The Fieldbus Foundation French Marketing Committee was delighted to participate in the recent study and exchange day organised in Paris by EXERA, the French association of end users of measurement, control and automation equipment. On November 18, over 40 industry experts representing 25 end user companies, suppliers and associations took part in the day which specifically addressed the topic "Fieldbus Networks: Interoperability and Interchangeability of Digital Instrumentation - Commercial Justification or Real Technological Opportunity?".
Responding to a request from its members, EXERA undertook an evaluation of the interoperability, interchangeability and openness of a Foundation fieldbus system installed at IRA and a Profibus DP/PA system installed at AGILICOM in order to verify the real status of the technology offered by host system and device manufacturers. Following the evaluations, EXERA gained a wealth of data relating to the level of interoperability and interchangeability of devices from multiple suppliers; an understanding of the technical features and functionalities offered by different manufacturers and fieldbus technologies; and the impact of these technologies on the control & instrumentation function.
With a focus on end user experiences and the technical evaluation of the two fieldbus trials, the programme was an excellent way for end users to compare their experiences and for suppliers to present their solutions and also to receive first hand feedback from users of their devices or technologies. Presenters included M. Christian Dosset, EXERA; M. Georges Couval, Arkema; M. Etienne Bouet, Lubrizol; M. Nicolas Bernat, Air Liquide; IRA; M Claude Pelletier, EXERA; Mme Claudie Damade, Fieldbus Foundation French Marketing Committee; M. Jean-Yves Bois, Agilicom.
Claudie Damade, was delighted with the format of the day, "It was a mutually beneficial day for end users and members of EXERA as well as for suppliers of fieldbus technology and systems. The presentations were factual and addressed the technical needs and experiences of users as well as an honest account of how fieldbus technology suppliers were responding to these needs."