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Fieldbus Foundation Outlines Technology Advancements

Latest developments to benefit automation suppliers and end users in Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil, July 12, 2007 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing as part of a fieldbus educational seminar held at the Renaissance Hotel in São Paulo, Brazil, today outlined the latest advancements to its open, non-proprietary technology, Foundation fieldbus.  The foundation reported on developments involving Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and Field Device Integration (FDI), Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF), HSE Remote I/O, wireless technology, and host testing & registration.

Fieldbus Foundation Marketing Manager Bill Tatum conducted the press briefing, during which he described an agreement by the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) and FDT Group to combine efforts and work towards a single, unified solution for device integration compatible with both automation technologies.  As part of the agreement, the FDT Group has joined the ECT as its newest member.  The founding members of the ECT include the Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, Profibus Nutzer Organisation (PNO), and OPC Foundation.

The ECT and FDT organizations will work together to finalize a device integration protocol and achieve a common framework meeting the requirements of all parties.  Future technology developments will use a subset of the OPC Unified Architecture (UA) within a client-server architecture.  In addition, both groups have agreed to consolidate the advantages of EDDL and Field Device Tool (FDT) solutions into a single standard technology.

Tatum indicated the Fieldbus Foundation's Foundation for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) demonstration project has been expanded to include multiple end user locations around the world.  Plans now call for field demonstrations of Foundation SIF technology at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; and Chevron, Richmond, California, USA.

The field demonstrations will promote adoption of Foundation SIF technology in the process industries.  The project includes development of SIF best practices and guidelines, as well as training and interoperability test tools for control manufacturers and end users.

The Fieldbus Foundation has also launched a new initiative to develop a specification for standardizing the interface of remote I/O into the Foundation architecture.  The new specification will define the structure for interfacing remote I/O over the Fieldbus Foundation's tightly integrated High Speed Ethernet (HSE) control backbone.  The addition of remote I/O further enables the integration of process instrumentation, both brownfield and greenfield, into the Foundation architecture.

Additionally, the Fieldbus Foundation is supporting the development of advanced wireless technology for the industrial measurement and control environment.  Wireless devices can reduce user installation costs while facilitating connection to points physically or economically difficult to access.  Wireless networks allow easy access to additional measuring and actuation points for process supervision and control, process optimization, plant and personnel safety, and maintenance.

Foundation fieldbus HSE is already being employed in wireless applications using IEEE 802.11.  Wireless Ethernet radios transmit HSE messages between linking devices and host systems.

According to Tatum, the Fieldbus Foundation has issued a limited copyright to ISA for the wireless use cases and requirements for development of the SP100 standard.  The SP100 effort does not include the User Layer or a physical connection to a host system.

In addition, the Fieldbus Foundation has the availability of the FF-569 Version 2.0 Host Interoperability Support Test Profile and Procedures Specification.  The new release includes updated Foundation fieldbus host profiles and features defining interoperability requirements and test procedures leading to host registration.  Hosts successfully completing registration testing will be authorized to bear the foundation's official product registration symbol.

Developed by the Fieldbus Foundation's System Integration and Maintenance (SIM) Working Group, FF-569 Version 2.0 is the basis for the foundation's new Host Profile Test & Registration Program.  The existing Host Interoperability Support Test (HIST) program will be superseded by the host registration program.  

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


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