Friday, December 13, 2013

Latest Edition of Fieldbus Report Now Available!

You can now download the latest edition of the Fieldbus Foundation's Fieldbus Report on our web site.  The latest edition includes stories about the proposed merger between Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation and our new Usability Initiatives.  You can also read an update on our FOUNDATION for ROM technology initiative as well as a report from the ROM demo at the Automation Mumbai show.  We also have a new project roundup, an update on FDI, and a new installment for our ongoing series of "People in Fieldbus" articles profiling Matt Schrier of Honeywell.

Fall 2013 Fieldbus Report (PDF)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Enhancements to FOUNDATION Fieldbus Usability

We just announced the release of some great new enhancements to usability of FOUNDATION fieldbus. The new specifications that have been released offer a world of new changes to make FOUNDATION simpler.

Check out our release for more details!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Major Difference between Foundation Fieldbus and HART Protocols

A very good post in the Emerson Process Experts blog about the differences between FOUNDATION fieldbus and HART.  Bottom line, both are good and both can address different requirements in your plant.  Understand the differences!

Major Difference between Foundation Fieldbus and HART Protocols

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Emerson Automating New Lubrizol Additives Facility in China with Fieldbus

FOUNDATION fieldbus continues to be installed in large capital projects all over the world.  Here is a recent announcement from Emerson Process Management on a new Lubrizol Additives facility in China that has significant fieldbus content.

Main Automation Contractor (MAC): Emerson Automating New Lubrizol Additives Facility in China

New Edition of Fieldbus Flash Newsletter is Available

The new edition of Fieldbus Flash is available at ControlGlobal.  Fieldbus Flash provides the latest news from the Fieldbus Foundation, as well as information about new project wins, new products, and more.

November Edition of Fieldbus Flash E-Newsletter

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Read Our Article in InTech this Month!

Check out this new article published at InTech that goes into a lot of detail about the new initiatives we are taking at Fieldbus Foundation to bring the technology forward and enhance usability.  Worth a read!

Big changes ahead for Fieldbus Foundation on the eve of twentieth anniversary

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stuxnet Evil Twin - An in Depth Look

I thought I would share one of the most in depth articles I've read out there about Stuxnet and what has been learned since it's discovery a few years ago. The articles comes straight out of the Foreign Policy Journal.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Everything You Wanted to Know About FDI But Were Afraid to Ask

FDI, also known as Field Device Integration, is the technical specification that will allow device developers to use a single device package that combines elements of FDT (Field Device Tool) and EDDL (Electronic Device Description Language).  Without getting bogged down in acronym soup, all you really need to know is that EDDL is like HTML for intelligent field devices, providing a standard environment for devices to describe what they are, what they can do, and the information they can provide.  FDT/DTM is analogous to an application environment that can provide more depth of functionality. FDT/DTM is well suited to handling complex diagnostics and monitoring functions on more complex devices.  You can develop FDT frame applications for managing intelligent field devices.  Both technologies are widely adopted by suppliers.

You can read all about EDDL at the EDDL Web Site

You can read more about FDT/DTM Technology at the FDT Group Web Site

Both EDDL and FDT technologies are complementary in many ways, and competing in others. Both define how some aspects of device data are displayed.  Extensions were made to EDDL (Enhanced EDDL) that now make it do more sophisticated things with graphical displays and more.  The history of the two technologies may have played out like the "fieldbus wars" of the 1990s, but both technologies are going to stay and both have good use cases.  All the major suppliers now support both.

EDDL and its corresponding device descriptions are mandatory for any intelligent field devices developed for FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART, and Profibus, so it's not going anywhere.  FDT/DTM technology has found its way into most plant asset management and intelligent device management applications.  What is required is a single device package that combines elements of both FDT and EDDL to speed development time for new products and ease the deployment of intelligent device management in plants.

That's what FDI does.  The most crucial part of FDI is the single device package that allows a supplier to develop a FOUNDATION fieldbus device, HART device, or PROFIBUS PA device using a single device package for each protocol, as well as standard hosts.  The protocol foundations and organizations will then test and register each FDI-compatible device and/or host according to their specifications.  Both EDDL and FDT continue to exist,  but things are made easier for device developers and end users spend less time worrying about how to get different technologies to play well with each other and can spend more time actually getting the most out of their applications.  Everybody wins. But not without a successful FDI specification.

Elements of FDI Device Package and Host

FDI Cooperation LLC is the organization established by the combined efforts of the FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, OPC Foundation, and Profibus International, along with support from most of the major automation suppliers, to see the FDI specification through to completion.  This includes not only the single device package but also a facility for OPC integration, an Integrated Development Environment and an application guide.  This way, developers have both the specification and the tools to help them develop FDI hosts and devices that fully conform to the standard .

You can also view an excellent YouTube video by our own Stephen Mitschke that fully describes FDI and its history.  Fieldbus Foundation has also written a white paper about FDI.

The first official release of the FDI specification was announced at the recent NAMUR annual meeting. The FDI specification and the latest Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) specifications were handed over to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for the next important phase—the Committee Draft for Vote—in the international standardization process. FDI will be included in the emerging standard IEC 62769.

You can download version 0.9 of the FDI specification at the FDI Cooperation web site.

With the release of the FDI specification, FDI Cooperation demonstrated a preview edition of the common cross protocol Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which will help device manufacturers create FDI Device Packages for Foundation fieldbus, HART and Profibus devices. The purpose of standard developer tools is to ensure that automation suppliers can develop high-quality, reliable FDI-based solutions in a consistent manner. A standard set of developer tools significantly reduces development costs and speeds time to market for both device developers and system developers.

FDI Demonstration 
There was also a physical demonstration of FDI at the NAMUR meeting.  The live demonstration at the NAMUR Annual General Meeting showed FDI functionality in field devices from six different suppliers, all of which are integrated with the help of FDI device packages within a process control system. The demonstration, organized and constructed by Siemens, included typical use cases, such as parameter assignment, configuration, diagnostics, functional testing, and maintenance. This was the first time a commercial system based on common components was applied to interpret FDI device packages.

The Path forward for FDI, Video by Stephen Mitschke

Thursday, November 21, 2013

FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 Interoperability Test Kit 6.1.1 Now Available

The Fieldbus Foundation today is pleased to announce the release of the Foundation fieldbus H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.1.1. The H1 ITK is an advanced testing solution benefitting both developers and end users of Foundation fieldbus H1 devices.

The latest version of the Interoperability test kit reflects the increased focus of the Fieldbus Foundation on usability. The Fieldbus Foundation has already made enhancements to its Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) that make it easier for end users to replace “Like for Like” devices. In other words, the procedure for replacing a device with a newer revision level of the same make and model of device is automated to allow the configuration in an existing field instrument to be restored in a newer version of that instrument without manual intervention.

ITK Version 6.1.1, a maintenance release, is yet another example of the Fieldbus Foundation’s commitment to this usability-focused continuous improvement process. This latest release includes 64-bit Microsoft® Windows support. The full H1 suite of testing tools, including the Automation Toolkit, is now compatible with modern 64-bit testing systems. Utilizing the Automation Toolkit alongside the H1 ITK allows device suppliers to develop and enhance their products easily and rapidly. Updated test cases for various function blocks and transducer blocks are available to maintain compatibility and fix bugs.

The H1 ITK consists of a test engine, communication stack and function block interface card. An excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging Foundation fieldbus instruments, it includes all hardware and software required to ensure complete device interoperability. By using the H1 ITK, instrument manufacturers can thoroughly test their devices prior to submitting their product for official registration with the Fieldbus Foundation. By ensuring conformance with the Foundation fieldbus specification, developers are able to deliver robust products and enhancements to their users.

The H1 ITK 6.1.1 is available immediately to Fieldbus Foundation members holding active maintenance agreements and for new purchases. For more information, please call the foundation at 512-794-8890 or e-mail To obtain pricing information or download an FAQ, please visit the Tools page on the foundation website at

Report from Sales Force Training Seminar in Belgium

Our Benelux Marketing Committee recently held a sales force training seminar in Brasschaat, Belgium.  Looks like an extremely successful seminar was held with presentations from both an end user and a major EPC.  Sales force training is an ongoing initiative at the Fieldbus Foundation and we are very happy to extend this concept to the EMEA market.  Many salespeople simply do not receive adequate training in fieldbus and even a one day seminar can be greatly informative.  Here is the report from Belgium:

"Fieldbus Foundation Benelux continuously looks for different and new ways to close the gap between the members marketing/sales forces and end users. Three years ago FFBenelux actively added End-Users as special member to the Benelux marketing committee. This year Fieldbus Foundation Benelux again has organised a new type of seminar which took place October 31st at the new Acta education centre in Brasschaat (Belgium).  What was new? This time the targeted audience (Sales forces of member companies) enjoyed during a late afternoon masterclass lectures of End-Users and experienced EPCs.

One of Our Most Well Attended Sales Force Training Seminars
The aim of the seminar was to provide salespeople with more background information and technology. Field experiences of contractors and end-users were shared. Presentations of Fluor and BP gave a sneak preview of the decision time line for ‘smart instrumentation’ for project engineers. The seminar was closed after a live demonstration of replacing a field device .

Facility Tour
Why a seminar for salespeople?

Suppliers in the Benelux do not only supply Foundation Fieldbus instruments, but also offer a lot of other smart instrumentation for Profibus, WirelessHart and more. Sometimes, it is difficult to advise the end-user properly about the right technology at the right moment. By giving field sales people more background information, they can better advise their customer in the decision of the best solution for their respective applications."

Monday, November 18, 2013

First Public Release of FDI Spec

The Fieldbus Foundation is pleased to announce the first public release of FDI Cooperation, LLC’s Field Device Integration (FDI) specification and a demo of the FDI developer toolkits, both of which will make it possible for automation suppliers to prepare for developing products and host systems compatible with FDI.

The Fieldbus Foundation is one of the founding members of FDI Cooperation, LLC.

As part of the release, which coincided with the NAMUR annual meeting, the FDI specification and the latest Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) specifications were handed over to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for the next important phase—the Committee Draft for Vote—in the international standardization process. FDI will be included in the emerging standard IEC 62769.

At the core of the FDI specification is the FDI Device Package that includes everything a host system needs to integrate an intelligent device. With FDI, a single FDI Device Package that can scale according to the complexities and requirements of each device represents individual instruments.

Each FDI Device Package contains a mandatory Device Description (EDD), providing parameter definitions, structure for the parameters for context-specific views, and automated work processes for device procedures such as calibration. FDI Device Packages may also incorporate User Interface Plug-Ins, software components that support advanced device setup and diagnostic functions. Additionally, product manuals, documentation, images, electronic certifications and other attachments may be delivered in the FDI Device Package.

FDI Device Packages make it easier for automation suppliers to develop and integrate intelligent devices because they only need to create a single, unified FDI Device Package for each intelligent device that can work with all host systems and tools, reducing overall development costs while preserving and expanding existing functionality. Users will also find it easier to manage information from intelligent devices with a single device package, instead of juggling different technologies and investing significant capital in custom integration efforts to connect multiple technology platforms.

With the release of the FDI specification, FDI Cooperation demonstrated a preview edition of the common cross protocol Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which will help device manufacturers create FDI Device Packages for Foundation fieldbus, HART and Profibus devices. The purpose of standard developer tools is to ensure that automation suppliers can develop high-quality, reliable FDI-based solutions in a consistent manner. A standard set of developer tools significantly reduces development costs and speeds time to market for both device developers and system developers.

The IDE will include a reference host that allows device developers to execute and test FDI Device Package against a standard implementation to ensure product quality.

The demo of the developer tools was based on the protocol-independent FDI Common Host Components. Host system manufacturers implement FDI Common Host Components for device management tools, asset management tools, and process automation systems. FDI Common Host Components allow for rapid development and ensure FDI Device Packages behave consistently across different systems. FDI Host Components fully support legacy EDD libraries to protect end user investments.

The live demonstration at the NAMUR Annual General Meeting showed FDI functionality in field devices from six different suppliers, all of which are integrated with the help of FDI device packages within a process control system. The demonstration, organized and constructed by Siemens, included typical use cases, such as parameter assignment, configuration, diagnostics, functional testing, and maintenance. This was the first time a commercial system based on common components was applied to interpret FDI device packages.

The FDI specification will be available for download at

Monday, November 4, 2013

Automation Software: They'll Make a Better Software Fool

Automation Software: They'll Make a Better Software Fool

Nice column by John rezabek, Chairman of our End User Advisory Council, on control in the field and the "Hold Last" behavior of fieldbus positioners.  

Report on the Seminar in Brunn, Austria

The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC), together with fieldbus experts from the Fieldbus Foundation headquarters in Austin, Texas, and trainers from the certified training centers in Brielle (Netherlands) and Miskolc (Hungary), hosted a fieldbus sales training and end user seminar at the Austria Trend Hotel in Brünn, Austria from October 21-22.  The events were hosted by Mr. Jürgen George (Chairman – FFCEEMC) and members of the FFCEEMC.  Larry O’Brien, marketing manager of the Fieldbus Foundation was in attendance as well as Dr. Bindert Douma (certified FOUNDATION trainer – STC Group, Brielle, the Netherlands) and Mr József Subert and Victor Füvesi (certified FOUNDATION trainers – University of Miskolc, Hungary).

Demo Unit from University of Miskolc

Juergen George does an excellent job organizing and executing these seminars across Central and Eastern Europe. Bindert Douma from STC Brielle has years of experience engineering fieldbus projects and is one of our certified trainers under the FCTP program. It was a great chance to hear him share his experience on fieldbus projects.  József Subert did excellent presentations on how to design a fieldbus system and take advantage of control in the field. It was also good to connect with various end users and suppliers, roughly 40 attendees from all over CEE, not just Austria. We have many FOUNDATION fieldbus installations throughout CEE, including the MOL refinery in Hungary. Our trainers from the University of Miskolc FOUNDATION Certified Training Program partner had a nice demonstration set up where they showed access to diagnostic data, control in the field, and more.  

Audience Members
With a program specifically designed to support sales representatives and internal sales support staff responsible for fieldbus products, services and projects, the sales force training session took place on the afternoon of October 21st and included the following topics:

FOUNDATION fieldbus overview
Implementing FOUNDATION fieldbus projects
How salespeople can most effectively approach end users
Value of selling FOUNDATION fieldbus (from the sales person’s perspective)
Open discussion and question & answer session

The end user seminar took place on Tuesday 22 October from 09.30 until 16.00. The end user seminar program offered attendees a comprehensive agenda of technical presentations and the opportunity to share end user experiences. It offers a good opportunity for local fieldbus partners to spend the day with customers and other interested parties and fieldbus experts. The presentations at the End User Seminar day included:

Introduction to the FFCEEMC
Update on activities at Fieldbus Foundation and resources for training and education
Strategies for managing data from fieldbus devices
Planning the fieldbus infrastructure (including explosion protection and safety instrumented functions)
Commissioning the hardware; implementing fieldbus projects; diagnostics and trouble-shooting
End user experience
Open discussion and question & answer session

For more information on FFCEEMC seminars and activities go to their web pages.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Successful Fieldbus Wiring on Video

Our marketing specialist Talon Petty has done a series of very good videos on best practices for fieldbus wiring.  As any engineer with experience on fieldbus projects will tell you, most of the issues experienced in fieldbus installations are due to poor wiring.  Since FOUNDATION fieldbus is a digital network that runs over twisted pair, there are some things you have to keep in mind and some practices that may be different from what you are used to with analog technology over twisted pair.  I have spoken to many people that go to user installations where they report a problem with fieldbus technology, but it is discovered that wiring was not done right.  Fortunately you can watch these videos and many of these issues can be avoided!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Last Call - FOUNDATION Developer Training in Germany

There are less than 2 weeks until the Developer Training course in Germany and we still have some spots open. Sign-up your technical staff today so they can get up-to-date on the latest with FOUNDATION fieldbus!

See the blog post Larry posted back on October 8th for more information!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reliance Eyes Big Cost Savings from New Technology

Some recent news hit the press in India on about FOUNDATION for ROM. The news piece was written following the Automation 2013 Mumbai Conference in India.

A brief yet thorough write up on the article can be found on dna's website here:

The event was a great success overall. In fact, Larry did a good write up right here in the blog about it on October 2nd. Click here:

You can also find more about F_ROM by visiting our ROM webpage HERE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Recognizing People in Fieldbus - Terry Blevins

In the Spring Edition of our 2013 Fieldbus Report, the Fieldbus Foundation introduced a new series we are calling "People in Fieldbus". The purposes of this new series is to recognize all of those folks that have worked diligently behind the scenes for years to make FOUNDATION Fieldbus what it is today. Without the hard work and dedication of these people from companies all across the world, FOUNDATION Fieldbus wouldn't be accepted so widely as it is today. It wouldn't be as robust or as feature capable.

It is easy to forget and let the contributions of those behind the scenes fade away into the ether of our busy schedules, yet it is profoundly important to not let it nor to make light of such accomplishments. The member companies of Fieldbus Foundation have offered great support and resources to our organization throughout the years, and without many of the hard working engineers these companies provide, much of what FOUNDATION users enjoy today would not be possible.

Terry Blevins is one of those engineers. Mr. Blevins played an important role in the groundbreaking research of the Interoperable Systems Project (ISP) in the early 1990s and later helped develop the FOUNDATION Fieldbus user layer specification. He has also been extremely instrumental in the continued development and improvement of EDDL through his lead role in working groups.

I encourage everyone to take a minute and read this short write-up on Terry from our Spring 2013 Fieldbus Report. The story starts on page 28

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Latest Registered FF Products!

Did you realize we release the latest list of registered FOUNDATION devices in our eNewsletters? It's a little known fact about our Fieldbus Flash Newsletter that can be quite beneficial to FOUNDATION  users all across the world. It is just yet another way we listen to user feedback here at the Fieldbus Foundation.

I was attending one of our great seminar roadshows a couple of years ago and was asked by a user how they can know when new versions of their favorite products have been registered. The simple answer was to encourage them to talk to their supplier directly, but upon further digging, I realized this was something not being well addressed by the process community at large. How are the users supposed to know when a new device is available? If they don't know they're a newer versions available how can they upgrade an old device that may not have the full capabilities they require in their demanding application?

The answer is to track and update our members and newsletter subscribers about the latest registered products and to direct them to their appropriate registration page for more information.

If you've ever wanted to keep up with learning when new products are available after official registration, be sure to sign up for our electronic newsletter "Fieldbus Flash". You can do so here:

For those of you who want to see the latest registered products as of our September newsletter you can view it through our Media Partners web hosted version of the table here:

October Fieldbus Flash Newsletter Screen Capture

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Last Seminar of the Year next month being held in the Houston Area - Sign up today!

Next month (November 6-7th to be exact) will be the last seminar of the year in North America and we'll be in the Houston area. One of our prestigious certified training centers, Lee College in Baytown, TX has chosen to host us for our event. We look forward to this really great opportunity.

Lee College offers certified training courses of varying lengths and depths of study and is the only one in the Southern united states to offer this type of vendor-neutral excellent training.

Our day-long seminar on November 6th will focus on the applications side of FOUNDATION technology and how the technology unlocks more power for your process so you can spend more time at operational efficiency and less time in unexpected shutdown. In case you have not ever attended one of our seminars, you definitely don't want to miss it. Some of the best and brightest minds in FOUNDATION fieldbus are in attendance sharing their knowledge and experience. The best part of it too is that it's completely FREE for all attendees. You can find out more information as well as register on our website:

Typical seminar format

Following the end user oriented seminar, we have a Sales Force Training seminar on November 7th that is geared towards salespeople of FOUNDATION fieldbus. The class is a half day training session on the latest news of the technology and how it can be a major part of a customers next installation. The course gives market data and figures for FF as well as some great resource material to help guide you and your customer on every aspect of FOUNDATION technology. Learn how the latest FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management can help your customers see further into their process by reaching out to remote assets and integrating them into their control systems and how they can integrate wired HART, WirelessHART and ISA100.11a into their existing FF infrastructure! Also come hear about our latest announcement on Project Gemstone and how FOUNDATION fieldbus is the only open system out there focusing squarely on making the user experience easier and more intuitive, including device replacement.

We understand how valuable salespeople's time is so we'll have everyone out of the training day before noon so you can still make customer calls and site visits. Sign up today to refresh yourself on the latest FOUNDATION fieldbus has to offer!

Be sure to check out our Twitter page for announcements on the seminars @FieldbusEvents. You can also view videos from previous seminars on our YouTube channel

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Full Schedule of FOUNDATION Developer Training Offered in 2013

Device developers may require assistance in implementing FOUNDATION™ technology in their instrumentation product line. That is why the Fieldbus Foundation established a complete Developer Training curriculum. Automation suppliers can put their fieldbus product development programs on the "fast track" by attending one of these informative courses.
The remaining 2013 Developer Training schedule concludes with classes in Frankfurt, Germany and Pune, India:
Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus
Pune, India:
October 22 (Early Reg. Deadline 8/27, Final Reg. Deadline 10/1)
Frankfurt, Germany:
November 12 (Early Reg. Deadline 9/17, Final Reg. Deadline 10/22)
Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION Fieldbus
Pune, India:
October 23-25 (Early Reg. Deadline 8/28, Final Reg. Deadline 10/2)
Frankfurt, Germany:
November 13-15 (Early Reg. Deadline 9/18, Final Reg. Deadline 10/23)

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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Modbus Integration Into FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management Announced

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced that it is developing technical specifications for integration of devices based on the Modbus® communications protocol into its FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology. Integration of these instruments will help enable an overall remote operations solution in a wide range of industrial automation applications.

The first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA100.11a, WirelessHART®, wired HART, and Foundation fieldbus H1 protocols into a single, standard data management environment, FOUNDATION for ROM extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids.

The FOUNDATION for ROM technical specifications for the remote I/O, wired HART, WirelessHART and wireless ISA100.11a interfaces have been completed and were successfully demonstrated at a live end user demonstration at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in April of this year.

The Fieldbus Foundation is now proceeding to develop specifications for Modbus integration into FOUNDATION for ROM. Modbus devices such as well head flowmeters and submersible pump controllers need to be integrated as part of the overall solution in some applications.

The Modbus integration team, comprised of end user and supplier engineers, had their kickoff meeting in May hosted by Shell Global Solutions in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The team completed the use cases in August and finished their review at a meeting in September hosted by MTL in Luton, UK. The team is now proceeding with requirements and specification development.

Fieldbus Foundation Director of Technology Development David Glanzer said: “We have a great team working on the Modbus integration. They have made exceptional progress on the use case development.” Technical Team Leader Todd Shadle of Phoenix Contact agreed, saying, “All of the team members are fully engaged and are eager to complete the specification.”

Whether operating on a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network, the FOUNDATION for ROM solution enables automation end users to bring device data into the Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.

For more information, visit the FOUNDATION for ROM page on the Fieldbus Foundation’s website.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fieldbus at Emerson Exchange

Fieldbus is featured at Emerson Exchange in a big way this week through October 4 at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. Emerson is one of the strongest supporters of FOUNDATION technology, with a full spectrum of registered devices, host systems, and applications.  They have some truly knowledgeable people using their products, and some of the best and brightest are at the Exchange this week talking about their experiences with fieldbus and best practices.  Our End User advisory Council Chairman John Rezabek of Ashland Chemcial is there along with EUAC member Rong Gul of Shell, and fieldbus expert Jonas Berge of Emerson.  Stephen Mitschke, Director of Products at Fieldbus Foundation, is also in attendance.

These experts and others such as Alan Dewey, Klaus Erni, and Marcos Peluso of Emerson comprised the panel of fieldbus experts at the "New Generation of FOUNDATION Fieldbus Solutions" technology forum held on Tuesday afternoon, and again today from 1:15 to 2:45 PM.

A quick look at the conference catalog reveals all the FOUNDATION fieldbus related sessions.  Stephen Mitschke's session on enhancing fieldbus usability and the Gemstone continuous improvement project was held Tuesday:

6B-5013 - Leverage the Benefits of Intelligent Devices with FOUNDATION fieldbus through Enhanced Usability
Project Gemstone, a new Fieldbus Foundation initiative, provides a short and long term vision for users to achieve the benefits of intelligent devices by simplify engineering, commissioning and maintenance workflows. New specifications make device configuration easier with vendor supplied device templates. And, when the device needs to be replaced, a device with a newer revision can automatically be commissioned with an existing configuration. Future directions including ITK 7, ISA 108 and FDI make it easier and more effective to manage automation assets.

Rong Gul of Shell and Bob Lattimer of Emerson were co presenters in this session.  Our Project Gemstone is a continuous improvement project at the Fieldbus Foundation focused in improving the usability of the technology, helping the user realize the true economic potential.  Gemstone is making things like device replacement easier.  We have already made device replacement quick and easy for "like for like" devices in the latest revision of our Interoperability Test Kit.  

Al Dewey knows a lot about portable tools and has a great session on that as well.  Making templates for fieldbus devices is a great way to provide consistency and save time during the commissioning process, and there is a session on that led by Sarah Hough, Scott Hokeness, and Rong Gul.  There's just too many other sessions to list them all here, but we'll provide you with a report after the show.  

FOUNDATION for ROM at Automation 2013 Mumbai

We had a great week in Mumbai, India last week as we unveiled our FOUNDATION for ROM demonstration at the Automation 2013 trade show.  India has one of the largest installed bases of FOUNDATION fieldbus on a country by country basis.  Reliance refinery in Jamnagar, for example, is our largest installation in the world, with over 30 thousand fieldbus devices, many thousands of segments, all done with nearly flawless project execution in cooperation with major engineering and construction partners like Bechtel. Many other industries in India have FOUNDATION fieldbus installed as well, including metals, power chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and more.  This is one of the primary reasons the Fieldbus Foundation held our General Assembly in India in 2011.

The ROM demonstration was great but that was only part of the picture.  Monday September 23rd was the first day of the show and included keynote presentations from Dr. Peter Martin of Invensys, Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs (also chairman of the board of the Fieldbus Foundation), Larry O'Brien, global marketing manager of Fieldbus Foundation,  and Mr. Nandakumar, founder of Chemtrols, a major Indian solution provider to the process industries.

Tuesday we began to discuss FOUNDATION for ROM and overall FOUNDATION fieldbus technology in earnest with a full day seminar that attracted close to 200 attendees, most of them end users, from the Indian process automation business.  Mr. B.R. Mehta, senior vice president of Reliance Industries and Chairman of the FOUNDATION Fieldbus India End User Council, began the seminar with some opening remarks about the significant presence of FOUNDATION fieldbus in India. Other presentations included the effect of fieldbus on cyber physical systems by Dr. Gunther Kegel and the FOUNDATION for ROM business value proposition, development roadmap, and demo program by Larry O'Brien.  Several presentations from our key supplier sponsors for our live demo project were also given, including Ravi Venkatramana of Invensys, Jonas Berg from Emerson Process Management, Prasad Samudrala from Honeywell, and Andre Fritsch from Stahl.

Wednesday and Thursday we delivered presentations on ROM at the booth, which included a live demonstration of FOUNDATION for ROM technology with the full range of devices integrated, including WirelessHART devices, ISA100.11a devices, H1 devices and electric actuators, remote I/O, the ROM devices themselves, and the wireless backhaul network based on HSE, all hooked up to an Invensys host DCS.

We were also very fortunate to win the Technology Advancement Award at the show for our ROM booth!

You can access my presentations from Automation 2013 at the Fieldbus Foundation Slideshare account here:

A big thanks to our FOUNDATION Fieldbus India Committee (FFIC) for helping us organize this event. Thanks to our FOUNDATION for ROM sponsor companies for helping us get the booth organized.  Thanks to IED Communications for helping organize the show, and our very active end users in India who are the reason we are doing all this in the first place!

Link to Flickr Photoset of ROM Booth and Seminar at Automation 2013 Mumbai

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Leading Industrial Communication Foundations Discuss Potential Merger

The Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation announced today that they have entered into discussions on the potential for merging the two organizations into a single industry foundation dedicated to the needs of intelligent device communications in the world of process automation.

The chairmen of the two organizations—Dr. Gunther Kegel of the Fieldbus Foundation and Mr. Mark Schumacher of the HART Communication Foundation—issued the following statement on behalf of their Boards of Directors:

"We believe combining the resources and capabilities of each foundation into a single organization will provide significant benefits to both end users and suppliers. For end users, a single organization that combines the power of both Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation would provide a full solution that addresses every conceivable aspect of field communications and intelligent device management for the process industries. For suppliers, a single organization would create efficiencies in resource utilization, consistency of processes and procedures, and would deliver significant improvements in member services and support."

The Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation have worked extensively together in the past and have a long history of cooperation. For example, the two organizations worked together on the development of common international standards such as Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and, most recently, the development of the Field Device Integration (FDI) specification. The merger offers significant potential to harmonize many aspects of the two protocols, making it easier for end users and suppliers to implement the technology and obtain the full benefits of each technology in plant operations and maintenance.

In preliminary discussions, the presidents of the two organizations, Richard J. Timoney of the Fieldbus Foundation and Ted Masters of the HART Communication Foundation, added that many synergies already exist and closed by commenting:

"We are both confident that today's decision to investigate the merger of these two organizations provides momentum for a major step forward in the evolution of intelligent devices and the world of industrial communications."

For more information, download our Frequently Asked Questions document, or contact the Fieldbus Foundation at 512.794.8890 or

About HART Communication Foundation
The HART Communication Foundation is the technology owner and standards organization for the HART Communication Protocol. Founded in 1993, the Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit, membership organization providing support for the HART Communication technology and standards worldwide. The Foundation is supported by a global membership of more than 285 companies. For more information, visit their web site at

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies. Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that allows you to view your process in high definition; manage information effectively; and optimize people, processes and technology. For more information, visit their web site at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Exciting News Coming Tomorrow!

There isn't a lot of meat I can put into this blog post today, but I wanted to let our follows know to keep an ear out tomorrow for an exciting announcement. We're talking BIG. Real BIG.

Follow us on our Twitter @FOUNDATIONfield to be the first to hear the news!! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

FOUNDATION™ Technology Study Day – Middlesbrough, 2 October, 2013

Middlesbrough, UK – 18 September, 2013 - The Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee (FFUKMC) is finalising its plans for the third of its 2013 schedule of end user events – a FOUNDATION Technology Study Day to be held in Middlesbrough on Wednesday 2 October, 2013.

With a morning session focused on an introduction to FOUNDATION technology, a lunch break with tabletop displays and additional presentations, and an afternoon session offering a more advanced programme, delegates will be able to tailor the day to suit their own requirements. Delegates may choose to attend either the morning or afternoon session or they are welcome to attend both. There is no charge to attend and the lunch and lunchtime sessions are open to all delegates.

Following registration and coffee, the morning session, from 10.00-12.30, will include an introduction to FOUNDATION technology and solutions, and an insight into the lifecycle economics of the system.

The afternoon session, from 13.30-16.00, will present a more in-depth programme of presentations and practical workshops with a focus on supporting a FOUNDATION installation through asset management; device replacement; calibration and recommended maintenance practices.

All registered attendees are invited to the complimentary lunch during which Fieldbus Foundation member companies will be available to discuss and demonstrate their Foundation products and services.

Also available during the lunch break are update presentations on Foundation for Remote Operations Management (F-ROM) and Foundation for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF).

Richard Barnes, chairman of the FFUKMC is looking forward to welcoming current or potential end users, system integrators, EPCs, and all personnel with an interest in FOUNDATION fieldbus systems or a need to gain an understanding of the technology. “The FFUKMC has tried and tested this new approach to its end user seminars – we understand the need for differing levels of information to suit individuals in differing roles within the process automation enterprise. The study day format which we adopted for our recent events in London and Aberdeen allows everyone to gain high quality information whether it’s at an introductory level or an advanced level.” He continued, “There will also be several opportunities throughout the day for networking with other users and potential users, as well as industry experts and suppliers of the systems, devices and components that make up a FOUNDATION system.”

The event will be held on Wednesday 2 October at the Emerson Process Management offices, 2, Eggleston Court, Startforth Road, Riverside Park, Middlesbrough, TS2 1RU. Delegates are invited to register their names, company, email address and session preferences with the UK Committee, email:

The FOUNDATION Technology Study Days will continue to be held at locations around the UK. The next scheduled event will be announced in due course.

About the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee

The FFUKMC was formally established in 1999 to promote an increased awareness and adoption of FOUNDATION™ technology throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland through a range of end user focused activities including technology seminars and roadshows, technical demonstrations and support, and trade show and conference participation.

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

For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee and its activities in the UK and Ireland, visit the FFUKMC webpages of the Fieldbus Foundation’s website, or email

Friday, September 20, 2013

VirtualMarshalling IS the future of Distributed I/O

While hosted our seminar in Chicago this week, I was reminded about distributed I/O alternatives out there in the industry and it warranted a bit of discussion. For those that don't have copies of our latest Fieldbus Report (Spring 2013), you may have missed an article Larry O'Brien at the Fieldbus Foundation has recently put together a document on the future of distributed I/O. The interested thought-provoking premise behind it is that the future of distributed I/O has actually been around for quite some time with FOUNDATION fieldbus.

Why are there others who try to make physical distributed I/O smarter or better when it can be easily eliminated entirely? With FOUNDATION Fieldbus, individual physical I/O points have long been replaced by software based distributed I/O, meaning multiple signals are carried over one single H1 cable. There are no custom hardware configurations or additional hardware components to purchase. It all comes pre-canned with FOUNDATION fieldbus. Blocks can be linked together virtually in the software without the added work, cost and labor of running additional wiring. This is what we've dubbed "VirtualMarshalling". It is the future that is already available today. It's a bit like those Samsung Galaxy commercials of today that take pokes at the iPhone with their tagline "The Next Big Thing is Already Here". In the realm of industrial process control, the next big thing is already here and it is called VirtualMarshalling. 

Check out our paper on VirtualMarshalling below and learn how returning to the basics actually provides you with the competitive edge, all built-in. Remember, FOUNDATION fieldbus was built by end users wanting a better technology built specifically for Process Control that can replace the outdated 4-20 from days yore. 

Back to Basics with VirtualMarshalling

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chicago Seminar Update

We were very happy to be able to present at the ISA Will DuPage Section meeting last night in Plainfield, IL at Nevins Brewing Company. It was a great turnout at what is obviously a very well run ISA section with lots of active members.  Today we are hosting our end user seminar at the Chicago O'Hare Airport Marriott.  In fact, here is a picture of our End User Advisory Council Chairman John Rezabek delivering his presentation on the value of FOUNDATION fieldbus for end users.  You can download the presentation here.

John Rezabek, Chairman of the FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Advisory Council
As John is fond of saying, FOUNDATION fieldbus grew out of the ISASP50 committee, which was comprised largely of end users, who asked for things like our user layer, control in the field, and standard digital communications.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee Supports ISA Automation Conference 2013, Saudi Arabia – December 2013

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16 September, 2013 - The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) is pleased to announce its support of the forthcoming ISA Automation Conference and Exhibition – Europe, Middle East and Africa 2013, to be held at the Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 8-12 December, 2013. In addition to being an official supporter of the conference and exhibition, the FFMEMC and member companies will be active participants throughout the event.

Organised by the Saudi Arabia Section of ISA (International Society of Automation) and DMS Global, the global marketing specialist for the energy sector, the ISA Automation Conference and Exhibition will be dedicated to process automation with the theme ‘Experience the Future’. ISA Automation 2013 will include a comprehensive technical conference programme, product exhibition, technical training sessions and workshops, and technology panel discussions throughout the five day event.

Industry sponsors of the event include: Saudi Aramco (titanium host sponsor); ABB (diamond sponsor); Al Abdulkarim, Auma, Azbil, Emerson Process Management, Invensys, SKF and Yokogawa (gold sponsors). The event is also supported by the FDT Group.

As part of the technical conference programme, the FFMEMC will give a technical presentation entitled “The Benefits of High Speed Ethernet (HSE) and FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (F-ROM)”. FOUNDATION™ fieldbus has been adopted extensively across the Middle East region in almost all the greenfield and the majority of the brownfield sectors of the region’s refinery, petrochemicals, chemicals, upstream and gas plant applications. Remote Operations Management is one of the fastest growing segments of the process automation industry today. The F-ROM solution enables end users to diagnose the condition of their automation assets either locally or remotely and then optimise predictive and preventive maintenance strategies.

The FFMEMC will also be conducting a ½ day technical tutorial session which will include practical insights into the implementation of FOUNDATION fieldbus systems in a range of applications with hands-on training and hints for successful system design, physical layer considerations, device commissioning, diagnostics, trouble-shooting and asset management.

As Head of ISA Saudi Arabia Section and ISA Automation 2013 Conference Chairman, Luay H. Al-Awami, Instrumentation Consultant at Saudi Aramco, commented, “The technical conference programme promises to be outstanding – we have been overwhelmed by submissions from industry leaders and subject matter experts. The selected papers explore the latest products, innovations and technologies and offer a unique opportunity for all participants to learn and discover.”

Luay H. Al-awami - Saudi Aramco
Al-Awami continued, “The conference will include several training sessions and workshops as a key aspect to enable automation engineers to get better exposure and some real hands-on experience with the products and technologies that they have installed or are considering for their applications – practical tutorials with technology experts are one of the most valuable ways to learn.”

Representatives from several FFMEMC member companies will participate in themed panel discussions that will address and discuss topical issues and challenges within the process industry – the full programme will follow in due course.

In addition, representatives from the sponsoring member companies will showcase their fieldbus products and services at the trade show enabling delegates to discuss their applications and view the technologies and solutions available.

Mehul Vaidya, Chairman – FFMEMC, welcomes the opportunity to be so actively involved in the event. “The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the Gulf region and is particularly pleased to support the ISA Saudi Arabia Technical Committee in the organisation of ISA Automation 2013. This conference brings many technologies and facets of automation to a common platform. FOUNDATION fieldbus is definitely one of the leading technologies in the market and the FFMEMC is keen to engage in such an event.”
Mehul Vaidya - Chairman FFMEMC
Mehul continued, “Similarly, the FFMEMC has developed a strong partnership with Saudi Aramco as a major contributor to the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East - End User Council, and we are extremely grateful for the personal efforts of Luay H. Al-Awami in his role as FFME-EUC Chairman for several years. ISA Automation 2013 promises to be a unique opportunity for all parties involved with process automation to share or gain the latest technical knowledge and applications experiences from industry experts, suppliers, and end users from around the globe.”

ISA Automation 2013 is the first event of its kind in the region but Mohammed Loch, President & CEO – DMS Global, is confident that it will become a cornerstone event in the Middle East Process Automation calendar. “There are many mega energy events in the Middle East.  However, the ISA Automation Europe, Middle East, Africa Conference & Exhibition 2013 is the first major event to be dedicated to the Automation Sector. We are thrilled to have the official support of the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee as it shows that it is not just an ISA event but a platform for the whole industry.”

For more details about ISA Automation Europe, Middle East, Africa Conference and Exhibition 2013, visit or email

For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee and its activities, visit the Middle East pages of the Fieldbus Foundation website

About the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee
The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee was formally established in 2004 and currently has 15 members including ABB, Azbil, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Metso Automation, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Samson, Siemens, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.

The FFMEMC is fully supported by the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee that implements the directives and strategies of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council (EAC). Since its establishment in February 2005, the FFEMEA EAC aims to ensure the funding and availability of human resources to support local fieldbus marketing across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The FFMEMC aims to host three or four technical seminars per year throughout the region and supports the Fieldbus Foundation Middle East End User Council in its activities. To view the upcoming events with the FFMEMC, visit the Middle East Events Page. 

About the Fieldbus Foundation
The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that allows you to view your process in high definition; manage information effectively; and optimise people, processes and technology.  For more information, visit their web site at

About the International Society of Automation (ISA):
Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation ( is a leading, global, nonprofit organisation that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of the Automation Federation ( The Saudi Arabia Section of ISA (ISA-SAS) was officially formed on October 24, 1980 under Saudi Aramco support.

About Data Media Systems (DMS):

Data Media Systems (DMS) is a global marketing specialist for the energy sector. It has various divisions, namely the DMS Projects, DMS Publishing, DMS Events, DMS Cybernation and DMS Promostation. DMS operates globally through its operations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, India, China, Singapore, Russia, UK, Italy, Spain, Canada & USA.  For more information please look at