Monday, March 25, 2013

Final Stats from General Assembly and More Presentations

We just got final attendance figures from our General Assembly in Shanghai the week of March 14th, and we are pleased to say that we had over 380 attendees registered for the event.  This truly was the largest fieldbus related event to be held in China for some time and we look forward to coming back again.  Shanghai is an amazing city and has changed so much in the seven years since I had last been there.  And thanks again to all the sponsors and volunteers that made it all happen.

On another General Assembly related note, Mr. Ye Yingmin, Leader Engineer from Shanghai SECCO gave an excellent presentation on the everyday use of FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostics.  The Shanghai SECCO petrochemical complex is one of the largest in the world, and is also one of the largest fieldbus installations in the world with over 20,000 devices and extensive use of control in the field.  Mr. Ye's presentations goes into extensive detail about how SECCO was able to achieve a true return on investment with fiedlbus through intelligent management of diagnostic data for both devices and the physical layer. This presentation is worth a read for those that want to get the most out of their diagnostic information.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Diagnosis and Maintenance

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New YouTube Videos

Here is an excellent video taken from the ARC Forum in Orlando this past February.  It shows John Rezabek of Ashland chemical and chairman of our End User Advisory Council discussing why they chose FOUNDATION fieldbus and control in the field to run their plant in Lima, Ohio.

And here is video footage from our latest General Assembly in Shanghai, China at the beautiful Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel.  We are very pleased with the attendance of over 250 end users and suppliers and some very excellent presentations.

ARC Forum: John Rezabek of Ashland Chemical Discusses FOUNDATION fieldbus

Footage from the 2013 Fieldbus Foundation General Assembly in Shanghai

Check out the new Fieldbus Flash E-Newsletter

A couple of months ago the Fieldbus Foundation formed a new media partnership with ControlGlobal to help us design and deliver our worldwide e-newsletter and bi-annual Fieldbus Report supplement.  Our new e-newsletter has been renamed the Fieldbus Flash and you can see the first issue here at ControlGlobal.

Fieldbus Flash E-Newsletter
Our top stories in the March issue include a preview of the General Assembly in Shanghai and more information about our keynote speaker, Mr. Lin Rong of Sinopec Engineering.  You can also read about the progress of our new ROM demo program and our media event to be held at Petrobras in Rio on April 30th. You can also read about our ongoing series of global seminars, updates to our DD library, new members, and more.  

Another new feature of our partnership with ControlGlobal includes a Fieldbus Foundation microsite hosted on the ControlGlobal web site where you can get all the latest Foundation news, downloads, videos, and more.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Check out our General Assembly Presentations on Slideshare

You can review our presentations given at the 2013 Fieldbus Foundation General Assembly in Shanghai, China at our SlideShare account here.  There are a wide variety of presentations from local Chinese end users on the lifecycle benefits of fieldbus, as well as a market update and review of FOUNDATION for ROM technology by myself and a Technology Update presentation from Dave Glanzer.  Enjoy!

Fieldbus Foundation SlideShare Account now Features General Assembly Presentations

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Report from the 2013 General Assembly in Shanghai

I am pleased to say that the Fieldbus Foundation conducted a very successful (and crowded) General Assembly last week at the Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel in Shanghai.  The General Assembly is our biggest event all year and includes our annual End User Advisory Council meeting, board meeting, and annual business meeting, but the real event is the end user seminar, which this year attracted over 250 attendees, most of them end users.  Attendees were treated to a wide variety of presentations from some of the real automation visionaries in China.  The Chinese market was really the springboard for FOUNDATION technology when fieldbus products and systems were first introduced, and remains a key market for us today.  Many of the world's largest fieldbus installations are in China and include famous sites such as CSPC Nanhai, Shanghai SECCO, and numerous projects conducted by Sinopec Engineering.

Fieldbus Foundation President Rich Timoney opened the event by presenting a plaque to one of the distinguished fellows of the world of FOUNDATION fieldbus, Mr. Huang BuYu, Deputy Chief Engineer of Sinopec Engineering, who was a key early advocate of fieldbus technology in China.  You can access a very good presentation by Mr. Huang from our previous general assembly in Shanghai back in 2006 here.

Huang BuYu of Sinopec Engineering was a
Key Early Advocate of Fieldbus in China
Fieldbus Foundation Chairman Dr. Gunther Kegel then introduced Sinopec Engineering Vice Chief Engineer Lin Rong, who discussed Sinopec Engineering's ongoing experience with FOUNDATION fieldbus throughout the plant lifecycle.  An English version of Mr. Lin's presentation, as well as all the other presentations, will be posted to our SlideShare account by early next week.

Keynote Speaker Lin Rong of Sinopec Engineering
You can get the full agenda for the End User Seminar here.

Other presentations during the day included:

Mr. Wei Hua
Equipment Technology Management
China Blue Chemical Ltd, CNOOC
Installation and Commissioning

Mr. Liu Zhiqiang
Guixi Smelt
Project Best Practices

Mr. Huang Weibo
Sinopec Beijing Yanshan
The Importance of Training

Mr. Bai Guo Hua
Director of Equipment Department
Laizhou Power Plant
Fieldbus in the Power Industry

Mr. Ye YingMin
Manager of Maintenance Dept.
Shanghai SECCO
Fieldbus Diagnostics and Maintenance

We were truly fortunate to get so many prominent local end users and we will be doing a brief feature on each one of these presentations over the next few weeks.  I also gave a presentation on the current market outlook for fieldbus products and services, as well as an update on FOUNDATION for ROM technology.  Dave Glanzer, Director of Technology Development for the Fieldbus Foundation, also gave a presentation on our overall technology roadmap.

Over 250 Attendees Converged to hear about the Latest in Fieldbus

I want to extend a big thank you to our sponsors as well.  This event would not have been possible without their help.  I think I can truly say that we had the largest display of FOUNDATION products and host systems under one roof.  Our sponsors this year included:

Look for more coverage of GA presentations and topics in the coming weeks!

Emerson Updates Segment Design Tool

Jim Cahill's Emerson Process Experts blog has been overflowing with fieldbus related posts recently.  First of these is the update of Emerson's segment design tool.  The segment is the basic building block of FOUNDATION fieldbus.  All devices are dropped off a segment, and that segment can have different design parameters depending on the length, number of devices dropped of the segment, and so on.  Segment design tools can greatly reduce the amount of time required to design a segment and they make sure that you avoid some common physical layer mistakes.

From the blog post:
"This release, version 5.3.0, has added support for the Windows 7 operating system, support for both simplex and redundant H1 cards of S series with Integrated Power Supply, and numerous field devices from a variety of manufacturers. The Segment Design Tool is compatible with the Windows 2000 / XP / Windows 7 operating systems, but none of the Windows Server platforms."
Read more here:

Emerson Updates FOUNDATION Fieldbus Segment Design Tool

Also, here is a blatant plug for our own free segment design tool at the Fieldbus Foundation, called DesignMate!

    zip  DesignMATE

Monday, March 18, 2013

Announcing the 2013 James O. Gray Scholarship Recipients

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced the 2013 recipients of the James O. Gray-Fieldbus Foundation Scholarship Fund. The program honors the memory of James (Jim) O. Gray, a long-time leader in the Fieldbus Foundation who passed away in 2002. It establishes a perpetual $250,000 endowment fund providing scholarships to students seeking a career in the industrial automation profession.

Since 2003, the James O. Gray-Fieldbus Foundation Scholarship program has funded 29 educational scholarships for students around the world.

Fieldbus Foundation President Rich Timoney commented: "We are pleased to announce this year's recipients of the Jim Gray scholarship. These are outstanding students that have really distinguished themselves in their pursuit of fieldbus knowledge. The Fieldbus Foundation realizes that the right training is the key to the future of process automation."

The 2013 scholarship recipients include:

Váradi Gergely, University of Miskolc, Miskolc, Hungary: Váradi Gergely is a first-year Masters of Science student in electrical engineering at the University of Miskolc, and his Bachelor of Science degree has a specialization in electrical design and manufacturing. His studies included the design of electrical circuits and printed circuit boards (PCBs), manufacturing technology of the electronics industry and industrial testing methods.

Váradi Gergely

Gergely also acquired high-level knowledge of computer-controlled measurement systems programmed with National Instruments LabView development environment, and industrial process control systems. During the final year of his undergraduate studies, Gergely's senior project successfully modeled a FOUNDATION fieldbus-based control system for a chemical batch reactor, for which it was graded a five (on a five-grade scale). In his masters-level studies, Gergely plans to improve his theoretical and practical knowledge and experiences with a specialization in automation and industrial process control.

John Lima, Fieldbus Center at Lee College, Baytown, Texas USA: John Lima is working towards a degree in Instrumentation at Lee College. He is also a student assistant in the college's Fieldbus Technology Lab.  A native of Brazil, Lima worked for Bradesco Bank after completing his high school education, saving enough money to eventually fulfill his dream of "coming to America." To sustain his dream, he was employed in a number of industries, including restaurants, nursing homes, construction and business offices. Setting high expectations for himself, Lima works to excel in his studies and is a firm believer in a good education.

John Lima
Pattarapon Taosrichai, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand: Pattarapon Taosrichai is a junior at KMITL, majoring in automation engineering. He plans to further his knowledge of FOUNDATION technology, and to communicate its importance through the Internet and social media.

Jim Gray was employed by Invensys/Foxboro for 25 years as sales and marketing manager. In addition to being very active within the Fieldbus Foundation from its inception, he held the positions of: secretary of the Board of Directors, member of the Executive Committee, and member of the U.S. Marketing Committee.

Friday, March 8, 2013

FOUNDATION Technology Seminar Series Visits Oman and Kuwait

Our new media partners at ControlGlobal have just published a nice report on our seminar series in the Middle East.  We held seminars on December 11, in Muscat, Oman, and on December 12, in Kuwait City, Kuwait. I would like to recognize the hard work of our marketing committee in the Middle East in getting these seminars accomplished.  Thanks to their efforts, we reached out to over 140 people in the Middle East.  Read the whole report here:

Automation Educational Programs: FOUNDATION Technology Seminar Series Visits Oman and Kuwait

Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Backhaul Architecture for Secure Connectivity

The latest issue of InTech has a good article on the new ISA technical report, developed in collaboration with the Fieldbus Foundation (FF), which "provides a common framework enabling multiple industrial communication protocols to run over a shared wireless backhaul network in process automation systems."

From the article:
"ISA100 Working Group 15, Wireless Backhaul Networks, was established to develop standards and technical reports to address one or more dedicated or shared wireless backhaul(s) to support technologies running multiple applications. A common interest arose when FF end-user members identified the wireless backhaul as critical in supporting implementation of FF’s wireless high-speed Ethernet (HSE) backhaul included in Foundation for remote operations management (ROM) technology."
The automation business needs an effective model for backhaul networks that incorporates security.  Much of the SCADA infrastructure out there has serious security issues and is a primary target for malicious attacks.  Fieldbus Foundaton is happy to be working cooperatively with ISA to develop this important specification and make it part of our FOUNDATION for ROM specification.

You can read the entire article here:

Backhaul architecture model for secured connectivity over untrusted or trusted networks

FOUNDATION Fieldbus: Control in the Field Helps Nicaragua Achieve its Aggressive Renewable Energy Agenda

Having been awarded the concession for a geothermal field in Nicaragua, US geothermal power specialist Ram Power and their design engineer POWER Engineers evaluated the available technologies and opted for a standard control system to be located centrally in the control building. The decentralized field devices (e.g., pressure and temperature transmitters and control valves) at the San Jacinto Steamfield are linked to the central controller over a FOUNDATION fieldbus Modbus over Ethernet gateway. The project team of Ram Power selected the Softing FG-110 FF gateway to link the field devices to FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. In using this approach, Ram Power was able to exploit the advantages of FOUNDATION fieldbus Control in the Field (CIF) to implement the required control loops, thereby moving the actual control function from the control room to the field devices.

To learn more about the business value of Control in the Field, check out ARC's report: The Business Value of Control in the Field. You can also click the link in the body copy about for a great presentation on CIF by Travis Hesketh at our General Assembly in 2011.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Putting NAMUR NE 107 to Work for You

One of the good things about FOUNDATION fieldbus being an open specification is that we can incorporate other standards and recommendations into our spec if they provide value to the end user.  This is the case with the NAMUR NE107 recommendations for device diagnostics.  For those of you that aren't aware, NAMUR is a user group comprised of many the world's major process automation end users.  The group publishes specific recommendations for areas of process automation that many times find their way into the world of process automation products and services.  The NE107 recommendations provide specific advice on how diagnostic information from intelligent devices should be presented to those that need it, from operators to maintenance technicians and engineers, in a standard format with standard colors and symbols.

The amount of diagnostic information available from today's field devices is staggering.  With a complex device on FOUNDATION fieldbus, such as a valve positioner or Coriolis flowmeter, you can have literally hundreds of diagnostic parameters.  Some of these parameters are going to provide information that is critical to the process, others may simply indicate the need for future maintenance.  NE107 provides a simple way to contextualize all of these parameters.

NAMUR NE107 Status Signals

The Fieldbus Foundation made NAMUR NE107 part of our specification, and all the devices that get tested and registered under our new Interoperability Test Kit version 6 must conform to the NE 107 spec.  The same goes for all our new host DCS systems tested under our new host profile registration process.

Emerson Process Management recently published a good white paper “Configuring FF912 Alarms in a DeltaV System”.  The Emerson DeltaV system is tested under our most recent host profile called "61b", which supports NE107.

The Fieldbus Foundation registered devNice site already has approximately 34 devices with NE107, and E107 compliant systems can already benefit from these devices. The number of devices supporting NE 107 is growing rapidly.  This means that new plants can now start benefiting from NE107 straight away. Existing plants can benefit from NE107 devices by upgrading system software to latest version supporting NE107. No hardware changes are required to enjoy NE107. 

NE107 compliant FOUNDATION fieldbus products are available From 21 different suppliers:
  • AUMA
  • Cameron
  • Emerson
  •  Endress + Hauser
  • FCI
  • Heinrichs Messtechnik
  •  Honeywell
  • Invensys
  • Magnetrol
  • Metso
  • Mettler-Toledo
  • Micro Motion
  •  Pepperl+Fuchs
  •  Rosemount Analytical
  • Stahl
  • TopWorx
  • VEGA
  • Westlock
  • Yokogawa
  • Young Tech
Devices are available in 16 different categories:
  • Bus diagnostics
  • Conductivity Transmitter
  • Coriolis Mass Flowmeter
  • Displacement Level Transmitter
  • Electric Actuator
  • Field display
  • Guided Wave Radar Level Transmitter
  • Host System
  • Nuclear Density and Level transmitter
  • Nuclear Level Transmitter
  • Nuclear Mass Flow Transmitter
  • On/off valve
  • Oxygen, Chlorine, and Ozone Transmitter
  • pH, ORP, Redox Transmitter
  • Pressure Transmitter
  • Safety Valve Controller
  • Thermal Mass Flow Transmitter
  • Valve Positioner