Károly Jónap, Head of Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics, commented, “Certification is important for the University of Miskolc because we are formally recognized by the foundation as a high quality training center. This will give our customers a guarantee that the content of our courses, the course materials and the knowledge of our trainers are up to date.” He added “we are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the Fieldbus Foundation”.

Jürgen George, Chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation Central & Eastern Europe Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC), is delighted that the University of Miskolc has gained its accreditation. “One of the key objectives of the FFCEEMC is to provide technical training, support and information about FOUNDATION technology and its applications to users and potential users throughout the CEE region at a local venue and, where possible, in a local language”. He continued, “To have a certified training center here in Hungary that can support the CEE region’s technical training needs is a great achievement for all those involved.”

Around the world, institutions currently certified under the FCTP program include: Fieldbus Center at Lee College, United States; Trine University, United States; SAIT Polytechnic, Canada; STC Group - Brielle, The Netherlands, University of Miskolc, Hungary; Waseda University, Japan; and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Thailand. Other training centers participating in the program include: Sinopec Yanshan, China and LEAD in Brazil.

FCTP Program

Unversity of Miskolc Industrial Communication R&D and Training Laboratory



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Updated FOUNDATION for SIF Spec Includes Support of Dual Mode Devices


The Fieldbus Foundation recently announced the release of an updated version of our FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) technical specifications. The specifications now include support for FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 (31.25 bit/s) dual-mode devices employing powerful field diagnostics capabilities, which greatly simplifies the process of developing field instrumentation employing the SIF protocol.

With the dual-mode H1 device capability, instrumentation manufacturers can bring new safety products to market without having to design two entirely different devices. Developers can implement H1 devices with SIF features activated or de-activated. More importantly, this means that plants will only have to stock one type of device that can be used as either a process device or a safety device.

When SIF mode is selected, the device will behave as specified by the SIF specifications; otherwise, it will function as a normal H1 instrument. To ensure conformance to safety standards, the two modes cannot run concurrently in the same device.

The latest Foundation for SIF specifications release includes a number of updates to the System Architecture, Application Model, Protocol, Function Block and Device ITK Profile specifications to make this all possible. It also includes a new application note on macro cycle calculation.

FOUNDATION for SIF has the potential to greatly improve plant and process safety through superior advanced diagnostics at both the device and network level.  FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions was approved by TÜV Anlagentechnik GmbH to meet the requirements of IEC 61508 up to, and including, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3. Process automation end users have clearly stated their desire for FOUNDATION for SIF technology because of its reduced footprint, reduced installed cost, and advanced diagnostics capabilities. Most of the failures related to safety systems do not happen within the logic solver, but can be traced to failures at the field device or control valve. FOUNDATION for SIF provides the most sophisticated diagnostics for safety devices and a truly digital path for safety devices.

Multiple Foundation for SIF pilot projects are taking place at locations around the world with different end users. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.

For more information about the Foundation for SIF Technical Specifications, please visit the Fieldbus Foundation's Specification page or e-mail sales@fieldbus.org.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Plant Engineering Article: Making Fieldbus Projects As Painless As Possible

I recently contributed an article to Plant Engineering magazine on some of the critical steps toward making your fieldbus project as trouble free as possible.  Regardless of the size and scope of your project, there are some universal rules of thumb and best practices.   Many people don't know that the Fieldbus Foundation offers free resources like the recently revised AG 181 System Engineering Guide, our YouTube videos,and our DesignMate segment design tool.

Plant Engineering: Making Fieldbus Projects As Painless As Possible

New Version of AG 181 System Engineering Guide

I am pleased to announce that the Fieldbus Foundation recently released a major revision to our AG-181 System Engineering Guidelines. AG-181 is a comprehensive guide that includes best practices and recommendations for a complete Foundation fieldbus installation, from engineering and design through commissioning, startup, operations, and maintenance. The guide includes recommendations on topics from selecting cable to wiring installation, grounding, implementing plant asset management systems, and best practices for project management.

The new edition of AG-181 has been reformatted and reorganized to make it easier to read and access information. Some content has been rewritten to include more up-to-date information. This includes sections covering the Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO) fieldbus design rules, cable length, surge protection and segment scheduling. A section on the use of existing wiring has also been added.

AG 181 is one of the automation industry’s best-kept secrets that belongs in the library of almost every process control engineer. It is a highly valuable resource for the growing number of end users, system integrators and engineering firms involved in the implementation of Foundation fieldbus.

One of the things we try to do at the Fieldbus Foundation is put information into the hands of those who need it around the world. We want people to become proficient in the use of our technology, from engineering and design to installation, maintenance, and operations. Our System Engineering Guidelines document contains the distilled wisdom of many of the world's leading fieldbus technology experts, from those in the engineering and construction world to end users, systems integrators, educators, and suppliers. It offers many good pointers on how to do your fieldbus project right the first time, and is an essential part of the toolbox of any Foundation fieldbus professional. If you already have the older version, the latest update will look more streamlined and contains several new sections, as well as rewrites of old sections.

The Foundation fieldbus System Engineering Guidelines is separated into 11 sections, each covering different aspects of the fieldbus project lifecycle. Specific topics include: General Considerations, Fieldbus Definitions, Fieldbus Project Requirements, Host System Requirements, Software Configuration, Field Device Requirements, Segment Components, Network/Segment Design Guidelines, Site Installation Guidelines, Acceptance Testing, and Documentation Requirements.

AG 181 System Engineering Guidelines

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation at Emerson Exchange

The Fieldbus Foundation has a big presence at the Emerson Global Users Exchange this week at the Orange County Convention Center Hilton, and with good reason.  With thousands of attendees, many of them end users, the Exchange is one of the premier events in the process automation industry.  I am delivering the update presentation on our FOUNDATION for ROM program, Stephen Mitschke, our director of fieldbus products is delivering a presentation on the FDI (Field Device Integration) initiative, and Denise Lloyd, who is our director of training services, is delivering a great presentation on what it takes to develop a world class training program.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Richard J. Timoney to Deliver Keynote Speech at DCS 18, Hungary, Oct 24-26, 2012


The Fieldbus Foundation is pleased to announce its participation in the conference program during the Distributed Control Systems 18th Meeting (DCS18). The symposium will take place on 24-26 October, 2012 at Hotel Palota, Miskolc-Lillafüred, Hungary.

The main topics covered by the three day program will include new products, solutions and technologies in the process industry; DCS communication, security, operation; DCS applications; and industrial communication and data management. Speakers will include end users, industry experts and automation equipment suppliers.

As part of the opening plenary session on Wednesday, October 24, Richard J. Timoney, President and CEO – Fieldbus Foundation, will deliver a keynote presentation at 11:45 to introduce FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) - an integrated engineering platform (open, standards-based and vendor-neutral) to replace complex, proprietary and highly customized remote monitoring solutions.

The ROM initiative provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in a wide range of remote applications. It enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O, wired HART®, and the leading industrial wireless protocols WirelessHART® and ISA100.11a. The solution allows users to seamlessly combine devices on all of these networks within the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure to manage device data and information in a unified infrastructure specifically built for the requirements of remote applications — from oil and gas field applications to water treatment facilities, offshore platforms, and even OEM skid-mounted equipment.

In addition to the speaker program, attendees are also able to visit the exhibition and poster presentations and participate in several social events.

Link to CEE About Us page:
http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=544&Itemid=437

Link to DCS18 website:
http://dcs.akki.hu/DCS18/Document/startpage_english.html

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beamex Technology Conference - Nov. 15, 2012

Interested in FOUNDATION fieldbus and calibration? Go listen to David Lancaster speak at the Beamex Technology Conference on November 15, 2012 in Des Plaines, IL. Dave will be talking about calibration and tools of the trade for FOUNDATION fieldbus systems. David Lancaster is the certified trainer at one of our prestigious certified training partners, TRINE University. TRINE is located just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. Dave has a wonderful breadth of knowledge on FOUNDATION technology and is an experienced teacher and communicator. Mr. Lancaster will be presenting on Calibrating Fieldbus Instruments.



The FREE event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Des Plaines, IL. A special room rate of $139 has been reserved for attendees of the event. Attendees who stay for both sessions will also receive 6 professional development hours. More information about the event can be found here: http://www.anpdm.com/newsletterweb/41425C4B7846475E4471454559/41465F4B76474B5E477545425143.

You can also register for the event HERE.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FOUNDATION Fieldbus in Modernization Projects

The installed base of process automation systems that are approaching or have approached the end of their useful life is about $65 billion according to ARC Advisory Group.  Most of the project activity in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe revolves around control system migration and modernization.  Users making their control system migration decisions are also simultaneously laying the groundwork for their overall future automation strategy for the next decade or more.

Users don't want to replace what they have with more of the same old proprietary technology.  That is why we are seeing more FOUNDATION fieldbus popping up in modernization projects around the world.  In the latest issue of InTech I have written an article that tackles this subject, as well as some of the key differentiators that FOUNDATION technology can offer.  Many solutions today offer alternatives to traditional "Marshalling" techniques for wiring and I/O and so forth.  With FOUNDATION fieldbus, we eliminate a lot of that marshaling, wiring, and I/O, we don't try to repackage it.  Our block-based structure also means you can put control in the field, which ultimately increases plant reliability and eliminates unplanned shutdowns.  Your overall hardware footprint is the smallest compared to any other industry solution.

The old arguments that control in the field is not safe or reliable simply do not hold water.  From gas fields to chemical plants to refineries, end users have avoided countless unplanned shutdowns because of control in the field and have saved millions.  Read more at the article!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

InTech Article on Troubleshooting FOUNDATION Fieldbus Networks

Our Fieldbus Foundation End User Council chairperson John Rezabek recently wrote an article for InTech on the interesting topic of troubleshooting FOUNDATION fieldbus networks.  Since we are a digital communication network, there are some things you should keep in mind about maintaining the health of your network.  From the article:
"The vast majority of fieldbus problems—more than 90% by most accounts—owe to deficiencies in the physical layer, that is, the wiring, terminations, and power supplies. Experienced fieldbus users are adamant that a little effort in training the installers pays immense dividends at commissioning time. At Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery in India, for example, hundreds of local electricians were trained in the rudiments of the installation. When it came time for commissioning, only three out of more than 3,000 segments exhibited any network issues."
Read the article for some good tips and best practices regarding your network installation!

InTech: Troubleshooting FOUNDATION Fieldbus Networks

‘Hands On Fieldbus’ Seminar – Oct 25th 2012


The Fieldbus Foundation’s Benelux Marketing Committee, FF Benelux, will be hosting its next FOUNDATION fieldbus seminar at the STC Group’s training facility in Brielle, near Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The afternoon seminar is themed ‘Hands-On Fieldbus’ with a comprehensive agenda that includes a keynote address “Looking Back To The Future”, an end user experience presentation, and the opportunity to attend two workshops or lectures from a choice of nine specialist topics. The parallel sessions will cover a diverse range of subjects tailored for a technical & maintenance or administration & management audience and include:

  • ‘FOUNDATION Fieldbus Basics’ hands-on training workshop
  • ‘FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM)’ workshop
  • ‘Asset Management’ workshop
  • ‘Diagnostics’ workshop
  • ‘FOUNDATION Fieldbus: Vision and Strategy’ end user lecture
  • ‘Optimisation of your Organisation?’ end user lecture
  • ‘Device Replacement’ workshop
  • ‘NAMUR 107 Diagnostics’ workshop
  • Guided Tour of STC Group’s Process Control Training and Demonstration Facility

A question and answer session and round-table discussion forum moderated by editor Mark Oosterveer will be held at the end of the afternoon and all attendees are invited to a complimentary dinner hosted by FF Benelux.

The STC Group’s training centre at Brielle, close to the Rotterdam-Europort industrial area in the Netherlands, was one of the first educational institutions worldwide to offer fieldbus training courses certified under the FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP).

The event is sponsored by FF Benelux members including: ABB, ACTA, Stahl/Electromach, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Flowserve, Honeywell, Invensys, Moore Hawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Smar, SPIE Nederland, STC Group, Turck and Yokogawa.

Further details are available from the FF Benelux Events page:

Registration contact: Jacqueline van Oosten ffbenelux@fme.nl

Upcoming Seminars in Romania


The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC) is pleased to invite you to attend an end user seminar and live demonstration of FOUNDATION™ technology. A choice of two locations and two dates are offered. The seminars will take place from 09.00 – 14.00 at:

Tuesday 9th October, 2012
Hotel Crystal Palace
18-20 Alexandru Serbanescu Street
1st District, Bucharest
Romania

Tel: +40 (21) 233.20.30
Fax: +40 (21) 232.02.26
www: crystalpalacehotel.ro
Thursday 11th October, 2012
Prahova Plaza Hotel
11 C.D. Gherea Boulevard
Ploiesti
Romania

Tel: +40244 526850
Fax: +40244 526309
www: hotelprahova.ro

The event will be hosted by representatives of FFCEEMC member companies including Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.

The presentations, given in Romanian language, will include an introduction to the FFCEEMC and an overview of FOUNDATION Fieldbus – An Infrastructure For Operational Excellence.

Practical, live, hands-on demonstrations of FOUNDATION technology and its functionality will take place using demonstration units with host systems from Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser and Honeywell, with devices from several member companies.

In addition to the presentation programme and demonstrations, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss applications and suitable FOUNDATION solutions with representatives from several member companies during the breaks and after the close of the proceedings. Complimentary refreshments, lunch and seminar materials will be provided.

We look forward to welcoming you to the seminar and demonstration. To confirm your attendance, please contact Mr Radu Ionila: radu.ionila@emerson.com, or telephone: +40 21 206 25 03

For more information about the FFCEEMC - visit the CEE webpages:
http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=544&Itemid=437

Friday, September 28, 2012

Emerson's New USB Fieldbus Interface

Emerson Process Management has come out with an interesting new tool that lets you connect your laptop to FOUNDATION fieldbus devices via a USB interface.  From the website:
"The USB Fieldbus Interface provides a convenient, cost-effective way to connect a desktop or laptop computer to FOUNDATION fieldbus devices. 
When used with AMS Device Manager, the USB Fieldbus Interfaces allows you to commission, configure, and troubleshoot fieldbus devices both on the bench and in the field. It can also provide power to a fieldbus device or segment. "
Read more at the Emerson Web Site: Emerson USB Fieldbus Interface 

Latest Edition of Fieldbus Facts Online Newsletter

Our latest edition of Fieldbus Facts online newsletter is now available for download from the Control Engineering web site.  This month we talk about new members in our Development Services Provider (DSP) program, new member companies, and  more.  Our schedule for seminars and training classes around the world is also included.  Click the link to read more!

Fieldbus Facts Online for September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New YouTube Videos on Armored Cable Installation

Ask any fieldbus expert and they will tell you that the vast majority of problems experienced with a fieldbus installation are related to the physical layer. Things like wiring, connectors, terminators, power conditioners, and device couplers can be a smoothly running part of your installation or a problem. Usually the issues are simple to resolve, and by keeping a few best practices in mind you can have a solid physical layer installation.  Dave Lancaster of Bechtel lives by the axiom "Insulate, Isolate, and Keep as Short as Possible".

With that in mind, Talon Petty of Fieldbus Foundation has made a series of new videos on best practices for fieldbus wiring. One of the topics is armor-plated wiring, which offers an extra hardened solution for environments that require it.  If you work in a plant near the ocean, for example, you are quite familiar with the corrosive effects of salt air and storm-related flooding.  Sometimes, opting for cable with a little extra protection is the right way to go, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to make it easy to deal with the armor jacketing.  Check out these videos for some good pointers.



Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus Tube Armored H1 Cable

Cutting, Stripping & Taping FOUNDATION Fieldbus Aluminum Interlocking Armor H1 Cable

Stripping FOUNDATION Fieldbus Braided Armor Cable



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee Announces End User Roadshows, December 2012

The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) is pleased to announce the locations of its forthcoming “FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus – Technology Update” end user roadshow schedule. Four events will take place during December 2012:

  • December 9th: Doha, Qatar
  • December 10th: Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
  • December 11th: Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • December 12th: Muscat, Oman

The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the region and is pleased to be cooperating with the ISA Saudi Arabia Chapter and ISA Kuwait Chapter to host the events in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Similarly, the FFMEMC is delighted to be working with members of the Fieldbus Foundation End User Council – Middle East (FFEUCME) in Qatar, KSA, Kuwait and Oman.


Sponsored by members of the FFMEMC and following the format that has proved so successful in the past, the technical seminars will be held in conveniently located hotel venues followed by a complimentary meal for all delegates.

Ravindra Jagasia, chairman – FFMEMC, explains the focus of the 2012 roadshows. “There have been several exciting technology developments to the FOUNDATION specifications over the last 2-3 years, with more new initiatives underway. We are pleased to return to locations that have not hosted recent FFMEMC events, and look forward to updating current and prospective users in those regions. The events also offer a unique and valuable opportunity for current implementers of FOUNDATION technology to share their experiences with roadshow delegates.”

All attendees are invited to stay for a complimentary meal that provides a valuable opportunity for questions & answers or general discussions with fellow delegates, presenters and FOUNDATION fieldbus experts.

The detailed agenda will be announced in due course. For further details and registration:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation Announces Updates To HSE Interoperability Test Kit

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced updates to its High Speed Ethernet Interoperability Test Kit (HSE ITK), including the addition of transducer block test profiles for both wired and WirelessHART® devices. The transducer blocks bring information from both wired and WirelessHART devices into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, and are a key element of FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology.

Updated to Version 6.1, the HSE ITK is used for interoperability testing of HSE capable field devices. The kit will verify the functionality of a device and its conformity to the FOUNDATION fieldbus function block specifications, before it is submitted to the Fieldbus Foundation for official registration and testing.

HSE ITK Version 6.1 is especially beneficial for automation equipment manufacturers looking to develop FOUNDATION for ROM devices due to its added support for recently released wired and WirelessHART device specifications. Other test kit updates include: Pressure Transducer Block 2, Temperature Transducer Block 2, Flow Transducer Block and Flow Totalizer Transducer Block.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s FOUNDATION for ROM solution offers a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in a wide range of remote applications, ranging from oil and gas pipelines to tank farms and offshore platforms, and even Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) skid-mounted equipment. The technology enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, including WirelessHART and ISA100.11a. It provides an interface to these wireless technologies and uses Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and function blocks to ensure interoperability with FOUNDATION for ROM devices. The remote I/O portion of the specification was released in April 2011 and allows for connectivity of large point-count remote I/O to Foundation fieldbus.

Fieldbus Foundation Announces First Registered Isolated Device Couplers

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced registration of the first isolated device couplers based on its Foundation H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device coupler test specification. Devices from MTL and R. Stahl successfully completed the foundation's rigorous registration process.

As part of a Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, isolated device couplers are installed where the fieldbus trunk (i.e., home run cable) is connected to the various device spurs. Isolated device couplers are specifically designed to allow automation end users to connect more devices per coupler while permitting live segment work in hazardous plant areas. These couplers provide isolated, conditioned power to multiple fieldbus devices and protect against short circuits caused by excess current in a spur. By enabling more devices per segment, they also help reduce controller input/output (I/O) points and associated installation costs.

MTL's 9370-FB Series Fieldbus Barrier provides a range of complete integrated enclosure systems, instead of stand-alone barrier modules. All internal components are live pluggable, meaning that field maintenance can be carried out quickly and safely. Surge protection devices for the trunk and spurs can be easily fitted without requiring product re-design. The product series includes 6- and 12-spur versions in stainless steel or GRP enclosures, as well as a redundant option enabling improved system availability in critical fieldbus networks.

MTL's 9370-FB Series Fieldbus Barrier


R. Stahl's Series 9411/21 and 9411/24 isolated device couplers are suitable for use in Zone 1, Zone 2 and U.S. Division 2, and are available with plastic or stainless steel housings that can be tailored to fit customer requirements. The series also includes a unique power management feature: during the start-up of a fieldbus segment, the spurs energize one after the other. This reduces the inrush current on a segment by up to 50 percent, requiring less spare energy and making longer segment lengths possible.

R. Stahl's Series 9411/21 and 9411/24 Isolated Device Couplers

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Philadelphia, PA Seminar & Sales Training Registrations Now Available!

With registration for the upcoming Houston, TX seminar nearly at capacity, we have officially opened registration for our Philadelphia, PA seminar on November 28, 2012. The event will be hosted at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in the King of Prussia area. The Fieldbus Foundation has not hosted a seminar there in at least 5 years and is excited about re-visiting the area to update local users with the latest information on FOUNDATION fieldbus. As with all of the Fieldbus Foundation's seminars, this event is put on free-of-charge and is geared towards end users and potential end users of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. Without a doubt, this is our strongest seminar series in years and we've created one of the most interactive and instructive series yet. We have live demonstrations from 3 different host suppliers (Emerson, Invensys and Yokogawa) on plant phases like Installation & Commissioning, Control in the Field, and Predictive Diagnostics. The seminar is supported by multiple industry manufacturers that will be in attendance showcasing their latest product offerings. The latest sponsors of the event can be found HERE.

The salespeople oriented 1/2 day of training on the 29th is also available. This event is geared towards the salespeople of FOUNDATION fieldbus and is meant to educate salespeople on potential value of FF to your customer and to help understand applications relevant to them so that you can be sure your customers are aware of the latest technological advancements/solutions available to them.

To read more details and to register for the events, click over to our North American Event page on www.fieldbus.org. Registration is still available for the Houston seminars as well and is at near capacity.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Philadelphia!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Excellent Post From Emerson Process Experts on Fieldbus Cable

Cable requirements for FOUNDATION fieldbus are different from 4-20mA networks. That's why we have many kinds of cable that have been tested and registered by the Fieldbus Foundation.  Jim Cahill over at Emerson Process Experts blog actually has a great post regarding a conversation that was going on in the Fieldbus Foundation LinkedIn group, where users were discussing cable requirements.

This goes into interesting territory because there is always the ongoing debate among solution providers and end users as to whether or not existing cable can be used in a retrofit fieldbus project.  Existing cable can be used in some circumstances, but you have to watch out for inductance, capacitance, and resistance.

Read Jim Cahill's Blog Post Here

Read the LinkedIn Discussion Here


Thursday, August 16, 2012

ISA 108 Standard is Launched

You may have noticed that ISA has launched a new standards committee, of which I have the privilege of being a member. The ISA108 Intelligent Device Management standards committee "will define standard templates of best practices and work processes for design, development, installation and use of diagnostic and other information provided by intelligent field devices in the process industries."



Let me be clear that this is not a FOUNDATION fieldbus-centric standard. This standard applies to anyone who is using intelligent field devices on any network. In many cases, the promise of intelligent field devices in process plants remains unrealized.  This is not so much a technology issue as a people or work process issue.  Too many users are employing old maintenance work processes with new technology. The new devices and applications are installed, but the operators and technicians stick to their old way of doing things, their old preventative or routine maintenance practices, and never really take advantage of the huge amount of information that is available to them. It seems clear that the process industries would benefit from a standard set of work processes and best practices for intelligent device management. This would give end users an effective blueprint for achieving the significant economic lifecycle benefits associated with intelligent devices.

ISA Charters New Standards Committee on Intelligent Device Management