Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA, 13 February, 2015 — The FieldComm Group has announced that IDX Academy, the South African industrial communications training centre based in Johannesburg, has been successful in the rigorous certification process required to become a site that offers fieldbus training courses certified under the FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Certified Training Programme (FCTP). This programme establishes uniform standards for fieldbus end user educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.
IDX Academy is the first certified FOUNDATION Fieldbus training site on the African continent. Eight engineers from Angola LNG passed the inaugural five-day FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Technical Specialist course held on campus last month, with a further nine Angola LNG engineers due to attend the second course in March. The successful students are now proficient in the installation, maintenance, repair, and trouble-shooting of FOUNDATION Fieldbus networks and systems. Certified students may be included in the Student Registry on the FieldComm Group website.
The certification of IDX Academy is the first FCTP accreditation since the joining of the Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation was completed, with the new FieldComm Group becoming operational on January 1, 2015. The opportunity to incorporate certified HART technology training is being planned alongside the current certified training centres.
The dedicated FOUNDATION Fieldbus training rigs at IDX Academy utilises host systems, devices and components from several FieldComm Group members including Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Eaton/MTL, Honeywell, National Instruments, Pepperl+Fuchs, Smar, Softing, StoneL, Turck and Wika.
Chuck Carter, certified FOUNDATION Fieldbus instructor, was instrumental in developing the certified curriculum at IDX. He teaches the FOUNDATION Fieldbus courses and will train additional trainers to ensure ongoing sustainable certified training expertise. Carter has been an instructor in instrumentation and process technology since 1976 and was centre director for over 16 years at the FCTP accredited Lee College Fieldbus Training Centre, Baytown, Texas, USA, before relocating to South Africa.
David Bean, who heads up IDX, commented, “Certification is important for the IDX Academy because we are now formally recognised by the FieldComm Group as the high quality training centre that we are. Our customers expect the best and this gives them a guarantee that the content of our FOUNDATION Fieldbus courses and the course materials are up to date and delivered by an expert.”
He added, “We are looking forward to adding world class FOUNDATION Fieldbus training opportunities to the solid base of the other industrial communications products, services and training we already offer across the sub-Saharan region and, of course, we’d be keen to extend our capabilities further with the addition of HART technology training”.
The provision of a certified training centre in the African continent has been a primary objective of the FieldComm Group Southern African Marketing Committee for some time. Marc Van Pelt, FieldComm Group Vice President EMEA Operations, is delighted that IDX Academy has gained its accreditation. “I am proud that we have reached our goal of providing certified technical training and support to FOUNDATION Fieldbus users and potential users across the region and my thanks go to everyone involved throughout the comprehensive process. It was an honour to present the certificate of accreditation to David Bean and his team.”
The FieldComm Group’s Director Technical Services, Sean Vincent, welcomed the addition of another certified establishment. He commented, “Effective and standardised training of plant personnel is the key to successful design and overall project implementation of an advanced technology such as FOUNDATION Fieldbus“.
He continued, “This certification programme ensures a very comprehensive, vendor-neutral approach to training. Process end users want to maximise the benefits of their fieldbus instrumentation and control system investments—and experience has shown that training of operators, engineers and technicians is essential to getting the most out of the technology.”
High resolution photographs are available for download: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fieldbusfoundation/sets/72157650351955027/
About the FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Training Programme (FCTP)
The FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Training Programme includes rigorous procedures that educational institutions must follow in order to gain certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centres are required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with fieldbus technology. They are also audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits; device replacements; commands, icons, menus and screen designs of different software packages; and communication, scheduling and function block assignments enabling configuration.
In addition, certified instructors are audited to see if they have achieved specified FieldComm Group training goals. Instructors 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.
The FCTP is intended to raise the visibility and prestige of institutions offering certified FOUNDATION Fieldbus training, and ensure that the instructors delivering the courses are skilled, knowledgeable and technically competent. Through certification, the programme demonstrates to prospective end user students that fieldbus training centres, and their instructors, have been thoroughly evaluated based on strict criteria, and have the necessary qualifications to provide the very best training available. Only certified institutions are permitted to use the official FCTP logo.
Around the world, institutions currently certified under the FCTP programme include: Fieldbus Center at Lee College, United States; Trine University, United States; SAIT Polytechnic, Canada; STC Group - Brielle, The Netherlands, University of Miskolc, Hungary; IDX Academy, South Africa; Waseda University, Japan; and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Thailand. Other training centres participating in the programme include: Sinopec Yanshan, China.
The FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Training Programme currently offers three levels of certification, and others may be added in the future. The current certifications include FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Professional, FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Support Specialist, and FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Technical Specialist.
For more information about certified training and FOUNDATION Fieldbus training sites, please visit the Education/End User Certified Training section of the FieldComm Group’s website.
About IDX and IDX Academy
IDX Academy is the training division of Industrial Data Xchange, a South African IT company based in Fourways, Johannesburg, that provides industrial communications expertise and related products to sub-Saharan Africa. Dedicated to providing competence in industrial fieldbuses, IDX Academy has offered expert training and support in numerous industrial fieldbuses and protocols for South Africa and surrounding countries over several years. For more information about IDX and IDX Academy, visit their website, www.idx.co.za.
About the FieldComm Group
The FieldComm Group is a global standards-based organisation consisting of leading process end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations that work together to direct the development, incorporation and implementation of new and overlapping technologies and serves as the source for FDI technology. The FieldComm Group’s mission is to develop, manage and promote global standards for integrating digital devices into automation system architectures while protecting process-automation investments in HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication technologies. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of the technologies. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldcommgroup.org.