October 2006
Fieldbus Facts Online is brought to you by the Fieldbus Foundation, an international, not-for-profit corporation consisting of more than 350 automation industry leaders dedicated to providing the "Freedom to Choose" and the "Power to Integrate."

Featured This Month...

In This Issue...

Certified Solution Provider Program supports device development

Fieldbus Foundation institutes certified training program

New issue of "Fieldbus Report" describes latest available equipment

New brochure outlines advantages of EDDL

End-of-the-year developer training set

End-user seminar scheduled for Puerto Rico

End user/EPC seminars slated for Asia-Pacific

End-User Council Middle East to meet in Bahrain

Rockwell schedules process solutions users group

DD-IDE helps users develop, test, debug DD files

DDL interoperability specification released

MooreHawke white paper explains Fieldbus basics

MTL diagnostic module monitors fieldbus segment health

Pepperl+Fuchs diagnostic module monitors physical layer

Softing offers configuration/integration toolset



Certified Solution Provider Program supports device development

The Fieldbus Foundation has launched a FOUNDATION Certified Solution Provider Program (FCSP) to encourage greater support for fieldbus device development throughout the automation industry and define an acceptable level of expertise for FOUNDATION-certified solution providers.

The comprehensive initiative is intended to benefit the control and instrumentation developer community. Device and host system suppliers will be able to identify solution providers certified to deliver products and services facilitating the implementation of FOUNDATION technology in control systems and field devices, and reducing time-to-market for new fieldbus offerings. Providers will be able to market themselves as having an FCSP certificate and will be recognized on the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney believes the FCSP provides a strong incentive for automation developers to become involved with FOUNDATION technology. "Solution providers participating in the rapidly expanding, global fieldbus market will gain a competitive advantage by achieving Fieldbus Foundation certification," said Timoney. "The FCSP program will signal to the market that certain providers have met established criteria for knowledge and experience with the technology. This will be of great benefit to automation vendors seeking qualified assistance on fieldbus development projects."

FCSP certificates will be good for one year and will need to be renewed annually.

For more information, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.


Fieldbus Foundation institutes certified training program

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced it is instituting a FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP). The program is intended to establish uniform standards for fieldbus training curriculum at FOUNDATION-certified training sites and define acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

The FCTP is a comprehensive initiative designed to benefit the entire industrial automation community. End users will gain access to highly skilled employees possessing a strong knowledge of FOUNDATION technology principles; a consistent understanding of fieldbus fundamentals regardless of location; and a proven ability to implement fieldbus-based control systems. Students will be able to identify colleges, universities, and other educational facilities offering certified FOUNDATION training. After graduating, students will be able to market themselves as having an FCTP certificate. Educational institutions will gain recognition as Fieldbus Foundation-certified training sites providing FCTP certification, and will be listed on the foundation's Website.

According to Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney, the FCTP supports industry adoption of FOUNDATION technology and helps fill the need for control engineers, operators, and technicians trained in the use of fieldbus instrumentation. "The demand for skilled FOUNDATION professionals is increasing at a rapid pace," said Timoney. "The goals of this program are to encourage students to pursue a career in digital automation, and to increase the availability of certified fieldbus training for tomorrow's plant personnel. Ultimately, this effort will benefit the process industries and the markets they serve."

Achieving Fieldbus Foundation certification will be a multi-stage process for educational institutions, involving rigorous procedures for gaining certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers will be required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite to demonstrate competence with fieldbus technology. They also will be audited to ensure course material adheres to instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits; device replacements; commands, icons, menus, and screen designs of software packages; and communication, scheduling, and function-block assignments enabling configuration.

Certified instructors will be audited to ensure they have achieved specified Fieldbus Foundation training goals. They must demonstrate expertise in areas such as human-machine interface (HMI) tools, fieldbus troubleshooting, simple device configuration, and device deployment and functionality across a fieldbus network.

For more information, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.


New issue of "Fieldbus Report" describes latest available equipment

The latest issue of "Fieldbus Report" is now available. The October 2006 edition of Fieldbus Foundation's periodic journal covers the latest FOUNDATION technology news and describes fieldbus equipment available from industry's leading automation suppliers.

Topics in the October issue include:

  • H1: Fit For process control
  • Justifying fieldbus projects
  • NAMUR collaboration benefits
  • Latest end-user results
  • Understanding SIL Ratings
  • Verifying HOST interoperability
  • Segment design solutions
  • Migrating from HART to Fieldbus

Click here to download a copy of the October "Fieldbus Report."


New brochure outlines advantages of EDDL

A new Fieldbus Foundation brochure describes Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), the industry-standard device description technology. EDDL is a universal, proven, and state-of-the-art method for accessing diagnostic, real-time, and asset management information contained in more than 15 million field instruments in service worldwide.

EDDL provides optimum data and device interoperability. It enables end users to calibrate instruments, diagnose problems, provide data for HMI displays, identify process alarms, and obtain information needed for high-level software such as MES, UI/SCADA, plant historians, asset management, and ERP.

Click here to download the EDDL brochure.



End-of-the-year developer training set

"Get on the Fast Track" to FOUNDATION technology by attending a hands-on workshop before the end of the year. December courses include "FOUNDATION Overview" and "Advanced Technical Workshop."

FOUNDATION workshops meet the growing requirements of automation professionals for comprehensive fieldbus training. Whether you need to learn technology basics or stay abreast of the latest developments, these training courses will meet your needs.

Click here to download a registration form.

Here's a schedule of upcoming FOUNDATION technology workshops:

Course Location Date Final Registration Deadline
FOUNDATION Overview Austin, TX December 4 November 13
Advanced Technical Austin, TX December 5-7 November 13

Course Descriptions:

"FOUNDATION Overview" is a basic introduction to Fieldbus Foundation technology using a working fieldbus system. Topics covered include: fieldbus concepts, wiring, basic messaging, function blocks, and applications. This class is directed at marketing professionals and application engineers.

"Advanced Technical Workshop" provides in-depth coverage of FOUNDATION technology, including demonstrations of a working fieldbus system. Topics covered include: physical layer, data link layer, fieldbus access sub-layer, network management, system management, configuration, fieldbus message specification, and development of FOUNDATION function blocks. The course is intended for device developers, test engineers, and those needing detailed knowledge of FOUNDATION technology. Prerequisite: FOUNDATION Overview.

Fieldbus Foundation also offers a "DD Workshop," which examines sophisticated Device Description Language (DDL) constructs and techniques that make DDs feature-rich for end users. Students write DDs, organizing parameters into rich dialogs with images; display complex data in graphical format; and learn to preserve device data and retrieve them for later processing. In addition, the course provides hands-on learning for writing and testing actual DDs using the FOUNDATION Tokenizer and DD Super Viewer tools. Watch for scheduling of this workshop in 2007!

Click here to download a pdf with more information and a registration form.


End-user seminar scheduled for Puerto Rico

The Fieldbus Foundation will offer a FREE educational seminar on November 14 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to explain what FOUNDATION technology offers. Topics include:

  • Economic justification for fieldbus
  • Fieldbus/conventional technology comparison
  • FOUNDATION technology overview
  • Fieldbus physical layer installation practices
  • High Speed Ethernet (HSE)
  • Practical application examples

The event will include a hands-on fieldbus interoperability demonstration that connects user-selected devices from tabletop exhibits to a pre-selected host.

Registration is FREE and includes lunch. Manufacturers will display their latest FOUNDATION equipment. Attendees will receive a CD of technical guides, the "Fieldbus Report" supplement, and more.

Click here to register for the San Juan, Puerto Rico, educational seminar.


End user/EPC seminars slated for Asia-Pacific

Responding to growing end-user acceptance of FOUNDATION technology in Asia-Pacific, the Fieldbus Foundation Asia-Pacific Marketing Team has planned several Fieldbus End User/EPC Seminars in the region. Upcoming seminars are scheduled for:

China:
EPC Seminar, Laoyang—November 2, 2006

Philippines:
End-User Seminar, Manila—October 23-28, 2006

Singapore:
OSEA Exhibition & Conference—December 5-8, 2006

Direct questions about these events by e-mail to: info@fieldbus.org


End-User Council Middle East to meet in Bahrain

Fieldbus Foundation End-User Council Middle East (FFEUCME) invites instrumentation and control system professionals to Multaqa 2006, the group's third annual meeting, set for Dec.12-13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bahrain.

Providing Fieldbus information for the user, by the user, the Multaqa 2006 agenda includes:

  • 15 end user and sponsor Fieldbus presentations;
  • FF equipment exhibits from 20 vendors;
  • End-user roundtable discussions;
  • Lunch and coffee breaks each day and a Tuesday night social;
  • FF maintenance and diagnostics interoperability demonstration; and
  • Optional 3-day FF training course in advance of the meeting (Dec 9-11).

Multaqa 2006:
Click here to download a registration form, which should be completed and faxed to the FFEUCME registrar at the number shown. A 40 BHD (Bahrain Dinar) fee will be collected at the door the day of the conference. The fee covers the event, coffee breaks, lunch each day, and the Tuesday night social.

Optional FOUNDATION Fieldbus Training:
The 3-day course Dec 9-11 requires a separate fee. Click here for details and a registration form. Seating is limited and enrollment is on a first-come/first-served basis.

Hotel reservations:
A block of rooms for Multaqa 2006 attendees has been reserved at the Crown Plaza Hotel. Click here to download a hotel registration form. Fax the completed form to the Crown Plaza Hotel to get the FFEUCME group discount rate.

For more information on these events, click here to visit the FFEUCME Website or contact Event Chairman James L. Sprague or one of the event coordinators listed on the site.


Rockwell schedules process solutions users group

Rockwell Automation's 5th Annual Process Solutions Users Group (PSUG) meeting, scheduled for Oct. 23-24, 2006, in Baltimore, MD, at the Tremont Grand Meeting Facility will give users the opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge and provide Rockwell Automation with industry input on products and solution delivery.

The event will include discussion of how best practices remove the risk and expense in defining, scheduling, and producing products. The agenda covers batch, continuous, repetitive, and hybrid manufacturing environments. Presentations will discuss industry standards that drive winning solutions.

After PSUG, attendees are invited to visit Automation Fair 2006, which focuses on advanced automation products, integrated control and information architectures, valued-add services, and related solutions. Automation Fair 2006 takes place Oct. 25-26, also in Baltimore.

Space at the Process Solutions User Group is limited, so register today! Click here for more information.




DD-IDE helps users develop, test, debug DD files

Device Description Integrated Development Environment (DD-IDE) is now available from the Fieldbus Foundation. DD-IDE provides a single, easy to use application for developing, testing, and debugging Device Description (DD) files and includes the tools required to streamline the DD development process. FOUNDATION device developers will no longer need a separate DD editor, tokenizer, and viewer as these applications are now combined in an integrated test and development environment.

According to Stephen Mitschke, the Fieldbus Foundation's manager-fieldbus products, DD-IDE enables device developers to take advantage of the latest Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) enhancements. "With the DD-IDE solution, instrument suppliers can reduce their time-to-market for new FOUNDATION product offerings," said Mitschke. "The DD-IDE provides the means to leverage enhanced EDDL, which standardizes the presentation of intelligent device information and improves graphical visualization and display capabilities for automation system users."

The DD-IDE is designed for fast, automatic code completion as the developer types code into DD project files. The application includes an online-method debugger with watch window; an integrated, advanced text editor with customizable syntax highlighting and color-coding; an output window to display progress and errors during tokenizing; customizable project settings; a global file search tool; customizable tag files; and a project resource tree for management and development.

The DD-IDE provides DD 5 support (visualization and persistent data storage), including enhanced DD constructs such as charts, graphs, images, and waveforms for visualization; files for persistent storage of functional parameter data; and grids for vector data visualization and manipulation. It allows users to break points within code for defined methods, then run through the method until a breakpoint is reached, providing time to observe and troubleshoot the code incrementally. This process can be done in simulation mode or online with a live device.

DD-IDE has three message windows: output, watch, and find. The output tab displays the result of a build, the watch tab displays the local variables of a debugging method, and the find tab displays search results. The DD-IDE also has a project tree pane that lets users add project, resource, and simulation files for easy access and management. New DD files can be created or existing files added within the project tree.

Technology from SlickEdit Inc., a provider of multi-language software development tools and advanced code editors, is integrated into the DD-IDE to support complex code development. The Fieldbus Foundation recently entered into an OEM partnership with SlickEdit and selected its code editor as the framework for the DD-IDE.

DD-IDE requires an Intel Pentium-class PC, Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP, and 136 MB of free space for installation (additional space is needed for development and application settings). The product is licensed on a per-seat basis and comes with 90 days of maintenance.

For more information about the DD-IDE, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website, or call 512 794-8890.


DDL interoperability specification released

Fieldbus Foundation has released the FF-901 Device Description Language (DDL) interoperability specification. FF-901 supplements the FF-900 DDL specification, supports improved device-to-host interoperability, and provides guidance and direction for creating Enhanced Device Descriptions (DDs) that work with any host.

FF-901 includes easy-to-understand instructions promoting interoperability in the FOUNDATION development environment. The comprehensive document provides guidelines for common DD constructs during programming and addresses such topics such as DD code string lengths, Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) visualizations for device and host applications, profile restrictions, conditional expressions, and more.

FF-901 specification helps developers understand how DD files are supposed to be programmed so that they have a common look and feel amongst different host systems. EDDL is the industry-standard Device Description technology installed in millions of instrumentation nodes worldwide. It provides a simple, accessible way of describing all aspects of a device, eliminating concerns about integrating product in a fieldbus-based control system.

FF-901 specification lets users take advantage of the latest EDDL extensions and ensure that their FOUNDATION-compliant products deliver high level of interoperability as part of a "best-in-class" process automation solution.

Click here to download the new specification. (Registration needed.)

For more information, contact the Fieldbus Foundation by phone at 512-794-8890 or email at info@fieldbus.org



MooreHawke white paper explains Fieldbus basics

"Introduction to Fieldbus," a new white paper from MooreHawke, a division of Moore Industries-International Inc., explains how fieldbus works in terms any engineer, technician, or operator can understand. The concise 8-page bulletin is designed to strip away jargon and confusing terminology. It explains:

  • Advantages of using fieldbus networks;
  • Elements of fieldbus, including H1 cards, power conditioners, segments, spurs, device couplers, and segment terminators;
  • How fieldbus device couplers work;
  • How fieldbus instruments connect to a segment;
  • How short-circuit protection works and why it sometimes doesn't allow installation of 32 devices on a segment;
  • Issues involved in using fieldbus devices in hazardous areas;
  • Methods for setting up a redundant fieldbus segment to create "high-availability" networks; and
  • Justification for implementing a fieldbus network

Click to visit the MooreHawke Website and download "Introduction to Fieldbus."



MTL diagnostic module monitors fieldbus segment health

A new F809F diagnostic module from MTL continuously monitors the performance of eight fieldbus segments, providing information on the health of the physical layer in FOUNDATION installations. Designed for use with the company's range of fieldbus power supplies, the module draws on MTL's experience in the supply of hand-held bus diagnostic tools.

Because the physical layer is critical to fieldbus system performance, the F809F provides alarms if any parameter is outside preset limits and can be used to store a baseline of segment performance. The module reports its measurements as a FOUNDATION H1 device, allowing easy integration of physical layer diagnostic information into the control system's instrument management software, a key requirement of end users and system companies.

In operation, on-line monitoring identifies physical layer problems before they affect the process. If parameters are outside their normal values, recommended actions are provided to reduce troubleshooting time and maximize the availability of the fieldbus system.

Parameters monitored by the F809F include segment voltage, average and peak noise in three frequency bands, fieldbus to shield short circuits, number of devices recognized on the bus, device signal levels, and retransmission statistics.

Click here for more information from the MTL Website. Or email Roger Highton, senior product manager, MTL Instruments.



Pepperl+Fuchs diagnostic module monitors physical layer

Pepperl+Fuchs new patent-pending Advanced Diagnostic Module (ADM) for its FieldConnex® Power Hub brings control to the fieldbus by monitoring the physical layer while creating transparency and easy evaluation of FOUNDATION and Profibus installations. Highly detailed information is displayed in a simple-to-use Device Type Manager (DTM) in the control room. Engineering contractors, commissioning experts, plant operators, and maintenance specialists gain visibility into the fieldbus physical layer for faster commissioning work, longer plant-uptime, true preventive maintenance, and efficient troubleshooting.

Wil Chin, research director for ARC Advisory Group, called ADM, "a timely solution that will resonate well with owners/operators of process plants in the increasingly complex process automation landscape. ARC expects ADM solutions to follow the robust growth of Plant Asset Management (PAM) Solutions that monitor the health and provide actionable recommendations for installation, operation, and maintenance of critical plant assets. The future of ADM and other intelligent solutions that take the uncertainty and mystery out of FOUNDATION technology remains bright, particularly as fieldbus solutions near the 'high growth' phase of the product lifecycle."

Click here for more information from the Pepperl+Fuchs Website. Or contact: Pepperl+Fuchs, 1600 Enterprise Parkway, Twinsburg, OH 44087; 330-486-0002; fax: 330-425-4607; email: sales@us.pepperl-fuchs.com



Softing offers configuration/integration toolset

Softing's FOUNDATION fieldbus Configuration & Integration Toolset (FF-CIT) gives developers fieldbus communication functionality in the form of a software library. Among its benefits, the product provides manufacturers of process supervisory control systems, diagnostic systems, or engineering tools who have not yet opened up their products to the FOUNDATION market with a powerful way to integrate these capabilities into their system quickly. Functions include device and network configuration, bus scan with live list display, code generation, and code download. The functionality makes it easy to enhance an existing system by adding a FOUNDATION communication interface.

After the FF-CIT is implemented, users need only an Ethernet port to connect their system to FOUNDATION H1 segments. Up to four separate H1 segments can be connected using Softing's FG-100 FF/HSE Linking Device. This special gateway for FOUNDATION technology complies with Class 42c of the Fieldbus Foundation specification. The linking device and the FF-CIT library are optimally matched to each other. The library also supports the parallel operation of multiple linking devices. A redundant bus connection is also easy to implement with these products. In addition, the new version of the FG-100 FF/HSE and the FF-CIT now support alarms and trends for lower-level devices.

Click here for more information from the Softing Website.



 

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