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Fieldbus Foundation Conducts 2008 General Assembly

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation today conducted a press briefing during their 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, and made the following announcements:

300m2 Fieldbus Foundation Stand At Interkama 2008, Hannover, Germany

Fieldbus Foundation Announces Demonstration Plans For Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF)

Fieldbus Foundation Cites 2007 Milestones At Annual General Assembly

Fieldbus Foundation, HART and Profibus Organisations Continue Wireless Development Work

Fieldbus Foundation Reports HSE-RIO Project Gaining Momentum 

Fieldbus Foundation Reflects Over Positive Marketing Achievements In EMEA Region

Fieldbus Foundation Supports Development Of Field Device Integration (FDI) Solution

Fieldbus Foundation Validating Diagnostic Profiles Based On NAMUR NE-107 Recommendation

 

To download these releases, please click here

 


300m2 Fieldbus Foundation Stand At Interkama 2008, Hannover, Germany

Antwerp, Belgium, February 27, 2008 - The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today unveiled its plans to exhibit at the forthcoming Interkama 2008, the international process automation trade exhibition and conference, that forms part of the annual Hannover Fair in Germany, from April 21-25.  

As in previous years, the Fieldbus Foundation will occupy one of the largest stand areas at the show with a prime 300m² island location A10 in Hall 7 - the hall dedicated to process automation technologies.

Coordinated by the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee, the stand layout will feature purpose built kiosks demonstrating FOUNDATION technology solutions and applications through the static and operational displays of registered devices, host systems, tools and services available from at least 23 of the world's leading automation equipment suppliers. Experts from all participating companies will be available to help visiting end users, integrators, contractors and engineers and discuss the capabilities of the technology in general terms or in the context of specific applications.

Marc Van Pelt, Vice-President - Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, is looking forward to another successful Interkama show. "The Fieldbus Foundation stand this year will highlight the growth of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology as the global technology-of-choice for process automation in both brownfield and greenfield projects across the world. We believe that FOUNDATION has become THE standard - providing a total control system infrastructure that enables significant plant performance and economic improvements." He added, "In addition to the technology demonstration at this year's Interkama show, the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee is planning to host a training seminar for end users and contactors in Basel, Switzerland, later this year."

Drinks, including a range of specialist teas, will be available throughout each day to all visitors to the stand and a daily "Happy Hour" from 17.00-18.00 will take place during which Fieldbus Foundation promotional giveaways will be distributed.

A briefing to the trade press will take place on the Fieldbus Foundation stand on Tuesday 22nd April from 15.00-16.00hr, followed by a reception. Marc Van Pelt, Fieldbus Foundation Vice-President - EMEA Operations, will provide an update of several aspects of FOUNDATION technology and their impact in the EMEA region including an update of the Fieldbus Foundation Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) development project, progress made by the EDDL cooperation team and the newly established wireless cooperation team. He will also highlight some of the Fieldbus Foundation's EMEA marketing activities and German End User initiatives.

To date, participating members at Interkama 2008 include: ABB, BIS Prozesstechnik, Bürkert, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus International, Hans Turck, Hach Lange, Honeywell, Invensys, Leoni Kerpen, Krohne, Masoneilan Dresser, MTL Instruments, Northwire, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. Stahl, Rockwell Automation, Samson, Siemens, Softing and Yokogawa.

For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee and its activities visit the Fieldbus Foundation's website www.fieldbus.org, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment.  For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

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Fieldbus Foundation Announces Demonstration Plans For Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF)

Demos will promote adoption of FOUNDATION SIF technology in the process industries

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today announced plans for FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) demonstrations at multiple end user sites around the world.  Demonstrations of SIF technology will be conducted at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; and Chevron, Houston, Texas, USA.

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

At the Shell demonstration in Amsterdam, planned for May 2008, engineers will construct a DCS-controlled demo rig with graphic panels showing safety devices and SIF functions, including an operator interface for Partial Stroke Testing (PST) and asset management diagnostic information. The purpose of this demonstration is to test safety valves with partial stroking capability, as well as various pressure and temperature devices.  The FOUNDATION SIF installation will include three fieldbus segments with hardware from three different suppliers.  Engineers will evaluate system integration capabilities with asset management and Basic Process Control System (BPCS) platforms.

The process industries requested the FOUNDATION SIF solution in order to realize the CAPEX and OPEX benefits of open and interoperable fieldbus technology in plant safety systems.  In response to this request, the Fieldbus Foundation developed a SIF protocol enabling end users to adopt powerful fieldbus diagnostics while maintaining the protection of a SIL3 environment. This clearly indicates the value of the comprehensive, forward-thinking design of FOUNDATION technology.

No changes were required to the existing FOUNDATION fieldbus protocol to add the SIF protocol extensions.  With its industry-proven distributed function blocks and open communications design, FOUNDATION technology is an ideal infrastructure for advancing standards-based safety instrumented functions.  The Fieldbus Foundation developed its SIF specifications in cooperation with the world’s leading automation end users, controls manufacturers, and safety experts.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s SIF protocol meets the rigorous requirements of the IEC 61508 standard for functional safety of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic safety-related systems, up to, and including, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.  In addition, end users can build systems per the IEC 61511 standard covering SIF functional safety in the process industries (IEC 61511 is available as the ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 standard).

The Fieldbus Foundation worked closely with TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH, Automation, Software and Information Technology, a global, independent and accredited testing agency, to achieve Protocol Type Approval for its SIF specifications.  With TÜV Protocol Type Approval, FOUNDATION technology has been extended to provide a comprehensive solution for SIFs.

Companies participating in the SIF demonstration working group include: ABB, BIFFI, BP, Chevron, Dresser-Masonelian, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus Diagnostics, HIMA, Honeywell, Invensys, Magnetrol, Metso Automation, Moore Industries, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Risknowlogy B.V., Saudi Aramco, Siemens, Shell Global Solutions, Smar, Softing, TopWorx, TÜV Rheinland, TÜV SÜD, Westlock Controls, Yamatake, and Yokogawa.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment.  For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

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Fieldbus Foundation Cites 2007 Milestones At Annual General Assembly

Technology developments and growing industry adoption marked busy year

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today announced it achieved many important milestones during 2007, including new technology developments and 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 percent market share in the process industries, and predicted a continued double-digit growth rate for the technology.

At its 2008 General Assembly, themed "Why FOUNDATION Has Become The Standard," the Fieldbus Foundation cited progress on many key 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 foundation’s SIF working group will conduct a series of technology demonstrations at end user sites around the world, including Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; and Chevron, Houston, Texas, USA.

The Fieldbus Foundation also joined the HART Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO) in a cooperative effort to 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.

It also announced the availability of new temperature transducer block and H1 cable test specifications.  The 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 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 over 300 automation end users.  The organization also announced the establishment of 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.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment.  For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

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Fieldbus Foundation, HART and Profibus Organisations Continue Wireless Development Work

Leading automation organisations collaborating on wireless interface specification

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today announced ongoing progress in its cooperative initiative with the HART Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO) to develop wireless technology used in the manufacturing and process industries. The wireless project is an extension of the organisations' successful collaboration on Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and another step to deliver consistent functionality to automation end users.

As part of the wireless initiative, the three industry organisations are developing a specification for a common interface to a wireless gateway.  This work is based on the WirelessHARTTM technology of the HART Communication Foundation and the emerging ISA SP100.11a standard. The project includes development of use cases, requirements, and specifications for wireless communication with intelligent field devices in process measurement and control applications in the automation industries.

As was done with their EDDL cooperation, the Fieldbus Foundation, HART and PNO groups are also developing a common set of compliance guidelines for incorporation into their respective product registration processes.

The introduction of wireless technology into the manufacturing and process industries requires suppliers, end users, and international standards bodies to address technical issues related to wireless applications. The Fieldbus Foundation, HART and PNO are working together in the interest of establishing a common, open standard while insuring complete compatibility with the existing wired versions of each participant's technology. The intent of the collaboration is to facilitate the acceptance of wireless technology in industrial automation.

For future updates on this project, please visit www.fieldbus.org.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies. Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

About the HART Communication Foundation

The HART Communication Foundation (www.hartcomm.org) is an international, not-for-profit, membership organisation supported by more than 200 companies worldwide. Founded in 1993, the Foundation is the technology owner and central authority on the HART Protocol and provides global support for application of the HART technology. The Foundation manages and controls the HART standards including new technology developments and enhancements that benefit and support the needs of the industry. HART is the leading communication technology for smart process instruments with more than 24 million devices installed worldwide. Visit their web site at www.hartcomm.org.

About the Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO)

The Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO) was founded in 1989 as a non-profit organisation.  The PNO is owner of the PROFIBUS and PROFINET technology and responsible for further developments (www.profibus.com). PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI) is an international umbrella organisation offering regional support for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. With 25 regional organisations all over the world, 1,400 member companies and about 2,500 different products, PI is currently the world's largest interest group for industrial communication covering all key markets of industrial automation like factory automation, process automation, motion control and safety-related applications. In total, more than 20 million PROFIBUS products are currently installed worldwide.  Visit their web site at www.profibus.com.

 

 

Fieldbus Foundation Reports HSE-RIO Project Gaining Momentum

Addition of remote I/O tightens device integration within Foundation infrastructure

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today announced it is moving forward on the development of a specification standardising the interface of remote I/O into the open, integrated Foundation automation infrastructure.

The new High Speed Ethernet Remote I/O (HSE-RIO) specification will define the structure for interfacing remote I/O over the Fieldbus Foundation's tightly integrated HSE control backbone. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within the FOUNDATION fieldbus architecture.

The HSE-RIO project has gained momentum in recent months. The Fieldbus Foundation's End User Advisory Council (EUAC) completed its review of use cases for the HSE-RIO specification and submitted its comments to the foundation's Technical Steering Committee (TSC). EUAC review, which involves leading process automation end users from around the world, is a vital step in the process of developing new areas of FOUNDATION technology.  For example, end user feedback led to the development of HSE using COTS (commercial off the shelf) equipment and the FOUNDATION Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) project. Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney termed the HSE-RIO initiative "an important step forward" providing operational and business benefits for automation end users.  "Device networks offer communication capabilities, but do not provide a complete automation infrastructure.  FOUNDATION fieldbus delivers process integrity, business intelligence, and open scalable integration in a managed environment, making it a true system infrastructure.  Users will realise CAPEX and OPEX benefits from incorporating remote I/O in this technology."

Remote I/O working group members include: ABB, APAT, Azonix Corp., Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser PCPS, Microcyber Inc., MooreHawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. Stahl, RuggedCom, Smar, Softing AG, Sterling Valley Associates, Turck, Yamatake and Yokogawa.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment.  For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

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Fieldbus Foundation Reflects Over Positive Marketing Achievements In EMEA Region

Antwerp, Belgium, February 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today reflected on its marketing achievements throughout the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region during 2007. Key elements of the 2007 strategy included the continued establishment of regional marketing committees, an extensive program of end user training seminars and participation in international and regional trade exhibitions and conferences.

The development of four new marketing committees during 2007 represented a significant step forward for the Fieldbus Foundation’s EMEA Steering Committee. New committees were established in the Commonwealth of Independent States & Baltic States (CIS&B), Norway, South Africa and Sweden. These new groups joined eight other marketing committees already active in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe (CEE).

Each group is committed to the promotion of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology throughout their region through a range of local activities including end user seminars, supplier training, trade show participation and technology demonstrations. All committee members are active suppliers of FOUNDATION devices, host systems, tools and services, and represent many of the world’s leading automation equipment suppliers - working together with the support of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee and Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council to implement the Fieldbus Foundation’s EMEA marketing strategy.

As a cornerstone of the Fieldbus Foundation’s EMEA marketing plan and that of each regional marketing group, an extensive program of training seminars/conferences was held throughout the year that included events in Middlesbrough and Manchester, UK; Marl, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine; Stein, Assen and Spijkenisse, The Netherlands; Lille, France; Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East. Seminar delegates typically include both current and prospective engineering contractors and users of FOUNDATION technology who are able to enjoy technical presentations on the technology and its implementation, practical demonstrations and panel discussions in local languages.

Taking the benefits of FOUNDATION technology to a wider audience, EMEA marketing committee members participated in numerous exhibitions and specialist conferences in 2007 including the Process Management Academy, Düsseldorf, Germany; Interkama 07, Hannover, Germany; Multaqa 07, Bahrain; Fieldbus in Industry conference, Sandefjord, Norway; PA Messen, Oslo, Norway; Danish Automation Society conference, Korsør, Denmark.

Marc Van Pelt, Vice-President - Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, welcomed the progress made by his colleagues during the year. “I am delighted that we have four new marketing groups on board. As process automation users throughout the EMEA region continue to embrace the technology - it is critical that we support them in their local language wherever possible.” He continued, “The ARC Advisory Group predictions that the Fieldbus Foundation’s market leadership will increase at a double-digit rate means exciting times are ahead for us all and we are committed to supporting this growth in whatever way we can.”

With an increased focus on the benefits of FOUNDATION technology as an automation infrastructure for operational excellence, the emphasis on end user focused marketing activities will continue throughout 2008. EMEA marketing committees are formulating their plans for 2008 which currently include seminars in Stockholm, Sweden; St Petersburg and Moscow, Russia; Reading, UK; Cork, Ireland; Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Middle East; Hungary; Martigues, France.

In addition to the regional seminars the marketing committees will continue with its support and participation in several EMEA trade shows during 2008 including: Interkama 2008, Hannover, Germany; HET Instrument, Utrecht, The Netherlands; DCS 14, Miscolc-Lillafüred, Hungary; Process Teknik, Gothenburg, Sweden.

As part of the Fieldbus Foundation’s FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) demonstration project, which has been expanded to include multiple end user locations around the world, the EMEA Steering Committee is delighted to be hosting demonstrations at two European sites - Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The project includes demonstrations to promote the adoption of FOUNDATION SIF technology in the process industries and the development of SIF best practices and guidelines, training and interoperability test tools for control system manufacturers and end users.

For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation and its activities visit the Fieldbus Foundation’s website www.fieldbus.org, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies. Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

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Fieldbus Foundation Supports Development Of Field Device Integration (FDI) Solution

Single, unified solution to consolidate advantages of EDDL and FDT technologies

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today announced its support for efforts by the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) and FDT Group to develop a single, unified Field Device Integration (FDI) solution compatible with both technologies.

The historic ECT/FDT agreement, announced by representatives of both organisations at Interkama 2007 in Hannover, Germany, laid the groundwork for developing a common device integration technology benefiting both instrumentation end users and manufacturers. The agreement provides a unified path forward for device integration that is based on use case requirements, incorporates the best aspects of each technology, and eliminates redundancies where they may exist. It also does away with double efforts for customers and vendors, and preserves backward compatibility and operating system independence.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney praised the ECT and FDT organisations for joining forces to achieve an open, unified FDI solution. “The FDI project is a key priority for the global automation community, which is implementing intelligent instrumentation technology at a growing pace at plants and factories around the world,” said Timoney. “Working together, major control equipment suppliers and user organizations are developing a device integration framework that will meet the requirements of diverse industry stakeholders.”

The FDT Group joined the ECT as part of the 2007 agreement, and the two organisations are working together to 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 FDT technologies.

Ultimately, the FDI solution will ensure compatibility with existing EDDL- and DTM-based Device Descriptions (DDs). The solution will be applicable to any field device communication technology, as well as all hierarchical and heterogeneous network topologies

About the EDDL Cooperation Team

In 2003, the three leading field device foundations, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO), signed a cooperative agreement to develop a common specification for graphical visualisation and persistent data storage enabled by Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL). All three of the organisations utilise Electronic Device Descriptions (EDDs) for parameterisation and description of their devices. In 2004, OPC joined the cooperation team. With EDDL™, an established IEC standard, it made sense for the OPC specification to base its data structure on that same standard and work with the other organisations to develop a standard interface to the Unified Architecture (UA). The four organisations signed an agreement in 2004 to cooperate in the development of that interface. The Steering Committee is comprised of the presidents of each foundation, plus one representative from each organisation’s membership. The organisations will rotate the chairmanship of the committee from year to year.

About the FDT Group AISBL™

The FDT Group AISBL is a non-profit corporation consisting of over 57 leading worldwide companies active in process and factory automation. The major purpose of the FDT Group is to provide an open and non-proprietary interface for the integration of field devices with engineering, automation and asset management systems. In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations 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.fdtgroup.org.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies. Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

 


 

Fieldbus Foundation Validating Diagnostic Profiles Based On NAMUR NE-107 Recommendation

ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2008 - The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, today announced it has begun final validation of a FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostic profiles specification based on guidelines established by the NAMUR Working Group 2.6.  NAMUR is an international process industries end user group headquartered in Germany.

Since May 2006, the Fieldbus Foundation and NAMUR have collaborated on fieldbus performance enhancements, such as extended device diagnostics, which both parties identified as important to automation end users in the global markets.  A key objective of this work was to unify the integration of fieldbus self-monitoring data and ensure the availability of valuable diagnostic information to process plant operators, engineers and technicians.

Using the power of FOUNDATION fieldbus, and considering the NAMUR NE107 (Self Monitoring and Diagnosis of Field Devices) recommendations for diagnostic profiles support, the Fieldbus Foundation developed a profiles specification enhancing organization and integration of device diagnostics within FOUNDATION fieldbus systems.  The specification will also help ensure future fieldbus devices are consistent with NAMUR guidelines.

Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation manager, fieldbus products, commented, "This profiles specification builds upon the robust diagnostic features already provided by FOUNDATION fieldbus devices.  At the same time, it allows end users to harness enhanced Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) technology to achieve true, actionable diagnostics."

The new diagnostic profiles specification identifies "role-based diagnostics" for fieldbus equipment and defines a consistent set of parameters for diagnostic alarming.  This approach supports categorization of diagnostics according to NE107, thus ensuring the right diagnostic information is available to the right person-at the right time.  In addition, it allows diagnostics to be applied, as most appropriate, for a particular plant application (such as process control engineering or asset management maintenance).

Mitschke added, "Cooperation between the Fieldbus Foundation and NAMUR enabled all parties to develop a greater understanding of end user requirements during this period of rapid fieldbus adoption.  Ultimately, users will benefit from our collaboration thanks to easier diagnostic configuration, greater application flexibility, and fewer spurious alarms."

In September 2007, the Fieldbus Foundation began testing prototype devices and systems in order to validate the diagnostic profiles specification.  It also developed test cases allowing the diagnostic profiles to be used with the current FOUNDATION fieldbus Interoperability Test Kit (ITK).  Final release of the specification for implementation by instrumentation and control system suppliers is expected in the second quarter of 2008.

For future updates, please visit www.fieldbus.org.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies.  Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment.  For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

About NAMUR

NAMUR is an international user association of automation technology in the process industries.  The organization is engaged in pooling experiences and compiling aids among its member companies; setting user requirements on new devices, systems and technologies; and participating in national and international standardization bodies.  NAMUR is active in the fields of measurement systems, process analytics, process control, communications systems, operations management, operational logistics systems, and electrical engineering. Visit their web site at www.namur.de.

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