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 Registration is still available for the Houston seminars as well and is at near capacity.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Philadelphia!