Thursday, October 25, 2012

University of Miskolc Becomes FOUNDATION Certified Training Partner

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

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

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

Fieldbus Training Laboratory at University of Miskolc

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

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

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

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

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

FCTP Program

Unversity of Miskolc Industrial Communication R&D and Training Laboratory

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Updated FOUNDATION for SIF Spec Includes Support of Dual Mode Devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Plant Engineering Article: Making Fieldbus Projects As Painless As Possible

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

Plant Engineering: Making Fieldbus Projects As Painless As Possible

New Version of AG 181 System Engineering Guide

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

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

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

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

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

AG 181 System Engineering Guidelines

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fieldbus Foundation at Emerson Exchange

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to CEE About Us page:

Link to DCS18 website:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beamex Technology Conference - Nov. 15, 2012

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

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

You can also register for the event HERE.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FOUNDATION Fieldbus in Modernization Projects

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

InTech Article on Troubleshooting FOUNDATION Fieldbus Networks

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

InTech: Troubleshooting FOUNDATION Fieldbus Networks

‘Hands On Fieldbus’ Seminar – Oct 25th 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further details are available from the FF Benelux Events page:

Registration contact: Jacqueline van Oosten

Upcoming Seminars in Romania

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

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

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

Tel: +40244 526850
Fax: +40244 526309

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about the FFCEEMC - visit the CEE webpages: