AUSTIN, Texas, May 3, 2006 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing on April 25, 2006 at the INTERKAMA Trade Fair in Hannover, Germany, announced the establishment of a liaison relationship between the Fieldbus Foundation and Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus of NAMUR, the international process industries’ end user group based in Germany. This cooperation will focus on two key issues: grounding and shielding and device diagnostics profiles. These topics have been identified by both parties as areas that require further clarification and guidance – particularly benefiting end users within the process industries across the EMEA region.
The rapid adoption of Foundation fieldbus technology continues to extend globally across all industries and the Fieldbus Foundation is committed to ensuring that the technology delivers the capabilities and functionalities required by its users. The Fieldbus Foundation works closely with end users, systems integrators and engineering contractors through its End User Council initiatives and through the establishment of dedicated technical working groups to address the specific needs and requirements of certain end user groups. Representatives from key Fieldbus Foundation member companies, many of which are the world's leading automation suppliers, work together with members of the foundation’s technical staff and end user representatives to reach solutions to implementation issues raised by end user groups.
Stephen Mitschke, manager of fieldbus products at the Fieldbus Foundation, is leading a collaborative working group dedicated to the compilation of a guide that will help end users make an informed decision about "best practices" for the grounding and shielding of a fieldbus network. The issue is currently complex with several differing solutions supported by numerous guides, standards and industries. The optimum choice of solution depends upon several factors, including the nature of the application and the location of the installation. The new Fieldbus Foundation guide seeks to comply with the NAMUR Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus NA114 guideline, which is currently under development, and the international practice and options for grounding and shielding of fieldbus systems.
Also under the leadership of Stephen Mitschke, a second working group has been established to investigate the portfolio of self-check and diagnostics for field devices. This initiative will ensure that Foundation fieldbus devices are consistent with the NAMUR Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus NE107 guideline requiring fieldbus devices to deliver extensive diagnostics to ensure that optimum plant efficiencies can be achieved.
Marc Van Pelt, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Operations, is pleased that such a positive step forward has been taken. He said, "Fieldbus technology is taking a strong foothold in Germany and across the EMEA region. As one of the cornerstone activities to which the Fieldbus Foundation's EMEA Executive Advisory Council is committed, the cooperation between the Fieldbus Foundation and end user organizations such as NAMUR, represented by the NAMUR Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus, is a vital step and allows for a greater understanding of their needs and requirements and will further the rapid adoption that is taking place. This ensures the continued deliverance of sound technical capabilities and functionalities and enhances the benefits achievable by implementers of Foundation fieldbus."
About the Fieldbus Foundation
The Fieldbus Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation consisting of over 350 leading process and manufacturing automation companies worldwide whose major purpose is to provide an open and neutral environment for the development of a single, international, interoperable fieldbus. In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations are working together to develop the technology, provide development tools, support and training, coordinate field trials and demonstrations, and enable product interoperability. Visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.