Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Successful FOUNDATION Technology Seminars in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) is delighted with the success of its recent FOUNDATION fieldbus technology roadshows held on 4 June, in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and on 5 June, in Doha, Qatar.

The objective of the 2012/2013 roadshow series was to offer an agenda to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of users – from new potential prospects for FOUNDATION technology as well as supporting the existing FOUNDATION fieldbus user base from the oil & gas industries in the Middle East region.

The agenda included various topics from the basics to advanced technology topics including:
·         FOUNDATION Fieldbus is Easy!
·         Putting a FOUNDATION System Together
·         Lifecycle Management of FOUNDATION Systems
·         FOUNDATION Fieldbus Technology Update
·         End User experience

Over 50 delegates, including end users, designers, engineers, manufacturers, system integrators, EPCs and PMCs, attended the event in Al Khobar, and over 80 participated in the over-subscribed Doha event. The interactive question and answer sessions at each event proved to be valuable and informative with active participation by attendees including end users sharing their FOUNDATION technology experiences with the rest of the audience. Further opportunities for discussion and networking were available during the breaks and the complimentary dinner for all attendees.

FFMEMC vice-chairman Mehul Vaiyda thanked members of the FFMEMC, speakers, sponsors, the FFEUC-ME and the ISA sections of Saudi and Qatar for their efforts and active support of the events. “Once again we have successfully achieved our aim to reach out to current and potential end users with vendor-neutral information about FOUNDATION technology and its role in lifecycle management in today’s plants. We want delegates to understand the benefits that the technology offers but also understand that the maximum benefits of a FOUNDATION project can only be realised if the project team is suitably trained at the outset of the project.” He continued, “We value end user feedback and would like to encourage this through the Fieldbus Foundation end user councils, Fieldbus Foundation social media channels or at end user events”.

Sponsors of the 2012/2013 roadshow series include: ABB, Azbil, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Metso Automation, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, R.Stahl, Samson, Siemens, Turck and Yokogawa.

The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the region and appreciated the support offered by the ISA Chapters in Saudi and Qatar in their active promotion of the events.

The presentations from the seminars are available to view and download from the Middle East ‘News’ page of the Fieldbus Foundation website:

Further information about the FFMEMC and FFEUC-ME and their activities can be found on the Middle East ‘About Us’ page of the Fieldbus Foundation website:

Monday, June 17, 2013

The New Fieldbus Report Is Here!

The Spring 2013 Fieldbus Report is here and available for download from our web site.  This issue was a little later than usual because we had a lot of new content to add, like a full write-up of our first ever live field demonstration of FOUNDATION for ROM at Petrobras, our General Assembly in Shanghai, and our recent seminars around the world.  You can also read about our launch of Project Gemstone, which is designed to make fieldbus easier for end users.  With all the talk about the new generation of smarter marshaling solutions for process control, Fieldbus Foundation has now joined the discussion and you can read about the benefits of VirtualMarshallingTM in the new report as well.

Another new and ongoing feature is "People in Fieldbus".  Our spring issue profiles fieldbus pioneer Terry Blevins.  We are truly grateful to have so many dedicated people that have worked hard to make fieldbus a success and we look forward to profiling new people in every issue.

Spring 2013 Fieldbus Report

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The When, Where and Why of Ethernet

The somewhat manufactured controversy over "Ethernet" versus "Fieldbus" continues to rage on, albeit in a slightly weaker form.  Some months ago analyst firm IMS published a report that seemingly foretold the death of "fieldbus" networks in favor of Ethernet-based protocols.   The issue of fieldbus and Ethernet being mutually exclusive is tenuous at best.  The FOUNDATION fieldbus specification, for example, includes H1 FOUNDATION fieldbus that operates over twisted pair wire and is designed specifically for use with process sensors and actuators.  We also have HSE, which is a high speed Ethernet based network that shares the same fundamental block-based structure of H1.  

A closer look at the data from IMS actually shows greater than average growth in Ethernet-based network node counts over the next several years, while node counts for "fieldbus"-based devices will still represent the majority at the end of the forecast period.  You can read my analysis of the IMS research here.  

This recent article from Control Engineering provides a refreshing perspective to this issue as well, and discusses how application requirements dictate the type of protocol and network infrastructure you should use in your plant.  It's worth a read.