April 2008

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

Featured This Month...


ABB Banner

In This Issue...

President’s perspective: Timoney cites ‘significant achievements’ of 2007
Newly formed Mexico Marketing Committee elects inaugural officers
FOUNDATION fieldbus device registration grows

Interkama 2008: FOUNDATION technology among exhibits on display
Hungarian end-user seminar will cruise the Danube
Fieldbus end user seminars planned across the globe

Tech News

Interview: Glanzer outlines benefits of FOUNDATION SIF technology

ABB automates Petro-Canada platform in the Dutch North Sea
Emerson helps China PVC plant start up fast at lower cost

New Endress+Hauser support center extends FOUNDATION competency
MooreHawke whitepaper explains fieldbus basics
NI PAC, NI-FBUS products, solutions build rugged industrial systems
Northwire cable designed for rugged environments
Pepperl+Fuchs’ diagnostic module earns innovation award
Phoenix Contact’s modular approach called ‘breakthrough’
Make Ethernet networks tough as control system, RuggedCom advises
SAIT offers Fieldbus-certified professional training courses
Softing claims ‘world’s smallest’ fieldbus communication module
New Softing firmware boosts gateway performance

President’s perspective: Timoney cites ‘significant achievements’ of 2007

Rich Timoney, President & CEO, Fieldbus Foundation

Rich Timoney, president and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation, recently reflected on the numerous and significant accomplishments made by the Fieldbus Foundation in 2007. Here is his message:

As I look back on the previous year, and take inventory of the Fieldbus Foundation’s activities, I am proud to report many significant achievements. Thanks to the dedication of our members, supporters, and staff, we reached a number of important milestones, from new technology developments to growing industry adoption of the open, integrated FOUNDATION automation infrastructure.

According to a recent survey by the ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, MA, tens of thousands of FOUNDATION - compliant control systems, and over a million field devices, are now in service around the world. ARC indicated FOUNDATION fieldbus is now “mainstream,” holding a 68% market share in the process industries, and predicted a continued double-digit growth rate for the technology. As I speak to you, the largest gas field project in Europe is under construction and is based on FOUNDATION fieldbus. The world’s largest refinery, under construction in India, also employs FOUNDATION technology.

At our recent 2008 General Assembly, themed “Why FOUNDATION has become The Standard,” experts from throughout the global automation industry cited many key fieldbus technology initiatives benefiting the automation industry. For example, the FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) development, which has achieved TÜV Type Approval, will help meet the growing worldwide demand for commercial, standards-based safety instrumentation incorporating FOUNDATION fieldbus.

The Fieldbus Foundation has joined the HART Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO) in a cooperative effort that will develop a specification for a common interface to a wireless gateway. The intent of this collaboration is to facilitate full, scalable integration of both wired and wireless technology in industrial automation.

The foundation accelerated its work defining the structure for interfacing remote I/O over its High Speed Ethernet (HSE) control backbone. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within the FOUNDATION system solution.

We also announced the availability of new temperature transducer block and H1 cable test specifications. These specifications include features enabling automation equipment suppliers to further improve the interoperability and reliability of their registered FOUNDATION fieldbus products.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s board of directors has mandated rigorous host testing, which will strengthen fieldbus interoperability and system integration. Under the new host registration program, hosts successfully completing the test requirements will be authorized to bear the official FOUNDATION product registration symbol.

Additionally, a new Fieldbus Foundation End User Council (EUC) was launched in India to support the huge demand for fieldbus-based systems. An inaugural FOUNDATION fieldbus seminar held in Mumbai, India, attracted more than 300 automation end users. Our organization also established marketing committees in India, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Commonwealth of Independent States and Baltics (CIS&B), Sweden, and South Africa. These groups are made up of representatives of leading process automation companies in the regions.

As we enter 2008, it’s clear that many important tasks lie ahead for suppliers and end users of FOUNDATION technology. Let’s keep up the hard work!

Thank you for your continued support.

All the best,

Rich Timoney
Richard J. Timoney
President & CEO, Fieldbus Foundation

For more about the Fieldbus Foundation and its accomplishments, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

Newly formed Mexico Marketing Committee elects inaugural officers

Mexico Marketing Committee

The Fieldbus Foundation has launched a Mexico Marketing Committee (FF-MX MC) to encourage the adoption of FOUNDATION technology in the Mexican market through trade show participation, end-user seminars, and other promotional activities. The group, formed at a meeting Jan. 30 in Mexico City, Mexico, also elected its inaugural officers: Daniel Zamorano, MTL, and Luis Trejo, Emerson Process Management, co-chairmen; Oscar Matus Armendariz, Smar, vice-chairman; and Daniel Gutiérrez, Pepperl+Fuchs, secretary/treasurer.

Bill Tatum, Fieldbus Foundation marketing director, welcomed the new marketing committee. “Mexico is a rapidly expanding region for FOUNDATION fieldbus,” said Tatum. “We are pleased that leading automation industry companies are involved in our new marketing committee, which is committed to the growth of our technology throughout Mexican industry.”

In addition to formalizing its structure, the FF-MX MC discussed plans for a FOUNDATION fieldbus end-user seminar in Mexico City in June, 2008. A FOUNDATION fieldbus End User Council (EUC) is expected to be formed following the seminar. The committee also reviewed plans for a technology exhibit at ISA Mexico and at upcoming user seminars in Coatzacoalcos in September and Ciudad del Carmen in November. Four fieldbus educational events are being planned for 2009.

For future FF-MX MC updates, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

FOUNDATION fieldbus device registration grows

FF Check LogoRising demand for FOUNDATION technology is increasing the pace of fieldbus device registration as well. Hundreds of fully interoperable instruments are already registered. Products range from transmitters and meters to valve positioners, actuators, controllers, and linking devices and are available from leading automation equipment suppliers.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s rigorous interoperability test and registration procedures thoroughly examine and verify all aspects of the intelligent field device. More than a paperwork exercise, the detailed and methodical registration process tests all specified device functions.

Manufacturers submit their devices for independent lab verification at the Fieldbus Foundation facility in Austin, TX. Test procedures begin with physical layer testing, which validates the electrical characteristics of the device. Because of the rigorous physical layer requirements, end users can rely on the specified network when designing FOUNDATION fieldbus segments.

In addition, FOUNDATION-compliant devices must contain registered stack software. Registered field devices communicate in a known, common, and specified manner, and adhere to the critical timing requirements of the FOUNDATION protocol.

Only devices that have met both conformance criteria are eligible for interoperability testing, which validates the implementation of the device user layer, or function block application. All aspects of the function block application are examined, including mode and status behavior, parameter conformance, alert handling, trending, simulation, and power failure recovery.

End users who purchase fieldbus products with the Fieldbus Foundation’s official registration “checkmark” seal can be assured that different devices from different manufacturers, possibly using different physical layers or different stack configurations, will interoperate on a given FOUNDATION fieldbus segment.

For more about FOUNDATION-compliant devices, check out the foundation’s online product catalog on the Fieldbus Foundation Website. The catalog includes registered device information, including which standard blocks were tested for interoperability; the presence of untested function blocks, if any; and additional useful information about the device.

Return to top

Interkama 2008: FOUNDATION technology among exhibits on display

InterkarmaAn exhibit of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology is on display at Interkama 2008, the international process automation trade exhibition and conference that is part of Hannover Fair. The major annual event is taking place in Germany April 15-21. Fieldbus Foundation is once again occupying one of the largest show booths, a 300-sq-m location in Hall 7, the area dedicated to process automation technologies.

At least 20 leading automation equipment suppliers are participating in the exhibit, which shows the Fieldbus Foundation’s global strengths and capabilities in process and hybrid applications. Purpose-built kiosks feature demonstrations of FOUNDATION fieldbus solutions and applications through static and operational displays of registered devices, host systems, tools, and services.

Highlights include key FOUNDATION development initiatives such as High Speed Ethernet (HSE), FOUNDATION fieldbus safety instrumented function (FF-SIF), and electronic device description language (EDDL) integration. The booth also is hosting a “Happy Hour” daily at 5 pm. The event features special Fieldbus Foundation cocktails, refreshments, and promotional giveaways.

For more information about activities in Germany, email germany_info@fieldbus.org.

More about Hannover Fair may be found on the event Website.

Hungarian end-user seminar will cruise the Danube

FFThe Fieldbus Foundation’s marketing committee for the Central & Eastern European area (FF-CEE MC) is holding its first end-user event of the year on a cruise boat on the Danube river. Scheduled for May 8, the seminar will start and finish at the Budapest Újpesti alsórakpart Jászai Mari tér 7 (Paulaner) meeting point, and will be conducted on the Aquincum as it traverses the Danube from Budapest to Visegrád and back.

The program, which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., begins with presentations by Marc Van Pelt, Fieldbus Foundation vice president, EMEA Operations, and Jürgen George, a member of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA steering committee. The speakers will update the audience on the market position of FOUNDATION fieldbus and current technological developments, and explain the role of FOUNDATION technology as an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence, and open scalable integration across the process plant.

Presentations from the end user/engineering contractor community will include an insight describing the application of FOUNDATION technology in production sites and how implementation issues can be addressed by Sven Seintsch from BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH (formerly Infraserv Hoechst). Seintsch is an active member of the NAMUR Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus.

Following a complimentary lunch, round table discussion sessions led by moderators from the industry will discuss a variety of topics. Included are an end user/engineering contractor-focused exchange on the submission, planning, and benefits of FOUNDATION projects; and an end-user focused discussion on operations and maintenance and the CAPEX and OPEX benefits that FOUNDATION technology can deliver.

For additional information, email CEE_info@fieldbus.org.

FFFieldbus end user seminars planned across the globe

The Fieldbus Foundation offers many informational and educational events around the globe. Make plans now to attend an event in your area.


Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA May 8, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
Click here for more information
Jurong, Singapore May 16, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Mexico City, Mexico June 10, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
Click here for more information
Qindao, China June 19, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam July 22, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Vung Tau, Vietnam July 24, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Taipei, Taiwan Aug. 19, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Kaohshiung, Taiwan Aug. 21, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Calgary, Alberta, Canada Sept. 11, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
Click here for more information
Manila, Philippines Sept. 23, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come.
Pleasanton, California, USA Oct. 2, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
Click here for more information
Guangzhou, China Nov. 6, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Savannah, Georgia, USA Nov. 6, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
Click here for more information
Chicago, Illinois, USA Nov. 20, 2008 FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
Click here for more information
Suntec, Singapore Dec. 2-5, 2008 OSEA Exhibition
More information to come
Thailand To be determined FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Malaysia To be determined FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Jakarta, Indonesia To be determined FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
South India To be determined To be determined
North India To be determined To be determined
Osaka, Japan To be determined FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Tokyo, Japan To be determined FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Seminar
More information to come
Korea To be determined To be determined

Click here for a complete list of events.

Tech News

Interview: Glanzer outlines benefits of FOUNDATION SIF technology

FFFOUNDATION fieldbus, with its industry-proven distributed function blocks and open communications protocol, is an ideal platform for advancing standards-based solutions for plant Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF). The technology helps process end users reduce significantly their total cost of ownership by extending fieldbus benefits into plant safety systems. In this issue of Fieldbus Facts Online, Dave Glanzer, director of technology development, Fieldbus Foundation, outlines the latest developments in SIF technology.

Fieldbus Facts Online: Why did the Fieldbus Foundation decide to develop its SIS specifications?

Glanzer: Process industry end users requested the FOUNDATION SIF solution to realize the CAPEX and OPEX benefits of open and interoperable fieldbus technology in their plant safety systems. In response, the Fieldbus Foundation developed the SIS protocol approved by TÜV Anlagentechnik GmbH to meet the requirements of IEC 61508 up to, and including, SIL 3.

FFO: How will process equipment suppliers use this technology?

Glanzer: Completion of the FOUNDATIONSIS protocol enables instrumentation suppliers to build fieldbus devices for use in SIFs. Third-party agencies will safety-certify these devices, and the Fieldbus Foundation will test and register them for interoperability. End users can apply the requirements specified in the IEC 61511 standard to determine the SIL needed for a particular application, and then select interoperable, safety-certified SIF fieldbus devices from multiple suppliers to build their safety systems.

FFO: Where will FOUNDATION SIF devices be used in a typical process operation?

Glanzer: There are many plant applications for FOUNDATION SIF technology, including overpressure protection, backflow protection, reactor temperature run-away protection, liquid carry-over protection, burner flame-out protection, and emergency isolation valves (EIVs).

Using FOUNDATION SIF, diagnostics are communicated directly to the logic solver. Self-diagnostics in the field devices can alert operations that the SIF is operating in a degraded state. The diagnostics improve overall loop safety because the possibility of undetected, dangerous failures between manual tests is reduced. Since fieldbus alerts and trends are time stamped, operations can trace the sequence of events in a shutdown. This information can be used to improve the system and establish procedures to reduce the trip rate. The diagnostics and reduced trip rate greatly improve OPEX.

FFO: What is the next step in this project?

Glanzer: The Fieldbus Foundation’s SIF working group is coordinating a series of technology demonstrations at end user sites around the world. Field demos will be staged at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; and Chevron, Houston, Texas, USA.

FFO: What is the scope of the FOUNDATION SIF technology demonstration?

Glanzer: At the Shell Global Solutions technology laboratory, the end user has constructed a FOUNDATION safety shutdown system demonstration rig incorporating logic solvers, safety devices, and SIF functions. The purpose of this demo is to evaluate FOUNDATION fieldbus enabled safety valves with partial stroke testing (PST) capability, as well as various pressure and temperature devices. The end user will evaluate system integration capabilities with asset management and basic process control system (BPCS) platforms.

FFO: Are major plant automation and safety equipment suppliers supporting these demonstrations?

Glanzer: Yes, there is a high level of involvement across the industry. Leading companies participating in the SIF demonstration working group include ABB, BIFFI, BP, Chevron, Dresser Masoneilan, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus Diagnostics, HIMA, Honeywell, Invensys, Magnetrol, Metso Automation, Moore Industries, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Risknowlogy B.V., RuggedCom, Saudi Aramco, Siemens, Shell Global Solutions, Smar, Softing, TopWorx, TÜV Rheinland, TÜV SÜD, Westlock Controls, Yamatake, and Yokogawa.

For more on SIF technology, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

ABB automates Petro-Canada platform in the Dutch North Sea

ABB will be providing the automation and instrumentation suite for an oil and gas production platform in the North Sea. Petro-Canada’s De Ruyter oil and gas production platform in the Dutch North Sea, 60 km (37 miles) offshore from The Hague, is the first new-build offshore platform to use a FOUNDATION-based automation solution, with FOUNDATION fieldbus for process control. The project contract is worth over 4.7 MUSD.

This platform will also use ABB’s new System 800xA high-integrity safety controller. The system is based on the 800xA extended automation system; the scope of supply includes a control and safety system based on the ABB AC800M and AC800HI safety controllers (SIS), FOUNDATION fieldbus for process control, and HART for other control and safety I/O points.

As part of the composite solution, ABB will also supply all field instrumentation, including pressure and temperature transmitters, flow elements, level transmitters, and magnetic flow meters, many of which will be ABB FOUNDATION fieldbus and HART-compliant devices.

For more information on ABB FOUNDATIONsolutions, visit the ABB Website.

Emerson helps China PVC plant start up fast at lower cost

Emerson Process Management Asia Pacific has completed its recent automation project at a China polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant.

Emerson successfully completed installing its PlantWeb digital plant architecture with DeltaV digital automation system for batch process control at the new PVC production facility of Yichang Yihua Pacific Chemical Co. Ltd., a leader in the Chinese fertilizer industry. This plant began operation in Hubei Province in Oct. 2007 and realizes PVC production capacity of 120,000 tons per year.

Yichang Yihua Pacific selected the Emerson technologies after extensive comparisons of batch process control software. The decision to use the DeltaV system with DeltaV batch software was based on the solution’s demonstrated excellent performance and batch-to-batch consistency. In addition, Emerson implemented FOUNDATION fieldbus technology in this first PVC project to adopt the advanced digital communications protocol.

"The main goals of this project were to achieve an output of 120,000 tons per year along with lower production costs," according to Project Manager Huang Chuanyu. "With the help of Emerson's rich engineering experience, the start-up was successful within the least possible time. The project cost was kept low, due in part to savings in wiring with the PlantWeb architecture and the fast, on-time start-up."

For more information, visit the Emerson PlantWeb Website.

New Endress+Hauser support center extends FOUNDATION competency

The Endress+Hauser Middle East Support Center, based in Dubai, is responding to the increasing number of large oil and gas projects and subsequent accelerated need for local expertise and support for FOUNDATION fieldbus technology in the Middle East by acquiring a new Fieldbus laboratory. All major DCS systems found in the oil and gas and FOUNDATION fieldbus market (including Honeywell Experion, Invensys IA-Series, Emerson DeltaV, and the new Yokogawa Centum) are represented.

The move significantly extends Endress+Hauser’s competence in this area. The company can now provide local customers in the Gulf region with strong support in all aspects of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology—from fieldbus instrument integration through projects/services support to training.

EH Lab
Mobile demonstration cabinets are one part of the new Endress+Hauser fieldbus laboratory.

Learn more by visiting the Endress+Hauser Website.

Return to tTop

MooreHawke whitepaper explains fieldbus basics

MooreHawke“Introduction to Fieldbus,” a new whitepaper from MooreHawke, a division of Moore Industries-International Inc., explains for engineers, technicians, and operators how fieldbus works. The concise 8-page bulletin removes jargon and clarifies confusing terminology. The whitepaper explains:

• Advantages of using fieldbus networks;
• Fieldbus elements, 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 will not allow the installation of 32 devices on a segment;
• Issues surrounding the use of fieldbus devices in hazardous areas;
• Methods for setting up a redundant fieldbus segment to create “high-availability” networks; and
• Justifying the implementation of a fieldbus network.

Download a copy of this informative white paper from the Moore Industries Website.

Return to Top

NI PAC, NI-FBUS products, solutions build rugged industrial systems

National InstrumentNational Instruments’ NI PACs (programmable automation controllers) combine the ruggedness of a programmable logic controller (PLC) with the functionality of a PC under an open, flexible software architecture. With these controllers, users can build advanced systems incorporating software capabilities such as advanced control, communication, data logging, and signal processing with rugged hardware performing logic, motion, process control, and vision.

NI Compact FieldPoint is an easy-to-use, highly expandable PAC, composed of rugged I/O modules and intelligent communication interfaces. NI LabView applications may be downloaded to the embedded controller for reliable, stand-alone operation; sensors may be connected directly to high-accuracy analog and discrete I/O modules. These industrial I/O modules filter, calibrate, and scale raw sensor signals to engineering units. They also perform self-diagnostics to look for problems, such as an open thermocouple. Compact FieldPoint network communication interfaces automatically publish measurements with an Ethernet network. Users can access I/O points nearby or miles away on the network using the same simple read/write software framework.

Use NI-FBUS hardware and software products to configure and communicate with FOUNDATION fieldbus networks, Compact FieldPoint to build a distributed I/O system, and NI LabView to help interface the two systems easily with each other.

For more information, visit the National Instruments Website or email fieldbus.support@ni.com.

Return to top

Northwire cable designed for rugged environments

NorthwireDataCell FOUNDATION fieldbus cable from Northwire Inc., a leading manufacturer of cable for industrial networking, is designed for H1 networks in rugged plant environments using networked process automation and control.

Northwire’s FOUNDATION fieldbus network cables are easy to strip. Their rating for ITC/PLTC exposed run (ER) applications is standard, allowing users to eliminate conduit when the cable is installed in accordance with recent National Electrical Code (NEC) amendments. The NEC now permits exposed-runs of certain ITC/PLTC. Metal-clad cable or conduit is no longer required, resulting in significant material and installation cost savings.

Northwire’s FOUNDATION fieldbus cable is among the most complete line available, and includes marine-shipboard and arctic grade extreme types suitable for applications to -60„a F. The cables meet or exceed new FF-844 specifications for Type A and are approved for use in Classes I & II, Div. 2 hazardous locations. They are also UL listed ITC/PLTC-ER and CSA CMX-Outdoor-CMG.

DataCell comes in 16- and 18-AWG single- and multi-pair cables with alternate colors and shielding and grounding options. Single-pair cable ships in 15 days from stock direct from the factory with no minimums. Complimentary samples are available.

For more information, visit the Northwire Website, or call 1-877-210-9945.

Return to top

Pepperl+Fuchs’ diagnostic module earns innovation award

Pepperl + FuchsPepperl+Fuchs’ innovative Advanced Diagnostic Module (ADM) was recognized recently as the “Technical Innovation of the Year” at the prestigious 2008 HazardEx awards. The award recognizes and celebrates professional excellence in the hazardous area sector of industry. The ADM removes complexity from FOUNDATION fieldbus installations, and is unique because it is able to bring control to the fieldbus by monitoring the fieldbus physical layer, while creating transparency and easy network evaluation.

The ADM displays detailed information 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.

A mobile ADM model is also available, providing the exact segment and individual device data needed for analysis of the fieldbus physical layer. Intermittent segment malfunctions can be traced without the need for a permanent connection. Passive input circuits and an external power supply leave the physical layer untouched.

For more information, visit the Pepperl+Fuchs Website.

Phoenix Contact’s modular approach called ‘breakthrough’

Phoenix ContactPhoenix Contact’s breakthrough modular approach to fieldbus physical layer components not only provides infrastructure connection between the process fieldbus controller and field devices, it allows for future expansion without disrupting communication. The concept is said to combine Phoenix Contact’s competencies in industrial electronic packaging and data communications to deliver unique, high-value solutions.

The modular technology eliminates the need to over-engineer a system. Instead, a user may specify only what is needed with confidence that future additions can be made with ease when using the Phoenix Contact fieldbus infrastructure system.

Modular segment protectors for FOUNDATION fieldbus and Profibus PA provide:

  • System expansion without disrupting the total system's communication;
  • Hot-swappability for easy segment expansion and maintenance;
  • External mechanical terminator for error-free termination;
  • LEDs for fieldbus status and fault indication; and
  • Significant space savings on the rail: 5.25 mm per spur for 10 spurs.

Isolated FOUNDATION fieldbus power conditioners feature:

  • High efficiency so that power supplies require no space between them in horizontal or vertical mounting;
  • DIN rail installation with T-bus connectors for power distribution;
  • Shared input between modules based on the T-bus system to reduce wiring efforts; and
  • Input of 19.2-35 V and output of 25 V, 360 mA.

For more information, visit the Phoenix Contact Website.

Make Ethernet networks tough as control system, RuggedCom advises

Rugged.comIt pays to use the proper products, suggests RuggedCom. Processes such as a refinery or an electrical substation are continuous and can’t be turned off. They don’t tolerate problems well. Here’s some advice:

You have a new Ethernet-based DCS and are looking at the network requirements, taking stock of what is needed: environmental requirements, shock and vibration protection, protection of the power and data ports from voltage bursts and surges, size of the space to install switches. It does not pay to short the DCS to save a few dollars on the network by using Ethernet products that are not industrial. A single outage could more than pay for the cost difference of an industrial Ethernet network.

The D in DCS means distributed. Using a DCS with a centralized Ethernet network and home running all the cables increases installation costs and the risk of outages due to faulty or damaged cables. Distribute the network the same way you would distribute the control system and save on cabling costs. Putting the Ethernet switches local to the system locations and providing redundancy between the switches lets the system survive cabling issues without disrupting the process. Fewer long run cables are required and the local connections, for the most part, are inexpensive-to-install patch cables.

For more information, visit the RuggedCom Website.

return to top

SAIT offers Fieldbus-certified professional training courses

SAITSAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) will be offering the following FOUNDATION fieldbus certified professional (FFCP) certificate courses in May and June 2008:

  • Essentials for Instrumentation Professionals INST-110 (May 7, 2008/June 18, 2008)
  • Discovery for Instrumentation Professionals INST-115 (May 8-9, 2008/June 19-20, 2008)
  • Practices for Systems Integrators INST-117 (May 12-14, 2008/June 23-25, 2008)

Ask us about our spring promotion: Buy two courses, get a third course free.

For more information, contact SAIT Corporate Training by phone at 1-403-210-4453, toll-free at 1-866-884-7117, by email at Training@sait.ca, or visit the SAIT Website.

return to top

Softing claims ‘world’s smallest’ fieldbus communication module

SoftingSofting reports its new Fieldbus Kit 2 (FBK-2) is the world’s smallest communication module. An off-the-shelf, proven solution for the rapid development of FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and Profibus-PA field devices for intrinsically safe (IS) and non-intrinsically safe environments, the FBK-2 is designed to seamlessly integrate with an existing analog/HART slave device to create a complete fieldbus product. At 40 x 40 mm, the module is small enough to fit into most existing device housings.

The FBK-2 provides a serial Modbus/RTU interface and a HART interface to bridge existing devices into the H1 or PA world. Ready-to-use hardware incurs no additional costs for fieldbus physical-layer testing. The board is designed according to the specifications of the Fieldbus Foundation and Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) and is ready to pass all necessary conformance testing.

The FBK-2 will be qualified for these certifications:

  • ATEX (Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosibles)
  • Installation in hazardous areas of Zone 1, explosion Group IIC/IIB. NOTE: Outputs may enter Ex-Zone 0 areas.

Learn more by visiting the Softing Website.

return to top

New Softing firmware boosts gateway performance

Softing’s latest firmware version, V1.02, for its FOUNDATION fieldbus to Modbus/TCP Gateway FG-100 FF/M boosts the performance of this already high-performing device.

FOUNDATION fieldbus is one of the fastest growing technologies in the process automation industry. Control system manufacturers (for example, PLC vendors) are facing the challenge of building complex and expensive interfaces for their products to participate in this emerging market. Softing’s FOUNDATION fieldbus to Modbus/TCP gateway represents an efficient, economical solution for control system manufacturers who want to avoid time-consuming and expensive development efforts to create a dedicated H1 interface for their devices.

The certified FG-100 FF/M offers one Modbus/TCP port connected to the control device and up to four H1 ports that connect to H1 field devices. The gateway includes function blocks that map process data retrieved from connected H1 devices to standard Modbus holding registers (4x Registers). A PLC controls H1 devices simply by accessing the holding registers in the FG-100 FF/M. The integrated Web interface provides a convenient way to verify current process data. In addition, the Web interface can be used to configure the FG-100 FF/M to act as a Modbus/TCP client.

Learn more by visiting the Softing Website.

return to top


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