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Fieldbus Foundation Announces New FOUNDATION SIF White Paper

AUSTIN, Texas, October 29, 2008 — The Fieldbus Foundation today announced a new white paper on Foundation Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) is available from its website.  Authored by the ARC Advisory Group, a leading research and advisory firm for manufacturing, energy, and supply chain solutions based in Dedham, MA, this paper describes the implications of Foundation SIF (FF-SIF) technology for the global plant safety system market and end users.

According to the ARC document, entitled Foundation Fieldbus Safety Instrumented Functions Forge the Future of Process Safety, successful beta testing of Foundation SIF means big changes in the way automation end users will approach Safety Instrumented System (SIS) implementations in process industry plants.  In May 2008, the Fieldbus Foundation conducted a successful live demonstration and press day for Foundation SIF technology at Shell Global Solutions in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  Demonstration attendees heard several leading energy companies describe the use of Foundation SIF in a wide range of industrial safety system applications.

In the new white paper, Larry O'Brien, ARC Advisory Group's research director - Process Automation, describes how Foundation SIF is a critical part of the Foundation fieldbus automation infrastructure.  Foundation fieldbus, with its industry-proven distributed function blocks and open communications protocol, is an ideal platform for advancing standards-based solutions for plant SIFs.  Foundation SIF enables end users to realize significant reductions in their total cost of ownership by extending fieldbus benefits into plant safety systems.

O'Brien commented, "It is very clear that end users want this technology and are striving to include FF-SIF systems in their project specifications.  Many major end users will probably be specifying FF-SIF systems for their new projects starting in 2011."

The white paper reviews the history and development path of Foundation SIF technology, and provides insights into topics such as: SIF product registration, conformance to international standards, diagnostics functions and benefits, and future challenges.  It also outlines key advantages of Foundation SIF at the safety system layer.

According to O'Brien, "FF-SIF meets the IEC 61508 standard for functional safety systems up to SIL 3, and allows users to build safety systems that adhere to the IEC 61511 standard for functional safety in the process industries.  The protocol has already received TÜV approval, and suppliers are going to start submitting their products for TÜV approval over the next year.  This means that we should see actual products that are certified by TÜV available commercially some time in 2010."

To download the free Foundation SIF white paper, click here.

About ARC Advisory Group

Founded in 1986, ARC has grown to become the Thought Leader in Manufacturing and Supply Chain solutions.  No matter how complex your business issues, our analysts have the expert industry knowledge and first-hand experience to help you find the best answer.  Further Information can be obtained from

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 organizations 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


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