Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Check out our new logo for FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions.  It is the same design as our FOUNDATION for ROM logo. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fieldbus Conference in Hürth, Germany

Mannheim/Germany – Hosted by the German Marketing committee of Fieldbus Foundation, this free conference offers an overview over the development in fieldbus technologies during plenary lectures and its application on process plants. Developers and decision makers of automation solutions and process components give an overview of the current status of bus technologies, while several panels offer the opportunity to exchange with other professionals.

Topics like Control in the Field, Fieldbus for security applications and remote operations management will be addressed. Well–known professional journalists and editors will be chairing the discussions, among them Gerd Kielburger, editor–in–chief of PROCESS magazine. The conference will be held on February 1st 2012 at Feierabendhaus Knapsack, Hürth/Germany.

Link to Conference Information at Feierabendhaus Knapsack, Hürth (Information Provided in German)

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Jobs in India

I like to post job openings when I come across them.  For those of our Indian readers looking for a job related to FOUNDATION fieldbus, the TimesJobs.com site is advertising an opening for a fieldbus professional with 3-6 years experience in FOUNDATION fieldbus, Profibus, and HART.  The fieldbus jobs are out there!

Timesjobs.com: Process Automation Test Professionals

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New FOUNDATION for ROM Video at Control Engineering

While we were at our Media Day Event at Lee College on December 1st, Peter Welander from Control Engineering shot some good videos of our FOUNDATION for ROM demonstration unit, the fieldbus training facilities at Lee College, and more.  The first of those videos is now available at the Control Engineering web site and is essentially a description of our demonstration unit and a simple explanation of how FOUNDATION for ROM works, and how it can provide value to end users in remote operations. 

Look for several more videos to come. 

Control Engineering Video on FOUNDATION for ROM

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fieldbus Foundation Announces First H1 ITK 6.0 Registered Devices

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced that it has registered the first FOUNDATION fieldbus devices based on its H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) Version 6.0.Emerson Process Management and Yokogawa supplied the registered H1 (31.25 kbit/s) devices, which were tested for their functionality and conformity with the FOUNDATION function block and transducer block specifications.

Emerson’s registered devices include the TopWorx D2-FF Discrete Valve Controller, which combines analog/digital position sensing and monitoring with FOUNDATION fieldbus communications and pilot valve output drivers for on/off applications; and the Rosemount Analytical 1066 pH Transmitter, which measures pH and ORP/Redox, and provides comprehensive sensor, transmitter, and calibration diagnostics to the bus via field diagnostics.

Yokogawa's registered devices are enhanced pressure transmitters featuring innovations in multi-sensing technology that makes optimal use of the powerful characteristics of a single-crystal silicon resonant sensor. They also support AR, IS, SC, IT and PID function blocks; NE107 field diagnostics; and software download function.

All H1 ITK 6.0 tested devices support the latest advancements in field diagnostics per the NAMUR NE107 recommendation, which build upon the existing, powerful diagnostic capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus equipment, and at the same time, add a greater degree of organization so field instruments can represent their diagnostics in a more consistent way.

For example, employing NE 107 field diagnostics capabilities, non-critical diagnostics can be routed to a maintenance station for future work while critical diagnostics can be routed to operations with specific recommendations on how to resolve an instrumentation issue. This and other advanced ITK 6.0 features are fully configurable to provide utmost flexibility in user applications.

A complete list of registered FOUNDATION fieldbus products is available in the Fieldbus Foundation’s registered catalog at www.fieldbus.org/registered.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Emerson Wins Large Fieldbus Project for Zinc and Lead Smelter in China

Emerson Process management has won another fielbus project, this time at large Zinc and Lead smelter in China.  The project will expand Yunnann Chihong Zinc & Germanium lead and zinc processing pant in Yunnan province to over a million tons of capacty over the next five years.  The project will incorporate a DeltaV digital automation system with FOUNDATION fieldbus and WirelessHART devices with an AMS plant asset management system. 

According to the press release, "The new automation system will help improve smelting efficiency and reduce energy consumption in the lead ISA furnace process and zinc pyrometallurgy process, as well as efficiency in sulfur dioxide emission control and waste heat recovery.

Emerson will provide a state-of-the-art control solution that includes its DeltaV™ digital automation system with DeltaV S-Series hardware, AMS Suite asset management software, and smart field devices using Foundation fieldbus and IEC 62591 (WirelessHART®) communications technology. AMS Suite will provide predictive field diagnostics to enable early detection of potential issues and proactive maintenance planning. Using wireless technology to monitor multiple hearth furnaces will eliminate the extensive cabling that would normally be required, reducing engineering complexity for the project."

The company hopes to reduce both maintenance and energy costs with the project. 

Yunnan Chihong Zinc & Germanium Co., Ltd selects Emerson to automate 160,000 ton/year lead and zinc plant  

Friday, December 9, 2011

FOUNDATION for ROM Media Day Presentations

We have uploaded the presentations from our FOUNDATION for ROM Media Day to our Slideshare account, you can access them here.  In the set you will find my overall presentation on the business value of FOUNDATION for ROM, Dave Glanzer's technical presentation, the description of the demonstration unit, and Herman Storey's presentation on the end user perspective. 

FOUNDATION for ROM Media Day Presentations on SlideShare

FOUNDATION for ROM White Paper

You can download the white paper we wrote about FOUNDATION for ROM at the Fieldbus Foundation web site:

FOUNDATION for ROM: Transforming Remote Applications

"Remote Operations Management is one of the fastest growing segments of the process automation business. However, it is also caught up in the turbulence of business challenges, technological change, personnel issues, and the need for operational excellence. Here’s how FOUNDATION technology addresses the needs of remote operations from oil and gas pipelines to tank farms and terminals with a single infrastructure built from the ground up for process automation."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management Launch and Media Day

The Fieldbus Foundation unveiled its FOUNDATION™ for Remote Operations Management (ROM) solution at a media event held Thursday, December 1, at the Fieldbus Center at Lee College, Baytown, Texas.  Representatives from all the major process automation related media outlets attended, as well as a lot of end users and educators.  As you may know, Lee College is one of our Fieldbus Certified Training Partners (FCTP), and we incorporated a tour of the fieldbus and process automation educational facilities and pilot plant into our schedule.

We have been talking a little about FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management on this blog, but last week was the "official unveiling" of our new approach to remote operations, and we got a sneak peak at some early prototype devices that we have been working on in our labs as we develop the overall specification. 

FOUNDATION for ROM Devices on Display
Combining the Functionality of Smart RTUs, Intelligent Wireless Gateways, and Process Controllers

FOUNDATION for ROM provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in remote applications from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids. The technology enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, including WirelessHART® and ISA 100.11a. 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 media event featured FOUNDATION for ROM technology presentations and demonstrations, followed by a tour of the Fieldbus Center at Lee College, one of the Fieldbus Foundation’s FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP) partner sites. The Fieldbus Center facility is dedicated to training the next generation of process automation operators and technicians.
FOUNDATION for ROM is important because it is the first example of being able to integrate ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and wired H1 protocols into a single standard environment. More importantly, it is one that does not sacrifice diagnostic capabilities of the existing wireless devices. Instead, we map these capabilities into our block structure to provide a standard environment for data management, quality, and more. Today’s solutions are highly customized and much more costly to maintain throughout the plant lifecycle.

Dave Glanzer, Director of Technology for Fieldbus Foundation, Describes the FOUNDATION for ROM Demo Unit

I'll be doing more blog posts about the demo unit, applications, and other resources related to FOUNDATON for ROM in the coming days and weeks.  In the meantime here are links to some more information related to ROM. 

Link to Flickr Photostream from FOUNDATION for ROM Media Day

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Article on NE 107 Diagnostics at PlantServices.com

We recently had an article published in PlantServices about the value of the NAMUR NE 107 diagnostic recommendations and how we embedded these into the FOUNDATION fieldbus specification.  For those of you not familiar with NAMUR, they are an end user driven organization in  that focuses entirely on process automation.  One of the things NAMUR does is to write recommendations documents for various areas of process automation.  NAMUR NE 107 covers recommendations for presenting diagnostic data from intelligent field devices so they can be viewed by operators in technicians in context.  In other words, the diagnostic information is relevant and easy understand.  The operator or technician sees only the data they need to see when they need to see it, and that data is easily understandable.  We at the Foundation have built these NE 107 recommendations into our specification.  With the latest version of our interoperability test kit and host profile registration process, we also make sure that all new devices and hosts that we test conform to the new specification.  You can read the full article here.

Embedding the NAMUR NE 107 diagnostic specifications is one advantage of having a truly open standard like FOUNDATION fieldbus.  It allows us to adopt new technologies as they come along, just as we did with Ethernet and HSE.  We are also doing the same with FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM), integrating WirelessHART and ISA 100.11a protocols into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fieldbus Foundation End User Seminar Comes To Plock, Poland

The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC) is pleased with the success of its end user seminar and live demonstration of FOUNDATION technology held on Wednesday 9 November, 2011, at Hotel Tumski, Plock, Poland.

Members of the FFCEEMC welcomed delegates from some of the major end users and system integrators in the CEE region including refineries, petrochemical plants, crude oil distribution/storage, pharmaceutical manufacturers, biofuel processors, chemical companies, engineering contractors and EPCs.

With its theme ‘FOUNDATION Fieldbus Live’, the agenda for the day included a comprehensive program of presentations in Polish language with a specific insight into FOUNDATION fieldbus life-cycle economics. Of particular interest to attendees were the practical, live, hands-on demonstrations of the building, maintenance and modification of working FOUNDATION segments using host systems from Honeywell and Emerson Process Management together with field devices and components from several Fieldbus Foundation equipment suppliers.

In addition to the presentation program and demonstration, attendees had several opportunities to discuss applications and suitable FOUNDATION solutions with representatives from the FFCEEMC member companies at a table top display during the breaks and after the close of the proceedings. Complimentary refreshments, lunch and seminar materials were provided.

Juergen George - FFCEEMC chairman commented, “The Fieldbus Foundation’s CEE marketing committee has participated in key Polish process and automation exhibitions and conferences during the last couple of years and we were pleased to return with a dedicated end user seminar and technology demonstration.” He continued, “FOUNDATION technology had already been installed in at least 9 major petrochemical plants in the region and we are experiencing a high level of interest from other potential users. We have already scheduled a multi-venue tour to Krakow, Katowice and Gliwice in the south of the country later next year to address our established customers and to meet potential implementers of FOUNDATION technology.”

Audience at Seminar in Plock, Poland 
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, Honeywell, MTL/Polyco, Pepperl+Fuchs, R.Stahl/ASE, Turck and Yokogawa.  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.

Report: Workshop & Demonstration at DCS 17, Hungary, Oct 24-26

The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC) once again participated in the conference program during the 17th Distributed Control Systems symposium (DCS17) on 24-26 October 2011 at Hotel Palota, Miskolc-Lillafüred, Hungary. Over 275 delegates from Hungary and the CEE region attended the three day conference organised by the Research Institute if Applied Earth Sciences, University of Miskolc.

The conference program kicked off with a morning plenary session for all, followed a workshop dedicated to FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. Presentations were given by representatives of FFCEEMC member companies addressing three FOUNDATION fieldbus topics including ‘The Economies of FOUNDATION Fieldbus’ by Szilárd Szelmann (Yokogawa Hungary Ltd.); ‘FOUNDATION Fieldbus DART and Functional Safety’ by György Baradits (Controlorg Ltd.); and ‘Explosion Protection for FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 – an Update on the Latest Solutions Including High Power Trunk, Ex ic and DART’ by Árpád Veress (Stahl Hungary Ltd.).

Following the success of the live FOUNDATION technology demonstration sessions at last year’s DCS16 conference, the FFCEEMC team again ran a live demonstration session using the newly commissioned demonstration units featuring three FOUNDATION host systems with fieldbus devices from different suppliers to demonstrate aspects of the technology and interoperability.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Demo Units at DCS 17, Hungary

Other sessions during the three day DCS17 event included various keynote speeches; presentations on smart field instrumentation; DCS plans, DCS applications and DCS and connecting systems; and the International Scientific workshop. Speakers included several end users and industry experts - including representatives from several of the Fieldbus Foundation’s member companies.

In addition to the speaker program, attendees were also able to visit an exhibition featuring displays from 13 exhibitors during the breaks and evening drinks receptions.

Juergen George, chairman - FFCEEMC commented, “Once again, I’m delighted that the DCS conference program included a half day dedicated to the implementation of FOUNDATION technology. As before, our live demonstration sessions were well attended and clearly indicate the level of interest by engineers to get into the heart of FOUNDATION technology and gain first hand experience of its functional benefits.” He continued, “With a significant increase in project activities in the CEE region, and a corresponding increase in FOUNDATION technology experience, we are looking forward to an even busier seminar and roadshow schedule for 2012!”

The University of Miskolc has reached a significant milestone in its application to become an accredited training site that offers fieldbus training courses certified under the FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP). A license agreement has been signed that recognises the site as a certified training centre that is undergoing the rigorous process of auditing its educational curriculum and instructors in order to achieve full certified training centre status. Once successful in the complete accreditation process, the University of Miskolc will become the preferred site for Fieldbus Foundation training in the Central & Eastern European region.

Link to CEE About Us page

Report: Fieldbus Foundation Seminars in Australia

The Fieldbus Foundation conducted an end-user seminar in Brisbane on the 2 November followed by Perth on the 4 November as part of "the future is digital" road show around the Asia Pacific. Participating manufacturers include ABB, Azbil (Yamatake), Dresser, Emerson Process Management, Honeywell, Leoni, MooreHawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Samson, Softing, Stahl, Turck, and Yokogawa.  Here is a report on the seminars written by Jonas Berge, longtime fieldus expert at Emerson Process Management in Singapore. 

"The keynote address noted how everything around us is benefiting greatly from a transformation from analog to digital such as television, telephony, and music. The latest developments in fieldbus deliver on the promise of digital networking. Fieldbus since years ago reduces wiring and the number of I/O cards. Now, with fieldbus power integrated into the interface card, the marshalling panel can also be eliminated, further reducing system footprint. It is well known that fieldbus takes the place of 4-20 mA, but fieldbus also takes the place of on/off signals. For instance, fieldbus on/off valves eliminate three wires per valve, provide feedback, and diagnostics. Similarly, for electric actuators / motor operated valves (MOV) more than a dozen wires per valve can be eliminated. In a fieldbus design an on/off valve can easily be changed to a control valve or MOV without redesigning wiring, barriers, or I/O cards because they have one and the same electrical connection. All the signals are marshaled from software, known as virtual marshalling or soft-wiring, which gives great flexibility to accommodate changes late in projects.

Multi-input temperature transmitters take the place of eight single input transmitters and associated wiring, ideal for temperature profiling applications on reactors. FOUNDATION fieldbus is taking the place of proprietary protocols for networked MOVs. Similarly, a fieldbus-based tank gauging system uses only a single pair of wires to connect all sensors on the tank and is intrinsically safe. This reduces wiring and eliminates need for flameproof installation methods. Diagnostics for all sensors is provided. A field mounted gas chromatograph eliminates the need for analyzer shelter and long sampling lines, instead using fieldbus as an "electronic sampling line". Gas chromatographs and other analyzers can be digitally integrated with the rest of the system.

The main part of the seminar gave an update on the project benefits of fieldbus at the various stages of a project including FEED, detail design, and installation & commissioning in view of the many enhancements to the fieldbus technology and fieldbus products and systems over the past several years. The second part covered life-cycle operational excellence and maintenance benefits.
Seminar in Perth 

An end-user presentation was given by Ambrose Hargan of CSBP, who has reaped the real benefits of fieldbus for several years and has already deployed three systems.  As an early adopter of FOUNDATION fieldbus, they found that the technology has matured and their experience grown. Using fieldbus and its associated tools and practices is now much easier. Recommendations included training on fieldbus and working with contractors experienced in fieldbus.

Closing remarks Many large projects in Australia are currently implementing FOUNDATION Fieldbus, particularly in the area of LNG. A key take away from the seminars was that a little fieldbus training goes a long way to ensure a successful project, and to fully exploit the potential of closed loop digital control and intelligent device management. The future is digital, don't build your plant on old technology.  "

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mexico City Seminar Coming Soon!

The Fieldbus Foundation depends a lot on the efforts of our regional and country level marketing committees.  Our Mexican marketing committee has organized and end user seminar in Mexico City on November 10th at the NH Hoteles Mexico City.  You can view the agenda here.  This promises to be a great event with a very hands-on approach to demonstrating the value of FOUNDATION technology. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fieldbus Foundation at Emerson Global Users Exchange

One of the things we are doing at the Foundation is to increase our presence at the major user group meetings. If there is one meeting not to miss in your annual calendar it is the Emerson Global Users Exchange. With close to 3,000 attendees, I think I can safely say that the Exchange is now the largest user group meeting that is totally focused on process automation. Other user group meetings are as big, but not so finely focused on process automation. Attending the Exchange this year was Stephen Mitschke, our director of products, who also heads up our testing and registration efforts. Stephen presented our vision for testing and registration of products and host systems at the foundation.  You can access Stephen's presentation here

For my own part, I delivered a presentation on FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions. After a successful end user demonstration in 2008, efforts around FOUNDATION for SIF stalled a little in the wake of the recession, but activity is ramping up again and we are looking to test and register the first wave of products within the next 18 months, and there are currently three separate end user pilot projects happening as we speak.  You can access that presentation here

Emerson is a leader in FOUNDATION fieldbus and of course ours were not the only presentations given on the topic of fieldbus. In addition to the many fieldbus-related presentations, the full scope of Emerson fieldbus products and services were on display at the technology exhibits, which ran from Monday through Wednesday. Many Emerson partners were also in attendance, including several FOUNDATION fieldbus technology providers such as Softing, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, MooreHawke, and others. A complete list of partners that exhibited is available here.

Emerson also announced that it has sold over 1,200 of its new DeltaV S-series H1 fieldbus interface cards. The new card eliminates marshalling by letting the fieldbus trunk directly on the H1 card without an intermediate marshalling cabinet. The new card measures output voltage and the current drawn on the bus. This can be used as an additional form of diagnostics. Changes in current drawn could indicate short circuit on a spur or other installation problem. Diagnostics modules or testers connected in parallel cannot do this. It is a nice complement to the communication statistics which are already built into the H1 card and seen from DeltaV diagnostics. Together, these diagnostics detect problems on either the field device-side or controller cabinet-side of the safety barriers, without adding any hardware. 


You can download a series of good FOUNDATION fieldbus tutorial presentations from the Emerson Exchange slideshare site here. You can also access chief Emerson blogger Jim Cahill’s many posts regarding the Exchange here.

I attended a very good presentation on the new Softing gateway that will be used by Emerson in place of its Rosemount’s 3420 fieldbus gateway. Like the existing 3420 gateway, the Softing FIM 110 FF gateway is a great way to provide integration between existing legacy control systems and fieldbus devices, as well as asset management applications. The FIM 110 FF is based on Softing’s existing line of fieldbus gateways. The FIM 100 also provides integration of Modbus and other network technologies. Softing also provides a configuration tools to handle configuring blocks and schedules. AMS handles the transducer/resource configurations. Both Softing and Emerson will sell the product.

We hear a lot about Emerson’s flowmeter and transmitter offerings, but did you know that the company has truly availed themselves of the full functionality of FOUNDATION fieldbus with its analytical instruments? Jim gray of Rosemount Analytical gave an excellent presentation on the many things you can do with their products in a FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, including full incorporation of NE-107 field diagnostics and function block capabilities. There is a lot of information regarding Rosemount Analytical’s fieldbus offerings here.

Some users find great success installing fieldbus in existing plants where multiple temperature measurements are required. We saw a good case study from Valero on just that topic, where the end user realized hundreds of thousands of dollars in installed cost with the Rosemount 848 T multiple input temperature transmitter. This case just shows that it is possible to realize significant installed cost savings even on a small fieldbus project.

We also attended a very informative presentation by Al Dewey of Emerson on the 475 handheld communicator, which is ubiquitous in the process industries. Al’s presentation was designed around addressing best practices in using the device, particularly when it comes to management of change. Many field technicians will make changes to a device with the 475, but these are not always picked up by the process automation system. Al gave several good pointers on how to do it right. 

Again we look forward to attending next year and appreciate all those who attended our sessions.

STC Brielle Fieldbus Training Center Gets an Upgrade

The STC-Group in the Netherlands is one of our certified training partners. Recently, they opened new and renovated facilities at its premises in Brielle, near Rotterdam. The improved process and maintenance industry training facilities at Brielle will enhance the training experiences of delegates attending the fieldbus training courses offered by STC-Group under the FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP).

 In 2009, STC-Group’s Brielle facility was one of the first educational institutions worldwide to offer fieldbus training courses certified under FCTP. This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.  You can read more about the FCTP program on the Fieldbus Foundation web site. 

Earlier this year, the Fieldbus Foundation certified Dr. Bindert Douma as a FOUNDATION certified instructor on behalf of STC-Group. Dr. Douma has an extensive process automation background at Shell Global Solutions, a leading global energy company.

Recognition under the FCTP means that FOUNDATION fieldbus training courses are taught at a certified training site, by a certified instructor, using certified curriculum. The core instructional content, developed by a team of qualified instructors from various institutions worldwide, is consistent across all the training facilities. For educational institutions, there are rigorous procedures for gaining FCTP 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 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.

STC Brielle Training Facilities

At its facility located in Brielle, the Netherlands, close to the Rotterdam-Europoort industrial areas, STC-Group has established a unique training centre for process control and automation. The combination of complex simulation facilities and hands-on training gives students a chance to enhance their theoretical knowledge and gain user experience by working on real fieldbus equipment and configurations. STC Brielle also offers portable fieldbus training units that can be brought to customer sites anywhere in the EMEA region. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New YouTube Video on Lee College Fieldbus Training Center

Earlier this summer I attended a conference for our Fieldbus Certified Training Partner (FCTP) program.  This conference was held at one of our certified training centers at Lee College in Baytown, Texas.  Chuck Carter, our primary instructor at Lee College, gave us a tour of the fieldbus lab as well as their training facilities for process automation, analytical instruments and their pilot plant.  I pulled everything together in a video that you can access at the Fieldbus Foundation YouTube channel

YouTube Video of Lee College Fieldbus and Process Automation Training Center

Fieldbus Lab at Lee College

New White Paper on Host Profile Testing and Registration

There is a considerable amount of confusion when it comes to understanding what a host system really is, and how we test and register them at the Fieldbus Foundation.  The Foundation defines different classes of hosts based on their functionality.  Integrated hosts, for example, are what we would typically think of as a fully functional DCS host with HMI, plant asset management, and engineering and configuration capabilities.  Other hosts include those used strictly for maintenance purposes.  The Foundation has defined sets of functionality that we test for for each class of host.  To demystify this whole process, we have created a white paper that outlines the various types of hosts that are offered and their respective functions and testing requirements.  You can download the paper in PDF format at the Foundation web site.

Host and Interoperability Testing White Paper

Monday, October 31, 2011

MULTAQA 2011, the Biennial Fieldbus Conference and Exhibition, Abu Dhabi

The sixth biennial conference of FOUNDATION Fieldbus End Users’ Council – Middle East, MULTAQA 2011 will be held on December 12th and 13th, 2011, at Le Royal Méridien, Abu Dhabi, UAE. End Users from all industries from GCC countries, as well as Control System Vendors, Global Consultants and Automation Contractors are expected to participate in the conference.
The conference will consist mainly of technical presentations by the End Users and FOUNDATION Fieldbus experts on current and future FOUNDATION technology, forthcoming technology and specification updates, End Users’ Project Experiences, End User Case Studies, CapEx and OpEx Savings from FOUNDATION Fieldbus, Maintenance and Interoperability issues, Innovations and Plant products. This conference will also be an excellent opportunity to meet a wide variety of Instrumentation and Control System professionals from various operating companies in the GCC.

Much like our seminars in North America, the Multaqa event will include hands on demonstrations and practical advice for making your fieldbus installation a success. These seminars are designed to help you get the most out of your investment in fieldbus. 

Confirmation Deadline

Please click on http://tinyurl.com/6ga4e4p to register by November 30th, 2011. On this site you can register and pay with your credit card using PayPal.

Pre-registered Delegates will receive a 10% discount voucher, for any of STC Brielle CTC programs, in NL or Oman.

Delegate Fee: 135 USD Payment Deadline: November 30th, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Volunteer Now For The Physical Layer Team – Jitter Allocation

Among the many exciting benefits of Fieldbus Foundation membership is volunteer participation in the various steering committees, technical teams, and working groups that help support aspects of FOUNDATION technology important to all members and that help meet the needs of the global process automation industry. Other benefits include early access to the latest FOUNDATION technical specifications and development tools for faster time to market, and discounts on fieldbus training.

Consider joining the Physical Layer Team – Jitter Allocation, which has openings for foundation member volunteers.

To avoid communication errors when devices are connected to high impedance spurs (such as those of Isolated Couplers), jitter is the most important parameter used to assess and regulate the distortion level of the signal. The team will deliver concrete recommendations on the jitter allocation for field devices, cable, power supply and couplers based on the high impedance requirements. Project steps to be followed include:

Survey of the current specifications and the ability of current components
Allocate jitter value to each component
Draft white paper with recommendations of necessary changes to FOUNDATION Specifications and any other international standards.

The Physical Layer Team – Jitter Allocation team averages one teleconference (each two hours in duration) per month during development. One face-to-face meeting will be necessary when drafting the final recommendations paper. Additional work will be coordinated through email. Time commitment for team members is expected to be a maximum of 10 hours per month. A member company may have multiple representatives on a technical maintenance team, however only one member may be designated as a primary member contact. The primary member contact is responsible for casting votes for their represented company.

Additional information about the Physical Layer Team – Jitter Allocation, and application form, can be found in the Team Applications area of Fieldbus Forums. Please note that you will need an account with member access privileges to access the Team Applications area. You can sign up for an account by clicking "Register" at http://forums.fieldbus.org. If you are unable to access the applications, you will need to contact Member Services to activate the member privileges.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fieldbus Foundation Releases Updated H1 Interoperability Test Kit

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced the release of H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.0.1. This powerful test tool, which tests the functionality of an H1 (31.25 kbit/s) fieldbus device and its conformity with the Foundation function block and transducer block specifications, is available to members holding an active maintenance agreement.

H1 ITK 6.0.1 demonstrates the Fieldbus Foundation’s commitment to quality and its continuous improvement of solutions supporting developers of Foundation fieldbus products. The updated test kit addresses bug fixes to the NI-FBUS Communication Manager (4.0.1) software, which have resolved issues related to alarms and obsolete descriptor errors. It also includes miscellaneous bug fixes to H1 device test cases.

Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute, an internationally-recognized expert in communication and network testing software based in Karlsruhe, Germany, the H1 ITK consists of a test engine, communication stack and function block interface card. An excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging devices, the H1 ITK includes 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 H1 ITK, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for official registration.

The H1 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.For more information, please call the Fieldbus Foundation at 512-794-8890 or e-mail member.services@fieldbus.org This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . To obtain pricing information or download an FAQ, please visit the “Tools” page on the foundation website or go to www.fieldbus.org.

Fieldbus Foundation Issues Transducer Block Specification For Wired HART and WirelessHART Devices

The Fieldbus Foundation has issued a Foundation Wireless and Remote I/O (WIO) preliminary specification addressing fieldbus transducer blocks for wired HART® and WirelessHART® devices, together with updates to the WIO System Architecture and WIO Data Structures related to the transducer block specification.

Part of the FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management solution implementing wireless and remote I/O, the new technical specification defines a fieldbus transducer block used to represent HART devices within Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices. Both wired HART and WirelessHART devices may be represented in this block. In addition, the specification describes the expected method for HART configuration tools and asset-managing hosts to access HART devices using the native HART command protocol transported through our High Speed Ethernet (HSE) network. The specification also defines structures to identify and maintain HART device status in wired multi-drop networks as well as in WirelessHART mesh networks connected to Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s director of technology development, Dave Glanzer, commented, “The new transducer block specification will benefit end users who need to be able to interface HART and WirelessHART devices to FOUNDATION fieldbus to improve their integration with a control system, or with FOUNDATION devices. They may also require a networked method for an asset-managing host to access a large set of HART and WirelessHART devices for HART configuration and maintenance purposes.”

Link to Press Release on Fieldbus Foundation Web Site

Going South: Seminars in Corpus Christi, Baton Rouge, Beaumont

Our series of end user seminars is set to conclude with a run in Texas and Louisiana starting November 7th, when we host an end user seminar in Corpus Christi at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  November 9th we will host another end user seminar at the Baton Rouge Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge, LA.  November 10th we will host our third end user seminar at the Holiday Inn and Suites Hotel in Beaumont, Texas.  The following day, November 11th, we will host a sales force training seminar in the same location.  If you are a process automation end user or sales person in these areas, you should make an effort to attend these seminars.  There is no cost, and we have been receiving some pretty high marks this year from our attendees. 

Link to Electronic Invitation to End User Seminar in Corpus Christi, Texas

Link to Electronic Invitation to End User Seminar in Baton Rouge, LA

Link to Electronic Invitation to End User Seminar in Beaumont, Texas

Link to Electronic Invitation to Sales Force Training Seminar in Beaumont, Texas

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Australian Seminars Coming Soon!

Our dedicated supporters in Australia are organizing two seminars in November, with help from our regional sponsors of course.  Seminars will be held in Brisbane on November 2, 2011 at the Stamford Plaza, and Perth on November 4, 2011 at the Mercure Hotel. Longtime fieldbus veteran and arguably one of the most knowledgeable fieldbus people on the planet -- Jonas Berge -- will be delivering the keynote speech at both events.  We will also have an end user presentation from CSBP at our Brisbane seminar. 

The seminars will run from 8.00am - 5.00pm, are free of charge, and include complimentary refreshments and lunch. Attendees will receive a CD with the presentation materials, technical guides etc., and can enjoy the opportunity to visit the event sponsors' exhibition table top displays during the breaks.

Presentation Agenda:
  • Keynote Speech by Jonas Berge, Emerson Process Management: The Future is Digital / Why Foundation Fieldbus?
  • Foundation Fieldbus Basics: Close Loop Digital Control
  • Life-Cycle Benefits: FEED Phase
  • Life-Cycle Benefits: Design Phase
  • Life-Cycle Benefits: Commissioning Phase
  • End-User Presentation
  • Life-Cycle Benefits: Operations Phase
  • Life-Cycle Benefits: Maintenance Phase
  • Future Roadmap
  • Q&A
The agenda of the Perth seminar will also include a live technology demonstration of operations & diagnostics.

Link for Brisbane Seminar E-Registration

Link for Perth Seminar E-Registration

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Upcoming Webcast: Fieldbus for Modernization Projects

Control system migration and modernization projects continue to drive the industry.  In fact, greenfield projects only account for about a third of the overall DCS market.  ARC Advisory Group estimated that the installed base of process automation systems reaching the end of their useful life and in need of replacement to be $65 billion worldwide. 

We are seeing more and more FOUNDATION fieldbus technology working its way into the growing number of modernization projects.  FOUNDATION fieldbus is more applicable to migration projects than you might think.  Yes, you will have to make the additional investment in fieldbus devices, which in many cases are not part of the scope of an overall migration project.  In many applications, however, the operational cost benefits can easily justify the investment. 

Our upcoming webcast with Control Engineering will feature Mike Miller of Sargent and Lundy, who implemented FOUNDATION technology to modernize several units, all of them in nuclear power applications.  Mike's experience is a great example of how you can modernize with FOUNDATION fieldbus,to achieve greater process integrity and improved performance.   Register here to attend the webcast on Tuesday, October 18th at 2 PM Eastern time

DART Technology and FOUNDATION fieldbus

Dynamic Arc Recognition and Termination technology (DART) will have a big impact on the world of intrinsic safety, particularly IS implementations of fieldbus.

DART technology enables intrinsic safety of an electric circuit with dramatically increased available power during normal operation. In the case of an unwanted, potentially threatening condition such as opening or closing of the electric circuit, DART technology puts the circuit into a safe state before critical levels are reached. A spark caused by opening or closing an electric circuit has a very characteristic and easily detectable change of current and voltage. This change is detected by DART technology and the circuit switched off in only a few microseconds (µs). Thus, even at higher power levels, sparks never become incendive.

Pepperl+Fuchs in conjunction with PTB, the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany and twelve other manufacturers is involved in introducing changes to international standard IEC 60079 (Electrical Installations in Hazardous Areas). In order to facilitate easier practical application and interoperability between manufacturers, the working group targets introducing regulations for test and approval of dynamically acting power supplies and equipment into IEC 60079.

There is an interesting white paper done by ARC Advisory Group on DART technology available for download here at the Control Global web site

Pepperl+Fuchs Page on DART Technology

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fieldbus Foundation Issues Transducer Block Specification For Wired HART and WirelessHART Devices

The Fieldbus Foundation has issued a Foundation Wireless and Remote I/O (WIO) preliminary specification addressing fieldbus transducer blocks for wired HART® and WirelessHART® devices, together with updates to the WIO System Architecture and WIO Data Structures related to the transducer block specification.

Part of the Foundation for Remote Operations Management solution implementing wireless and remote I/O, the new technical specification defines a fieldbus transducer block used to represent HART devices within Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices. Both wired HART and WirelessHART devices may be represented in this block. In addition, the specification describes the expected method for HART configuration tools and asset-managing hosts to access HART devices using the native HART command protocol transported through the Foundation High Speed Ethernet (HSE) network. The specification also defines structures to identify and maintain HART device status in wired multi-drop networks as well as in WirelessHART mesh networks connected to Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s director of technology development, Dave Glanzer, commented, “The new transducer block specification will benefit end users who need to be able to interface HART and WirelessHART devices to Foundation fieldbus to improve their integration with a control system, or with Foundation devices. They may also require a networked method for an asset-managing host to access a large set of HART and WirelessHART devices for HART configuration and maintenance purposes.”

Within the Foundation architecture, H1 and HSE provide a distributed function block capability with HSE serving as a larger pipeline offering increased speed and throughput. The WIO development expands these capabilities by establishing open, non-proprietary specifications for a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network integrating various wireless Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices with interfaces to wireless field device networks.

HSE provides an efficient way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O from modular devices back to the control room using a high-speed HSE connection. Employing HSE devices functioning like a smart remote terminal unit (RTU), the technology brings all forms of conventional I/O into the native fieldbus environment easily. This solution makes discrete-in, discrete-out, analog-in, analog-out and H1 fieldbus available over a common Ethernet network. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within a Foundation control system infrastructure.

FDI Cooperation LLC is Formed

You may have read last week about the formation of the FDI Cooperation LLC.  The five major technology foundations, including the Fieldbus Foundation, Profibus International, HART Communication Foundation, FDT Group, and OPC Foundation have all agreed to cooperate on the following objectives:

• To complete the standardization of FDI under the IEC (International Electrical Commission)
• Managing the FDI Specification
• Finalizing the FDI tool kits for system and device manufacturers
In its simplest terms, FDI is a converged solution of EDDL and FDT technology.  The full realization of FDI requires a focused effort, and that's why this LLC was created.  Part of the effort is EDDL harmonization.  FOUNDATION Fieldbus, Profibus, and HART all use EDDL as a common core technology, but each has their own specific implementation of EDDL.  The simple logic is that if we get better harmonization of EDDL, it will make it easier to integrate with FDT. You can read about it in this PowerPoint presentation that was given by Achim Laubenstein of ABB at Hanover Fair back in April.  Achim is the new Executive Director of FDI and has been active in the fieldbus and FDT world for many years. 
FDI LLC Signing Ceremony with Representatives from the Five Major Foundations

FDI Cooperation, LLC originated from efforts at the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) to accelerate deployment of the FDI solution, which was kicked-off at 2007 Hanover Fair. Since then, the project has carefully shaped the technology direction for the converged FDI solution. FDI is a unified solution for simple, as well as the most advanced field devices, for the various tasks associated with all phases of their lifecycles, such as configuration, commissioning, diagnostics and calibration.
FDI Cooperation, LLC membership includes five major automation foundations: FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communications Foundation, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International, and the OPC Foundation. In October 2009, ECT broadened the scope of the FDI project to harmonize EDDL across communication protocols and provide FDI Design and Test Tools including a common EDD Interpreter. Implementation of the extended scope was supported by seven major supplier companies: ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens and Yokogawa.

We look forward to the progress made by the FDI team and will continue to update you. 

Check out our Detroit End User and Sales Force Training Seminars

Our series of seminars continues next week with end user and sales force training seminars in Detroit.  We will be hosting our end user seminar on Tuesday, October 11th, from 8:30 AM to around 4-4:30 PM (depending on how long discussions run) at the Henry Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan.  You can register electronically here.  Registration is free and you also receive Professional Development Hour certificates for attending.  These are hands on seminars that actually teach you best practices for commissioning fieldbus devices, implementing control in the field, and taking advantage of device diagnostics. 

On Wednesday, October 12th, we will host a sales force training seminar at the Henry that will run from 8:30 AM to 12 PM.  You can register electronically here.  Sales force training seminars are specifically targeted at salespeople.  You will hear end users talk about what drove them to choose FOUNDATION technology. 

Detroit End User Seminar Electronic Registration

Detroit Sales Force Training Seminar Electronic Registration

Friday, September 16, 2011

FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management Media Day at Lee College

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced plans to unveil its FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology at an automation industry media day to be held on December 1, 2011, at Lee College in Baytown, Texas.

FOUNDATION for ROM provides a wireless and wired infrastructure for remote assets and applications, integrating wired infrastructure, remote I/O, ISA100.11a and WirelessHART®, providing users with direct access to device information and diagnostics. As the name suggests, FOUNDATION for ROM is targeted at applications such as pipeline SCADA, tank farms and terminals, and offshore platform automation. Remote operations management is one of the fastest growing fields in process automation, and FOUNDATION for ROM is well positioned to allow users to accelerate their next generation ROM strategies.

The media day will include both a demonstration of the progress that the foundation has made on the specification. The foundation will also incorporate a tour of the fieldbus training center at Lee College, one of the Foundation’s Certified Training Program (FCTP) partner locations and one of the largest and best equipped fieldbus labs in the world. Lee College is training the next generation of process automation operators and technicians.

End User and Sales Force Training Seminars Updates

Next week we have our end user seminars in Calgary and Fort McMurray, as well as our sales force training seminar in Calgary.  The Calgary end user seminar is pretty full, but there are plenty of openings at the sales force training seminar on September 21st and Fort Mc Murray end user seminar on September 22nd at the Sawridge Hotel and Convention Center right in Fort McMurray

Our valuable partner for both Calgary and Fort McMurray seminars is our Fieldbus Certified Training Partner (FCTP), the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).  SAIT instructors will be joining us for the presentations and demonstrations of FOUNDATION technology. 

Here is the agenda for Fort McMurray end user seminar and the link to e-register

On October 11th we host our end user seminar in Detroit -- an area that actually has quite a lot of fieldbus isntalled in industries such as nuclear power.  The Detroit agenda can be downloaded here

We will also be hosting a sales force training seminar in Detroit on October 12th. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Much Does Customization Cost the Process Industries?

One of the primary advantages of fieldbus is the elimination of customization in your project.  What do we mean by customization?  It's all the additional work you have to do to get everything to plug in and play together with everything else.  The early days of digital process automation were an ugly mess of different proprietary protocols, from proprietary digital protocols at the instrument layer to proprietary control networks at the control backbone, to an even bigger mess of proprietary technologies at the operations management and business layer. 

Users can spend more than half of their project costs on activities that can be directly traced to customization.  At the field device level, analog technology creates unnecessary work processes because of the lack of direct, bidirectional digital access to devices for commissioning and diagnostics.  Instrument engineering alone can account for 20 percent of overall automation project costs.  Even if you are using digital devices, customization and proprietary technology at the application and network level meant that much of the data from intelligent devices may not even be accessible, and certainly not easily so, by the people that need it when they need it. 

Many of the stringent objections I get from people in the industry regarding fieldbus technology is that many suppliers already have the capability to do some of the things that fieldbus does without fully adopting the technology, so where is the advantage in adopting fieldbus?  Eliminating the billions of dollars worth of customization seems to be a good reason.  You can have a proprietary digital protocol, a proprietary control network or backhaul network, and proprietary technologies for getting data from one place to another.  But what does that add to the installed cost of your application?  What does that do to the cost of your solution, from products to services to lifecycle and operational costs, maintenance costs, and more? 

That's the catch.  While the installed cost of an automation solution may be just a fraction of the total cost of a process automation project (in refineries automation can be less than a percent of overall project costs), the impact of the automation solution on the lifecycle and operational costs of a plant is immense.  The automation system is the ultimate factor in plant uptime.  It is your window into what is happening in your plant and your process.  If you are still relying on technology that is 30 years old, you should rethink your approach. 

FOUNDATION technology is an open specification that provides seamless data access from the field all the way up to operations management applications.  Supplier products are tested and registered to ensure they conform to this specification.  We then take input from end users and evolve our specification based on their functional requirements.  It's a level playing field, but suppliers also have the ability add their own specific functionality and expertise on top of the standard solution.  Looking at your supplier's fieldbus offerings is a good way to gauge their level of willingness to provide open solutions. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Terry Blevins of Emerson Talks About Optimizing Gain Through FOUNDATION Fieldbus Characterizer Blocks

Terry Blevins of Emerson Process Management has an excellent blog on modeling and process control.  Hist post of August 8th has some interesting things to say about process gain and how it can be optimized with FOUNDATION fieldbus.  Process gain is often called the "sensitivity of the process", and shows how the PV reacts in responses to changes in controller output (CO).  Blevins asserts that, from a process control perspective, process gain should be constant. 

Blevins states that it is not always possible to change valve characteristics to compensate for changes in process gain during commissioning because of the time and expense involved.  If you have a FOUNDATION fieldbus installation, however, the block structure of FOUNDATION technology allows you to use a characterizer block between the PID and analog output blocks.  You can achieve a consistent response to load disturbances and setpoint changes even if the final control element has non linear installed characteristics.  Read the rest of the post to get the whole story:

Terry Blevins Modeling and Control Blog: Commissioning Control Systems -- Installed Characteristics

Webcast on Designing Your First Fieldbus Installation Now Archived Online

Our first webcast with Control Engineering on designing your first fieldbus installation is now archived and available for download here.  (You have to register first, but it's fairly painless.)  The design phase has a huge impact on the effectiveness of the fieldbus installation throughout its lifecycle, where the real cost benefits of the technology are achieved.  Many first timers can fall into the trap of thinking about things in terms of 4-20 mA technology, and just because you have an engineering partner that may have done fieldbus installations in the past is no guarantee of success.  Check out our webcast for tips on how to avoid these and other common mistakes and get the most out of your fieldbus installation. 

Next month Mike Miller from Duke Energy and yours truly will have another webcast on implementing FOUNDATION fieldbus in a modernization or migration scenario.  Many end users are incorporating FOUNDATION technology into their modernization strategies.  We will post details as they become available. 

Control Engineering Webcast: Designing Your First Fieldbus Installation

Friday, August 26, 2011

FOUNDATION Developer Training Planned for September 20-23 in Frankfurt, Germany

The Fieldbus Foundation will conduct training classes for FOUNDATION fieldbus product developers from September 20-23 in Frankfurt, Germany. The classes will be held at the facility of BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH, located in the Industriepark Höchst next to the Frankfurt International Airport.

BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH has been a FOUNDATION Fieldbus Center of Excellence since May 2004.

Two comprehensive developer courses will be offered in Frankfurt: "Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus" on Tuesday, September 20th; and the "Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION Fieldbus" on September 21-23rd. These courses designed for beginning and advanced fieldbus development professionals, respectively.

The vendor-neutral "Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus" course is intended for developers, marketing professionals, applications engineers, system integrators and others interested in obtaining a fundamental knowledge of FOUNDATION technology. Students will become familiar with the basic concepts and new terminology related to the FOUNDATION integrated architecture. They will understand the key strategies for wiring and installation of a fieldbus network. Special emphasis will be placed on design issues such as power requirements, device types and topologies.

The "Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus" course assumes little or no prior knowledge of FOUNDATION technology, but students should already be familiar with process control and existing 4-20 mA technology found in present-day installations.

The vendor-neutral "Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION Fieldbus" course is intended for manufacturers and developers of fieldbus hardware and software. The course is best suited for development engineers, test engineers, and all who wish to understand the detailed inner workings of a fieldbus device. The "Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus" course is a prerequisite for this advanced class. Students should be familiar with the basic terminology of FOUNDATION technology, and have a general understanding of its communications protocol, function block execution, linkages and DDs.

Register for Developer Training Today
For more information, please view the Developer Training page from the foundation's website. To register for the upcoming Fieldbus Foundation training courses at BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH, please download the training registration form and submit by email to training@fieldbus.org or fax to 1.512.794.8893. Registration deadline is August 30, 2011. Registrations submitted past deadline may be accepted on an individual basis.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Check out Our Webinar With Control Engineering on Designing Your First Fieldbus Installation

There are many pitfalls to avoid when designing and installing your first fieldbus project.  On Thursday,  August 25, 2 PM Eastern Time, Fieldbus Foundation and Control Engineering will be hosting a webinar on how to design and install your first project successfully.  Joining myself and Peter Welander of Control Engineering will be Dave Lancaster.  Formerly of Bechtel, Dave is now one of our leading FOUNDATION Fieldbus trainers at Trine University in Indianapolis and is an active part of our Americas end user and sales force training seminars.  We'll talk about the human factors as well as segment design, training resources, and how FOUNDATION Fieldbus changes device commissioning. 

Control Engineering and Fieldbus Foundation Webinar on Designing and Implementing Your First Fieldbus Installation

Friday, August 12, 2011

EDDL and Device Revision Management

There is an interesting white paper available from EDDL.org (The Electronic Device Description web site) on device revision management.  Version management was traditionally a challenge in the early days of digital instrumentation, but the latest version of EDDL makes it much easier to manage different versions of devices.  The white paper also provides a good overall tutorial of EDDL.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Canadian End User and Sales Force Training Seminars Coming Soon

Just a reminder that our continuing series of end user seminars are going to continue soon, this time in Calgary and Fort MacMurray Canada.  The Calgary seminar is scheduled for September 20th.  We will do a separate sales force training seminar on September 21st in Calgary, then it's off to Fort MacMurray for another end user seminar on the 22nd.  You can get more information on our web site

Electronic Registration for Calgary End User Seminar

Electronic Registration for Calgary Sales Force Training Seminar

Electronic Registration for Fort MacMurray End User Seminar

ControlGlobal Article by John Rezabek on "The Death of the Loop Drawing"

Good article from Chairman of our End User Advisory Council and contributing editor to ControlGlobal John Rezabek on the ambiguous future of the loop drawing.  In these days of fieldbus and wireless technology, do old school paper loop drawings have a future?

Death of the Loop Drawing

Mangalore India Refinery Installs FOUNDATION Actuators from AUMA

India continues to be a global leader in the installation and use of FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology.  This recent story from EngineerLive shows how one refinery in Mangalore installed FOUNDATION Fieldbus electric actuators from AUMA to achieve more flexible and reliable production. 

Flexible Actuator Functionality Aids Refinery Automation

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Honeywell Wins Contract to Automate Offshore Gas Platforms in Vietnam with FOUNDATION Fieldbus

Honeywell Process Solutions has won an agreement with PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC) and the Bien Dong Petroleum Operating Company (BDPOC) to automate their central processing platform with an Experion PKS process automation system with FOUNDATION Fieldbus capability.  PetroVietnam will also install a Honeywell Safety Manager system.  The company expects considerable maintenance cost savings. 

Honeywell Process Solutions Wins Contract with PetroVietnam Technical Serivces and Bien Dong Petroleum Operating Company for Experion PKS, Safety Manager, and FOUNDATION Fieldbus

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Excellent Presentation From Shell on Asset Management and Fieldbus

Here is an excellent presentation from Shell that I came across while doing some Googling for asset management and Fieldbus.  It appears to be a few years old, but what I like about it is the detailed descriptions of just how much time is wasted during traditional maintenance activities.  The crisis in maintenance has been well documented by people like my friend Joel Leonard over at SkillTV.  FOUNDATION Technology can help address this crisis and provide a vehicle for true operational excellence in an environment of constrained resources. 

FFSAMC Participation in CONTROL Roadshows Continues For Third Year

Following the successful participation by the Fieldbus Foundation South Africa Marketing Committee (FFSAMC) in both the 2009 and 2010 series of CONTROL roadshows across South Africa, the committee has announced its continued participation throughout the 2011 series. These dedicated control measurement and instrumentation exhibitions focus broadly around 'automation in industry' and will be held at the following locations during 2011.

July 21: Sasol Club, Secunda
August 18: ETC Training Centre, Port Elizabeth
October 20: Quest Conference Centre, Vanderbilpark

The exhibitions are open from 11.00am - 17.00pm with free entry.
For more information email Debbie Scott (wnip@iafrica.com) This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 0861 776 237
Click here to visit the What's New In Processing website for more information and to register.

New Series of Emerson Fieldbus Installations Added to our Web Site

We recently added three new fieldbus sucess stories to the "Installations" section of our web site.  Some of these date back to 2008, but they are interesting for several reasons.  First, all of these installations are in China, which is a leading adopter of FOUNDATION Technology.  The industries and applications are also unique, and the savings realized are considerable. 

First is a SynGas Project with SES (ZaoZhuang) New Gas.  This is a coal gasification facility that produces 20,000 Normal cubic meters of natural gas an hour.  SES has also deployed control in the field. 

Changxing Glass is using FOUNDATION Fieldbus on one of their large production lines.  Changxing realized a 50 percent reduction in labor for startup, 15 percent reduction in field devices, and 60 percent savings in cable installation. 

Guixi Copper Smelting has a production capacity of  700,000 tons per year annum of copper cathode and sulfuric acid.  They are using FOUNDATION Technology on this sizable operation to improve reliability, product quality, and throughput.  Guixi Copper realized a 50 percent reduction in maintenance costs and startup times. 

Video Invitation to our End User Seminars in North America

Our marketing specialist Talon Petty has created an official video invitation at our YouTube channel for our end user seminars to be held in North America throughout 2011.  Seminar registration, locations, dates and more are listed at the end.  Check it out and we look forward to seeing you at our next seminar!

Official Video Invitation to North America End User Seminars

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Interesting Interview of India Process Automation Pioneer P Mahajan

P Mahajan is one of the leading process automation professionals in India and provided the keynote address at our Mumbai General Assembly back in March.  Mr. Mahajan is technical director for Engineers India Limited (EIL), and is basically one of the fathers of process automation in India, introducing the concepts of electronic instrumentation and intrinsically safe systems in electrically hazardous plants to India in 1974.  This is a very good interview from A&D India of P Majahan by Soumi Mitra on some of the key automation trends in India, including fieldbus. 

Soumi Mitra Interviews P Mahajan on Process Automation Trends in India

Castrol Installs FOUNDATION Fieldbus on Tank Farm, Achieves 2 Day Startup

We at the Fieldbus Foundation consistently point out the reduced commissioning costs, engineering costs, and startup times you can achieve with FOUNDATION technology, and it's nice to see the results being reported in the real world.  Emerson Process Management recently posted this success story from Castrol NV in Antwerp, Belgium, where Castrol installed a DeltaV process automation system with FOUNDATION instruments.  Castrol reported a 60 percent reduction in commissioning time.  Because of the advanced diagnostics capabilities of the fieldbus devices, Castrol was able to reduce the overall number of field devices at each metering station.  Many tank farms today are faced with legacy control system issues, and still more are not very highly automated, or employ some combination of manual and automated approaches.  FOUNDATION Technology makes an excellent solution for these applications. 

DeltaV System, FOUNDATION Fieldbus Meets Product Measurement, Movement Challenges for Castrol NV Belgium

Friday, July 1, 2011

New YouTube Video Shows Device Commissioning

There is a new YouTube video posted to the Fieldbus Foundation channel that shows Amit Ajmeri of Yokogawa doing device commissioning.  It's a very good synopsis of the device commissioning process, including downloading the latest DD file from the Foundation web site.  The video was taken at our last end user seminar in Carson, California and also shows Yokogawa team member Ray Azizian. 

Amit Ajmeri Demonstrates FOUNDATION Fieldbus Device Commissioning

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interesting Article in Oil and Gas Journal on Reliance Jamnagar Refinery

The Reliance Jamnagar refinery is the largest in the world, and it is also quite possible the largest FOUNDATION Fieldbus installation in the world with over 22,000 fieldbus devices.  There is an interesting article in the Oil and Gas Journal on the refinery expansion project that is worth a read. Invensys Operations Management is the primary automation system supplier for this project and there are a lot of details on their scope of supply, etc. 

Brazilian End User Seminar is a Success

Our Brazilian Marketing Committee organized and held our most recent end user seminar on Thursday, June 16th at the Windsor Barra Hotel & Congressos in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is a hotbed of fieldbus adoption right now. Major end users such as Petrobras are making significant investments in FOUNDATION Fieldbus. The seminar attracted roughly 150 attendees from end users to suppliers to systems integrators. The keynote address was given by Dr. Gunther Kegel, the new Chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation Board of Directors and CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs. Dr. Kegel listed some key FOUNDATION Fieldbus installations in Brazil, where the technology is in use in over a dozen refineries, several offshore platforms, and many other installations which, for end user Petrobras alone, accounts for around 70,000 fieldbus devices. Local supplier Smar also has many fieldbus installations throughout the country. Omar Sacilotto Donaire of Smar gave an update on the FOUNDATION Technology roadmap. Other end user presenters included Elaine da Silva of Petrobras and Ronaldo Neves Ribeiro and Alessandro S. Castro of Celulose Nipo Brasileira (a leading Brazilian pulp producer).
Fieldbus Foundation Chairman Dr. Gunther Kegel Delivers the Keynote Address

With all the fieldbus activity in Brazil, there is a strong demand for training. LEAD is in the process of becoming a certified FOUNDATION Fieldbus training center under our FCTP program, and Miguel Borges from Petrobras/Cenpes provided on update on LEAD’s status and future plans. Fieldbus Foundation’s Brazil Marketing Committee Chairman and Pepperl+Fuchs Marketing Director Augusto Pereira of Pepperl+Fuchs gave a presentation on bests practices for fieldbus project implementation. The seminar concluded with a presentation from another end user, Claudio Sperb from Braskem, on successful project implementation. The Braskem example is interesting because it involves ethanol production. Brazil implemented a comprehensive ethanol fuel production program to deal with the oil crunch of the 1970s and has been a leader in ethanol production ever since. Today, it is the second largest producer of ethanol in the world and has some of the most advanced production processes. Most of the country’s ethanol comes from widely available sugar cane.

The presentations can all be downloaded at the Fieldbus Foundation Forums web site, but you must be a registered user to download. Registration is free and only takes a minute. Warning: most presentations are, understandably, in Portuguese.