Friday, May 20, 2011

Lee College Featured in CNN "Where are the Jobs?"

CNN recently did a segment on the need for more skilled workers in the US manufacturing sector.  This video focused specifically on the process industry opportunities in Baytown, Texas, a hub for the US petrochemical business.  Lee College in Baytown was featured as an educational institution that is training new workers for the process industries.  Not four year degreed engineers, but highly specialized technologists with two year degrees that can go right to work in process plants.  Demand for skilled people in Baytown is high, and Lee College happens to be one of our certified training partners under the Fieldbus Foundation FCTP program.  At one point they interview a recent graduate who is a 40 year old woman who was doing day care before she got her degree.  Her first job will earn her more than her brother who has a four year degreed computer engineer. 

As a bonus you can see FOUNDATION Fieldus certified instructor Chuck Carter in one of the shots and some very clear footage of the fieldbus lab. 

Where are the jobs?  Look to Baytown, Texas

Saudi Aramco Moves to Install FF-SIF System at Ju'aymah Gas Plant

The Aramco Expats blog has a great article about longtime FOUNDATION Fieldbus proponent Patrick Flanders and Aramco's involvement in FOUNDATION Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Systems (FF-SIF).  According to the article, " Saudi Aramco is moving to install a completely integrated FF-SIF system at its Ju‘aymah Gas Plant. According to Flanders, that will be the first deployment of the new FF-SIF technology in an operating facility worldwide."  Indeed it is, and we will be watching developments around this first deployment of FF-SIF closely. 
Aramco ExPats: Company Moves Ahead in Safety Comms

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New H1 Physical Layer Enhancements

This week we announced enhancements to the open, non-proprietary Foundation fieldbus physical layer technology. The latest updates to the H1 (31.25 kbit/s) physical layer specifications will improve the robustness of fieldbus control systems by optimizing device interoperability and integration. End users will benefit from easier installation, faster commissioning and seamless startups.
Enhancements to the Foundation fieldbus specifications include:
  • Addition of a test procedure for isolated couplers to the existing Foundation fieldbus Coupler Test Specification. Registration of isolated couplers is now possible.
  • Improvements to the H1 Physical Layer Conformance Test Specification based on Action Requests received during the last few years. The most significant changes include the addition of a receive jitter test case and a device-coupler interoperability test.
  • Updates to the H1 Physical Layer Test Specification to remove obsolete profiles and align new references in the document with the current International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) specifications. Coupler profiles were also added to the test specification.
Implementation of the new Foundation fieldbus H1 Physical Layer Test Specification Version 2.0 is not immediately required. However, fieldbus device developers are encouraged to start using the specification as soon as possible. The updated specification will become mandatory with the next major release of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Interoperability Test Kit (ITK). Until then, developers can still provide proof of conformance to Version 1.5 of the specification when registering a device.
For more information, please visit the Technical Specifications Page.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

azbil: Yamatake Launches Field Organizer Device Management System for HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus

azbil, also known as Yamatake Corporation, has announced a new field device management platform called Field Organizer.  The new application promises to significantly shorten the time required for routine maintenance tasks such as loop checkout.  Real time device status updates and integration with Yamatake's Valstaff maintenance support system for control valves are some other features. Field Organization supports FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART, and FDT/DTM technologies. 

Link to News Release on Yamatake Site

Yokogawa Fieldbus Success Story for the North American Water Industry

Yokogawa recently released a success story for one of its customers in the municipal water business.  The municipal water system of Oviedo, Florida recently installed a FOUNDATION Fieldbus based system, devices, and PRM plant asset management application on one of its water treatment facilities.  Reduced engineering costs and reduced need for on-site instrument checks were primary reasons for choosing FOUNDATION technology. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Latest Edition of Fieldbus Report

Here is a link to the latest Fieldbus Report.  It contains information on our recent General Assembly in Mumbai, new EDDL enhancements, new physical layer testing advancements, and a great customer success story.  The presdent's letter is particularly interesting because it points out that the Fieldbus Foundation is seeing increased business and end user acceptance as the global economy continues to improve.  Our membership increased by over 11 percent last year. You may also want to check out the articles on WIO and our new DesignMate tool for segment design. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Several New Trainers Certified Under Fieldbus Foundation FCTP Program

The Fieldbus Foundation has certified several new trainers under our Fieldbus Certified Training Partner program (FCTP).  FCTP means that your fieldbus training is taught at a Certified Training Site, by a Certified Instructor, using Certified Curriculum.  Through the FCTP program training sites, curriculum, and instructors are all audited to ensure they meet program requirements.  A complete list of certified training centers around the world can be seen at the Foundation web site.  
The program currently offers three certifications.  Any certified trainer can teach all of these certifications. 
·         The FOUNDATION Certified Professional certificate is geared towards engineers, designers, main instrumentation controls contractor, and startup and commissioning specialists wanting to increase their knowledge base of design, planning, and implementation of FOUNDATION systems.
·         The FOUNDATION Certified Support Specialist certificate is appropriate for sales professionals, end user management, and plant operating staff wanting to be knowledgeable enough to communicate intelligently about FOUNDATION technology.

·         The FOUNDATION Certified Technical Specialist certificate is designed for maintenance technicians, supervisors, and contract service support specialists who install, maintain, repair/replace and troubleshoot FOUNDATION systems.
I posted a couple of weeks ago about the demand for fieldbus professionals in the Canadian oil sands.  Almost half of the new project activity happening in industries like oil and gas, petrochemical, refining, and other industries incorporates fieldbus technology.  According to ARC Advisory Group, training services is one of the fastest growing segments of the automation business today.  New entrants to the workforce must be well versed in digital technology for process automation. 
Our five new certified trainers include:
·  Dr. Bindert Douma, with STC Brielle in the Netherlands.  Dr. Douma has an extensive background at Shell Global Solutions. 

·  We have certified two new trainers at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) – Ed Williamson and Mark Tarrant.  Ed Williamson is an instructor at SAIT with a long background at Canadian oil sands developer Opti Canada.  Mark Tarrant has an extensive background with companies like Emerson and is the lead DCS instructor at SAIT. 
· Back in December, we certified two Japanese trainers with Waseda University: Yoshiharu Amano and Yoshitsugu Morioka.  Dr. Amano is a professor at Waseda University whose areas of research include Analysis and Optimization of Energy Systems and Development of Autonomous Mobile Systems.  Mr. Morioka has many years of experience with Yokogawa and with the Fieldbus Foundation and is currently a visiting researcher at the Waseda University Research Institute for Science and Engineering. 
FCTP ensures that you are working with someone possessing a strong knowledge of Foundation technology principles; a consistent understanding of fieldbus fundamentals and a proven ability to implement fieldbus-based control systems. Beginning automation students are able to identify colleges, universities and other facilities offering a certified Foundation educational curriculum. After graduating, they will be able to present official FCTP certificates to potential employers. Existing automation professionals completing certified courses can expand their job skills and employment value within their companies.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Foxboro FOUNDATION Fieldbus Temperature Transmitter

Invensys Operations Management has announced a new Foxboro® RTT30 FOUNDATION Fieldbus Temperature Transmitter. The device is capable of taking dual temperature inputs and has a lot of diagnostic features, including sensor drift and sensor corrosion detection.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Emerson Process Experts on FOUNDATION Fieldbus Interoperability

You may have noticed a couople of weeks ago when we announced the first hosts to be tested under our new "61b" Host Profile Registrtion process.  Emerson Process Experts blogger Jim Cahill has a great post today about what that testing really means for interoperability between hosts and devices.  The post mentions that our new registration process supports device level access (DLA), support of enhanced function blocks, and conformance to NAMUR NE 107 field diagnostic guidelines

Friday, May 6, 2011

FCI Introduces New FOUNDATION Fieldbus Compatible Thermal Mass Flowmeter

The new ST100 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) is available in a FOUNDATION Fieldbus-compatible version. 

Link to the Story in Hydralics and Pneumatics in Australia

Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS R9.04 SCADA System with FOUNDATION Fieldbus Faceplates

The new version of Yokogawa's FAST/TOOLS SCADA system includes an "extensive faceplate and symbol library has been enhanced with FOUNDATION fieldbus faceplates that may be used together with Yokogawa's STARDOM (FCN/FCJ) autonomous controllers for increased flexibility in distributed applications. Faceplates are automatically assigned to the control logic based on the controller function blocks and are ready to use when deployed in the system environment. This allows for seamless integration of FOUNDATION fieldbus device messages and data..."

Link to the Story at

Endress+Hauser Introduces "World’s First 4-Tube High Accuracy Coriolis Flowmeter"

Add another to the wide range of field instruments that support FOUNDATION Fieldbus.  Here's a link to the story by Rich Merritt on the web site. Endress+Hauser has announced what it calls the "World's first commercially available 4-Tube Coriolis flowmeter. Using high accuracy flowmeter technology for larger pipe sizes has always been a problem, but the new Proline Promass 83X/84X can fit pipeline sizes up to 14".