June 2007
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...

Interview: Rezabek calls FOUNDATION Fieldbus key to digital integration

Fieldbus Foundation establishes India marketing committee

EUAC approves use-cases for wireless and remote I/O

H1 cable test specification moves to lab validation phase

Should you join the Fieldbus Foundation?

Sold out! More than 200 register for Brazil educational seminar

Road tour: Seminars take FOUNDATION fieldbus around the world

Fieldbus Foundation to exhibit technology at China tradeshow

Danish instrumentation event draws suppliers, end users

Latest UK NMC end-user seminar a success; more scheduled

Fieldbus developer training set for Tokyo, Japan

SAIT offers choice of certified training courses

TSU Website offers fieldbus training information

Article explains benefits of Shell/Yokogawa fieldbus project

Westlock, CIBA partner to provide networking

ABB software tool improves fieldbus asset management

MooreHawke guide makes technical data available at a glance

MTL provides 'complete fieldbus project life cycle support'

NI Configurator, Monitor software supports Microsoft's Vista

Softing gateway links H1 networks, asset management systems

Interview: Rezabek calls FOUNDATION Fieldbus key to digital integration

John D. Rezabek, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation's End User Advisory Council (EUAC), talks about developments in intelligent device diagnostics and the differences between leading digital network protocols in this exclusive interview in this month's Fieldbus Facts Online. John is a process control specialist for ISP Chemicals in Lima, OH, with extensive experience as an end user of FOUNDATION technology.

FFO: How have intelligent device diagnostics evolved over the years?

JDR: In the early days, we pretty much just had old HART diagnostics ported over to fieldbus. I remember looking at them and wondering what value I'd get from them. Even today there are diagnostics out there like "A/D Board Update Error" or "EPROM failure" and some devices still have little else. We were promised diagnostics that would, for example, detect cavitation in an upstream pump.

Today, I know of at least three of the major transmitter manufacturers offering plugged impulse line detection. In my mind, these capabilities are much more interesting and potentially useful to end users, as our problems are more in the application and process connection than in the device itself.

Some very interesting work has been done using statistical process monitoring and the "noise" component normally filtered out of the signal. Applications at ExxonMobil and Shell have used this information to detect evolving abnormal conditions in fired heaters and FCC feed risers. This sort of "abnormal situation avoidance" is worth an order of magnitude or two more than the still-significant benefits one gets from the "total productive maintenance" sort realized through predictive device wear and the like.

FFO: How do FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostics differ from those of other protocols?

JDR: I'm not a user of Profibus, but my friend Tanmoy Basu of Siemens tells me there's little difference in the scope and range compared to FOUNDATION fieldbus. Profibus PA is a master-slave system, but it has no formal "user layer" like FOUNDATION fieldbus, so host system control schemes may not be equal in how the diagnostic information is used.

HART has basic diagnostics and I know of at least one vendor that's porting plugged impulse detection and possibly SPM [statistical process monitoring] to the HART side. Users at neighboring facilities, like me, have had challenges utilizing the status information in control strategies, even though our systems have I/O cards that natively support HART communications. You can see the diagnostics using asset management software or a vendor-specific snap-on, but in most cases, you'd better be looking at it when an issue arises. If there's -20 °F wind chill at 3 a.m. and an impulse line freezes in 15 minutes, it will be "old news" when you arrive in the morning.

FOUNDATION fieldbus has a higher power budget and all devices on the network send their alerts and/or modify standard (and granular) signal statuses in the same scan (macrocycle) that the condition is detected. Since FOUNDATION technology has a user layer and standard function blocks, they all support changing signal statuses in the same way. Fieldbus PID [proportional-integral-derivative], for example, sheds mode to "manual" and holds last output by default, without any user-created logic. Along with timely and configurable alarming, this affords an unparalleled degree of abnormal situation avoidance.

FFO: In what ways are the technologies similar in terms of diagnostics?

JDR: Profibus PA has the same physical layer and the same power budget as FOUNDATION fieldbus. Thus, it only makes sense that vendors would offer the same diagnostics.

One vendor tells me that the same sophisticated diagnostics—in particular, an in-service "stiction" diagnostic—are available in their HART offering. The main difference appears to be that the diagnostic must be requested or "scheduled" in the HART device. I saw one AMS [asset management system] that allowed the diagnostic to be scheduled, for example, once a day. I'm not sure how long the diagnostic runs, but I'm sure one that runs continuously—like those implemented in FOUNDATION fieldbus devices-is much more likely to detect an impending failure or poor performance.

FFO: How do users typically employ current device diagnostic capabilities?

JDR: The most interesting thing I've seen is the work done at ExxonMobil and Shell, where the SPM capabilities are being developed to detect flame instability in fired heaters, or poor fluidization in an FCC [fluid catalytic cracking] riser.

At our site, we use simpler schemes. We have a few applications where we've implemented plugged impulse line detection and SPM. All of our valves in "critical" services have the in-service stiction diagnostic.

FFO: What is the value of investing in FOUNDATION technology over other choices, particularly as it relates to asset management, maintenance, etc.?

JDR: I would say the technologies and concepts that form the basis for the benefits is what ARC refers to as the "object-based" nature of FOUNDATION fieldbus. The devices in fieldbus are autonomous, supporting "publish & subscribe" and messaging. In the plant, this means that signal statuses, diagnostics, and alerts are originated at the device and "pushed" to the host—no polling or master-slave transactions are required. The FOUNDATION fieldbus User Layer was crafted by its originators to be a control system—not simply a device network for instruments.

What this means for AMS and maintenance is that devices themselves perform diagnostics, alert the user, and store diagnostic and historical information independent of the host or a snap-on server.

Unlike buses that cater exclusively to AMS, fieldbus also functions as a control system, providing a degree of fault tolerance that legacy platforms would struggle to approximate. Because all the device intelligence is interwoven with the signals interconnecting function blocks, our plants are less likely to end up "in the weeds" when abnormal situations, or more commonly, self-inflicted mishaps, come about.

FFO: How can the cost of implementing fieldbus controls be justified in terms of increased uptime, better maintenance, greater availability, etc.?

JDR: At brownfield sites, I'd argue the "added" cost isn't that great. If you really want your DCS [digital control system] to benefit from digital integration of field devices, there's a high likelihood it will need to be replaced. Most of the DCSs of the 1990s do not, and will not, support anything beyond proprietary protocols. If you're replacing your DCS and the I/O cards, why not install fieldbus? The installed base of legacy "smart" instruments may speak HART, but you'll need at least a board upgrade to get the most useful diagnostics currently being offered.

If you're building a greenfield site, your degree of "future-proof" is higher with FOUNDATION fieldbus. I'm told even my valve positioners purchased in 1999 can be "flashed" to a version with the latest performance diagnostics. Many of the devices being sold today are promising to support "flash upgrades," so your exposure to ripping out obsolete hardware is much smaller.

FOUNDATION fieldbus was built from the ground up to function as a control system. No other bus being applied in the large process industries can make that claim. Consequently, the FOUNDATION solution delivers robustness and fault tolerance with distinction. Other schemes can approximate it, but only with extensive effort and custom programming on the part of the end user. With FOUNDATION fieldbus, it is built-in, which frees both basic and sophisticated end users to focus on greater value-added activities.

For more information, contact john.rezabek@fieldbus.org.

Fieldbus Foundation establishes India marketing committee

The Fieldbus Foundation has established an India marketing committee. The new Fieldbus Foundation India Marketing Committee (FF-IMC), made up of representatives of leading process automation companies, will promote adoption of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology throughout the Indian market and organize fieldbus-related activities, including training seminars, trade show displays, and end user demonstrations.

Fieldbus Foundation Marketing Manager Bill Tatum called the establishment of the India marketing committee "proof that FOUNDATION fieldbus is in strong demand in one of the world's fastest growing industrial regions. The location of our new India Marketing Committee is key," he went on, "since the ARC Advisory Group has determined that the BRIC countries, which include Brazil, Russia, India, and China, will have an estimated fieldbus CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 32%. This committee and its members will play an important role in promoting the primary value propositions of FOUNDATION technology, which include process integrity, business intelligence, and open and scalable integration of information across process manufacturing plants."

FF-IMC was formally launched May 23 at a meeting at Chancery Pavilion in Bangalore, India. Companies participating on the committee include: ABB, Baliga-Kerpen, Belden, Chemtrols-Fuji/Eckardt, Chino-Laxsons-Smar, Dresser Valves, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Joseph Leslie Drager, Larson & Toubro-Hima, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, R. Stahl, Rockwell Automation, Turck, and Yokogawa.

At its inaugural meeting, the FF-IMC named representatives to a pro-tem committee that will oversee the group until the formal election of steering committee members. They include: Thampy Mathew, Pepperl+Fuchs, chairman; Ramesh Babu, MTL, vice-chairman; Suhas Bhide, Emerson Process Management, secretary; and A. Dasgupta, Yokogawa, treasurer.

Among FF-IMC's first activities will be to stage FOUNDATION fieldbus educational events for end users, EPCs, and consultants in Mumbai and Delhi, India, during the last week of August 2007.

For more information about upcoming FF-IMC events, email marketing@fieldbus.org.

EUAC approves use-cases for wireless and remote I/O

The Fieldbus Foundation's End User Advisory Council (EUAC) has reviewed the use-cases for the High Speed Ethernet Remote I/O (HSE-RIO) and Wireless Concept Studies and submitted its comments to the foundation's Technical Steering Committee (TSC).

The Fieldbus Foundation launched the HSE-RIO initiative to develop a specification for standardizing the interface of remote I/O into the FOUNDATION system architecture. The new specification defines the structure for interfacing remote I/O over the Fieldbus Foundation's tightly integrated HSE control backbone. In support of industry standardization, the Fieldbus Foundation recently granted the ISA SP100 committee a copyright to its Wireless Concept Study (WCS) use-cases and requirements for use in developing the SP100 standard.

Fieldbus Foundation Director of Technology Development Dave Glanzer said, "We are pleased that the EUAC has completed its review of the HSE-RIO and WCS use-cases. Both initiatives are making excellent progress and will serve the larger overall needs of process automation end users."

EUAC review involves leading process automation end users from around the world and is a vital step in the process of developing new areas of FOUNDATION technology. End user feedback led to the development of HSE using COTS (commercial off the shelf equipment) and the FOUNDATION Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) project.

At a meeting hosted by Pepperl+Fuchs in Mannheim, Germany, in May, the HSE-RIO team prepared the second draft of the HSE-RIO use-cases and requirements.

For more information, contact info@fieldbus.org.

H1 cable test specification moves to lab validation phase

A new specification for testing H1 fieldbus cable, currently being developed by the Fieldbus Foundation's H1 Physical Layer Test Specification Enhancement Team, began the lab validation and commentary phase June 1. The H1 cable test specification project began in July 2006 with volunteer efforts by foundation members, including Belden, Chevron, Emerson Process Management, Kerpen, Moore Industries, Northwire Inc., Relcom Inc., and Turck. It is scheduled for release in the fall of 2007.

Cable manufacturers will use the specification to develop products that comply with FOUNDATION specifications based upon international standards meeting the needs of end users. Installing cables compliant with the new test specification will help end users realize a higher level of integrity in the fieldbus physical layer.

Email support@fieldbus.org for more information.

Should you join the Fieldbus Foundation?

Are your customers asking if you have FOUNDATION fieldbus devices?

Do you have a current device that you would like to upgrade to FOUNDATION fieldbus?

If you answered "yes" to either question, consider joining the Fieldbus Foundation. Becoming a member offers device developers many benefits, including:

  • Intellectual property rights license that allows product development based on the FOUNDATION specifications;
  • Licensed copy of the FOUNDATION specifications; and
  • Member discount on all products and services related to product development such as training, development tools, etc.

Click here to learn more about Fieldbus Foundation membership benefits.

Click here for a membership application. Download it, complete it, and fax it in today!

Sold out! More than 200 register for Brazil educational seminar

So many process industry end users and engineers registered for the upcoming FOUNDATION Fieldbus educational seminar in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 12th that the event is sold out. More than 200 attendees are expected.

The Brazilian market is on the rise with FOUNDATION fieldbus installations; end users in this region understand the benefits offered by the technology. Brazil is home to the oldest fieldbus installation, and many companies have followed with installations since.

Industry professionals attending the educational seminar will learn how FOUNDATION fieldbus is "Changing the Playing Field" in process control. The one-day event will cover the entire FOUNDATION automation infrastructure, including Open Scalable Integration, Process Integrity, and Business Intelligence. Local end-user speakers will be on hand in the afternoon to talk about their experiences with the technology. Leading exhibitors planning to attend include Turck, ABB, Yokogawa, Emerson Process Management, Honeywell, Pepperl+Fuchs, Smar, MooreHawke, R. Stahl, Rockwell, MTL, Invensys, Fieldbus Center at Lee College, and Tri-State University (TSU).



Mexilhão 1: Platform Automation Architecture: Innovations & Challenges

Pedro Vieira

Fieldbus in Deten Química

Alexandre Pessoa de Santana

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Application in a Chemical Plant
(Problems, Installations, Problems and Solutions)

Ronaldo Ribeiro

Expansion 3

Rui Matos

Seminar attendees will receive a CD containing presentation materials and technical guides, workshop presentation handouts, and more.

For more information about this seminar, contact marketing@fieldbus.org.

Road tour: Seminars take FOUNDATION fieldbus around the world

The Fieldbus Foundation "Fieldbus Educational Road Tour," launched this year to tell end users around the globe how FOUNDATION fieldbus is "Changing the Playing Field" in industrial automation is a success!

The free educational seminars, open to all, provide an overview of FOUNDATION fieldbus for beginners and mid-level professionals in industrial automation. The seminar is an ideal first event for end users and engineering firms to learn the basics of the technology.

The seminars in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Sao Paulo, Brazil are sell-outs! Don't miss out! Sign up now to attend the upcoming seminar in your area.

Upcoming seminars are scheduled for:

For more information about this seminar contact marketing@fieldbus.org.

Fieldbus Foundation to exhibit technology at China tradeshow

The Fieldbus Foundation is planning to exhibit the capabilities of its automation infrastructure at the Fieldbus Industrial Automation tradeshow July 17-19 at the China International Exhibition Centre in Beijing, China.

Process control users and engineers are urged to stop by the Fieldbus Foundation booth (#T3) to learn about the advances of FOUNDATION fieldbus. Industry experts will be onsite to answer questions about the technology that is accepted and implemented around the globe. The FOUNDATION Automation Infrastructure is the technology of choice among end users. The Foundation will also provide a tutorial and live demonstration of it newly released EDDL enhancements, including extensive graphic visualization and use of persistent data.

For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation booth and the exhibitors that will be present, email wynne.wei@AP.EmersonProcess.com.

Danish instrumentation event draws suppliers, end users

A two-day educational event organized by the Danish Automation Society (DAu) focused on process instrumentation, on-line analysis, bus systems, and asset management. The event, held at the Hotel Grand Park, Korsør, Denmark, March 28-29, drew 77 end users and suppliers.

The program included 14 speakers concentrating on experiences and applications that involved process instrumentation. A special presentation, "FOUNDATION Fieldbus expanding across the globe," demonstrated once again why the technology dominates fieldbus protocols in the process industries.

Highlighting the dinner on the first evening of the event was a presentation by Micro Breweries, a local company, during which attendees were invited to sample a selection of the firm's fine beers.

Another two-day seminar is set for Oct. 29-30. The anticipated theme of the event is "The Puzzle of Automation."

For more information about the DAu, visit the Danish Automation Society Website.

To learn more about events and seminars, email dau@dau.dk.

Latest UK NMC end-user seminar a success; more scheduled

The latest in a series of UK end-user seminars conducted by the Fieldbus Foundation UK National Marketing Committee (FF UK NMC) met with considerable success. The free event, which took place Tuesday, May 22, 2007, in northwest England at the City of Manchester football stadium, drew 25 end users and engineering contractors from across the region.

The seminar offered material for new and experienced FOUNDATION technology users, including a comprehensive program of presentations addressing such topics as fieldbus economics and project control with particular reference to the CAPEX and OPEX savings achievable; the implementation of asset management; and the latest technical developments, such as physical layer diagnostics, fault tolerant segment design, High Speed Ethernet (HSE), and device interoperability using enhanced Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL).

The distinct focus on the end user gave attendees the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer discussions during which implementers of FOUNDATION technology shared and discussed installation experiences. All attendees will receive copies of the day's presentations and supporting technical documentation.

In addition to the seminar program and lunch, attendees also enjoyed a tour of the Manchester City stadium and services offered at this famous sports venue.

The FF UK NMC is pleased to announce these future seminars:

  • Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork, Ireland—Oct. 2, 2007
  • Grangemouth, Scotland—Nov. 27, 2007
  • Reading, England—Jan. 29, 2008
  • Cardiff, Wales—Mar. 4, 2008

For more information about the FF UK NMC and other events contact uk_info@fieldbus.org.

For more information about the EMEA End User Council, contact emea_euc@fieldbus.org.

Fieldbus developer training set for Tokyo, Japan

The Fieldbus Foundation has scheduled developer training in Tokyo, Japan. "Developing FOUNDATION Device Descriptions" will take place July 4-7, 2007; the registration deadline is June 18.

"Developing FOUNDATION Device Descriptions" is designed to be vendor neutral for developers implementing Device Description (DD) files for field devices. New and experienced developers will benefit from the interactive methods used at the workshop. The course assumes students are familiar with FOUNDATION function block technology. Previous attendance at the "Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus" and "Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION Fieldbus" courses is recommended. "C" programming and DD experience are also recommended, but not required.

Course material examines sophisticated Device Description Language (DDL) constructs and techniques that make DDs feature-rich for end users. Students will write DDs organizing parameters into rich dialogues with images, display complex data in graphical format, and learn to preserve device data and retrieve it for later processing. The course also provides hands-on learning for writing and testing actual DDs using the FOUNDATION DD Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Click here for a complete description of this training course.

Fax your registration form today to 512-794-8893. Click here to download a form.

For more information, e-mail info@fieldbus.org.

SAIT offers choice of certified training courses

SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Polytechnic offers a choice of three continuing education courses that lead, upon successful completion, to industry-recognized FOUNDATION fieldbus Professional Certification (FFCP). Led by a dedicated team of instructional experts, SAIT Polytechnic is one of eight certified training providers worldwide that delivers FOUNDATION fieldbus technology training that meets the needs of the energy sector and process industries. Developed and designed by the school and the Fieldbus Foundation in consultation with fieldbus experts, the courses include FOUNDATION Fieldbus Essentials for Instrumentation Professionals, FOUNDATION Fieldbus Discovery for Instrumentation Professionals, and FOUNDATION Fieldbus Practices for Instrumentation Professionals.

The upcoming schedule of courses includes:

Course Title Dates offered at SAIT
Calgary, AB, Canada
FOUNDATION Fieldbus Essentials for Instrumentation Professionals (1 day)

Jun 13, 2007

Sep 26, 2007
Dec 5, 2007
Mar 5, 2008
May 7, 2008
Jun 11, 2008
FOUNDATION Fieldbus Discovery for Instrumentation Professionals (2 days)

Jun 14-15, 2007

Sep 27-28, 2007
Dec 6-7, 2007
Mar 6-7, 2008
Mar 8-9, 2008
Jun 12-13, 2008

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Practices for Instrumentation Professionals (3 days)

Jun 18-20, 2007

Oct 1-3, 2007
Dec 10-12, 2007
Mar 10-12, 2008
Mar 12-14, 2008
Jun 16-18, 2008

*Additional offerings are under development for Edmonton, Vancouver, and Sarnia locations. The content of these courses can also be tailored for delivery on-site.

Visit SAIT at the Fieldbus Educational Seminar in Calgary, Alberta, June 21, 2007.

For more information, contact SAIT Corporate Training by phone at 210-4453 or 866-884-7117 (toll free), or by email at training@sait.ca. Click here to visit the training section of the SAIT Website.

TSU Technology Center Website offers fieldbus training information

The TSU Technology Center Website at Tri-State University North in Angola, Indiana, is now active and complete with fieldbus training information. The TSU Technology Center is one of only two licensed fieldbus training sites in the United States. Current and prospective students can learn fieldbus history, upload current course offerings, and view details of the courses of study by visiting the Website at www.tsutechcenter.org, said TSU Technology Center director of program development, Wayne Mortorff.

In April, the TSU Technical Center established a license agreement to share training resources with Fieldbus Center at Lee College in Baytown, Texas. Under the agreement, TSU can use Fieldbus Center course materials and other intellectual property in its training curriculum. The facilities will also collaborate on future educational development work, construction of lab facilities and demonstration equipment, and scheduling of fieldbus training classes.

According to John Pittman, chairman of the TSU board of trustees and former Fieldbus Foundation president, the license agreement will enable TSU to serve the Great Lakes region with state-of-the-art fieldbus educational courses The TSU Technology Center offers certificate, certification, and degree programs in four areas: applied plastics, computer technology, entrepreneurship, and emerging technologies.

For more information, visit the TSU Technology Center Website.

Article explains benefits of Shell/Yokogawa fieldbus project

Shell's recent business partnership with Yokogawa to transform its largely pneumatic instrumented Shell Norco plant in Norco, Louisiana, into a fully digital plant using FOUNDATION fieldbus is paying off with significant results. The successful FOUNDATION fieldbus project, which essentially replaced the legacy pneumatic control system with an integrated production control system, was discussed in detail in the March, 2007, issue of Hydrocarbon Processing magazine. The article was co-authored by Constantine Lau, general manager, marketing, Yokogawa Corp. of America, and Max Medina, process engineering and control systems manager, Shell.

The Norco ethylene facility has long been one of Shell's most profitable chemical plants. But to remain profitable and competitive, Shell realized several years ago that it would have to update its instrumentation and controls. Also important were initiatives to reduce maintenance costs and, above all, meet the "bottom-line" goal of reducing steam-per-unit output for the entire plant.

With approximately 9,000 fieldbus devices, the Norco plant is one of the largest fieldbus installations in North America.

Click here to read the entire article.

Westlock, CIBA partner to provide networking

CIBA Specialty Chemicals and Westlock have partnered to provide a complete network solution for CIBA's facility in West Memphis, AR. Westlock provided the network design, installation, commissioning, and startup of the facilities first network installation, including Foundation Fieldbus ICoT valve positioners, models 5430 and 5410 for rotary and linear valves respectively.

The ICoT uses Hall Effect sensor technology to develop accurate valve position feedback without linkages, levers, and rotary or linear seals. Position sensing is accomplished by non-contacting means, permitting use of advanced control strategies where knowledge of valve position is used in predictive and other algorithms.

Tom Pounds, CIBA's I&E Project Leader, said, "The service from Westlock has been excellent and they have given us a high level of comfort throughout the project. We are very pleased at how smooth the project went, considering this was the first network installation at this facility. We are using Westlock's ICoT valve positioner in three process units where highly accurate and repeatable control is essential for optimizing product yields and have found its reliability outstanding."

Westlock, a leader in providing innovative solutions for monitoring and controlling process valves, is in Saddle Brook, NJ.

For more information, click here to visit the Westlock Website.

ABB software tool improves fieldbus asset management

Asset Master, a new software tool recently released by ABB, is designed to improve asset performance, duration of operation, and uptime. Intended for engineering and maintenance personnel, it provides set-up tools for instrumentation configuration and calibration of ABB and other manufacturers' devices communicating via FOUNDATION fieldbus, Hart, and Profibus.

A key component of Asset Master is integrated fieldbus management that supports engineers through the commissioning phase of a project. Selecting device objects from a comprehensive device integration library makes configuration of network structures easy. Asset Master incorporates engineering tools for managing FOUNDATION fieldbus networks using ABB's LD800HSE linking device. The tools also support Link Active Scheduler time allocation and Function Block applications.

Asset Master can identify abnormal situations quickly and help personnel undertake appropriate corrective actions. Continuously monitored alarm conditions inform users of degrading device performance. SMS and email messaging services notify key personnel via mobile telephones, email, and pagers. Reported faults can be directed to a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) to initiate the work order process.

Asset Master uses the same design foundation as ABB's larger 800xA extended automation system so that is may be readily expanded into System 800xA.

Click here for more information from the ABB Website.

MooreHawke guide makes technical data available at a glance

Connect, protect, power and terminate….MooreHawke Overview provides a quick guide to the company's complete line of FOUNDATION fieldbus device couplers and power supplies.

Included are diagrams and data on the company's new TrunkSafe Fault-Tolerant Fieldbus System. TrunkSafe is reportedly the first truly redundant fieldbus physical layer that maintains all process and diagnostic communications without interruption, even if the network cable is broken or shorted. It is said to be an ideal solution to protect important and plant-critical segments, and lets users take full advantage of fieldbus without worrying about simple cable failures.

Also covered are TrunkGuard Fieldbus device couplers and power conditioners for general purpose, non-incendive, and Zone 1 installations. TrunkGuard device couplers feature MooreHawke's patented "Automatic Segment Termination" and short circuit protection with auto-reset.

The Route-Master Fieldbus System for intrinsically-safe installations delivers what is called an industry-best 350 mA per segment—enough to power 16 fieldbus devices (20 mA each) at 500 m (1,500 ft) while remaining intrinsically-safe for hydrogen-risk areas at the individual spur connection with no FISCO restrictions.

Download the Overview; more in-depth technical product data sheets; and an informative white paper, "Introduction to Fieldbus" from the MooreHawke Website.

MTL provides 'complete fieldbus project life cycle support'

Moving to provide more than just products, MTL, called the complete fieldbus solutions provider, now also provides complete life cycle support for fieldbus projects from concept to operation, and all the steps in between.

MTL's global team of experts is available to assist with a wide range of engineering services, including conceptual design, 'cold-eyes' review, and complete design services during the initial phase of a project. They also provide consulting during acceptance tests and commissioning, including confirmation of the customer's system by capturing baseline data on network integrity.
Part of the MTL single-source solution (products, training, engineering design, and commissioning) includes training for each phase and audience as a project progresses. Designers, technicians, and operators have different needs and levels of understanding of how fieldbus technology affects them. MTL can help with courses custom designed for specific processes and needs.

For more information, contact your local MTL representative or visit the MTL Website.

NI Configurator, Monitor software supports Microsoft's Vista

New releases of NI-FBUS Configurator 3.2.1 and NI-FBUS Monitor 3.0.1 from National Instruments add support for Microsoft's Windows Vista (32-bit version), bringing to three the number of OS platforms supported by NI-FBUS software. The other two are Windows 2000 and XP.

NI-FBUS Configurator 3.2.1 and NI-FBUS Monitor 3.0.1 are free updates to NI-FBUS Software 3.2 and NI-FBUS Monitor 3.0, respectively. Users of these products can download upgrade kits from the NI Website starting in late June. Others may order the software from National Instruments.

NI-FBUS Communications Manager 3.2.1 is in both kits. It contains the driver for NI's PCI-FBUS and PCMCIA-FBUS interface cards, which has been upgraded to work on Windows Vista as well. No further activation is required.

For more, email fieldbus.support@ni.com and ask for information about NI-FBUS products, or click here to learn more on the NI Website.

Softing gateway links H1 networks, asset management systems

Softing, a major FOUNDATION fieldbus technology provider, announces the availability of a new fieldbus gateway that lets users link existing H1 networks with an asset management system.

FG-100 FF Asset gateway supports non-interfering access to field devices connected to H1 networks via the FOUNDATION fieldbus High Speed Ethernet (HSE) protocol. It acts as a "visitor" to H1 segments and, in this role, does not interfere with the running H1 process control system.

The HSE protocol is based on TCP/IP and runs simultaneously to other protocols over Ethernet, enabling remote access to H1 networks. A corresponding FOUNDATION fieldbus CommDTM allows easy integration into FDT frame applications and compatible asset management systems. An OPC Server for HSE is available as well.

FG-100 FF Asset provides:

  • Acyclic read/write access to parameterization data of connected H1 devices via HSE;
  • Acyclic access to process and diagnostic data of connected H1 devices via HSE as "visitor" (read-only, no publishing/subscribing); and
  • Integration with non-HSE tools and systems via CommDTM or HSE OPC Server (optional).

The non-interfering communication link provided by FG-100 FF Asset enables asset management systems to access diagnostic data of H1 devices without disrupting the operation of the H1 process control system, making the gateway an ideal solution. In addition, the built-in Web server offers such integrated maintenance features as firmware update and gateway diagnostics. Only a Web browser is needed.

For more information, contact Softing North America Inc. 29 Water St., Suite 301, Newburyport, MA 01950; phone: 978-499-9650; fax: 978-499-9654; email: Ken.Hoover@softing.com. Or click here to visit the company Website.


9005 Mountain Ridge Drive, Bowie Building – Suite 190, Austin, Texas 78759-5316 USA
Tel: 512.794.8890 • Fax: 512.794.8893 • E-mail: info@fieldbus.org