New specification release supports advanced field diagnostics capabilities
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 4, 2009 — The Fieldbus Foundation has announced that its Foundation fieldbus Positioner Transducer Block final specification is now available. The new specification release supports the implementation of advanced field diagnostics capabilities benefiting end-users of Foundation fieldbus technology.
The Fieldbus Foundation's specifications define the open, non-proprietary Foundation fieldbus protocol. The technology provides an all-digital, two-way, multi-drop communications link among intelligent field devices and automation systems. It serves as the Local Area Network (LAN) for instruments used in process automation, and has a built-in capability to distribute the control application across the network.
The latest Foundation fieldbus specification release includes:
FF-906 Positioner Transducer Block Final Specification (Version FS 1.0)
- FF-902 Transducer Block Common Structures (Version FS 1.2)
- FF-846 Device Coupler Test Specification Phase I (Version FS 1.1)
- AN-007 Device Replacement Application Note
- An-012 Mode Use in Transducer Block Application Note
- TN-017 Response to a CD Technical Note
The Foundation fieldbus Positioner Transducer Block Specification is a key resource supporting the organization and integration of advanced device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. The specification provides standard definitions for positioner transducer blocks, including an analog positioner for basic and complex device access, a discrete positioner for basic and complex device access, and a combination analog/discrete positioner for basic and complex device access. The specification also includes new parameter structure definitions for better data organization with fieldbus devices, including partial/full stroke test (PST/FST) of valves. The document conveniently groups parameters in function-based categories and offers a variety of helpful diagrams.
Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation product manager-fieldbus products, commented, “The new positioner transducer block specification provides a standardized way of defining device diagnostics for plant instrumentation, such as advanced valve packages. This capability is complimented by our existing field diagnostics technology, which provides a means of reporting these diagnostics to the end-user via asset management tools for use in condition based monitoring strategies.”
Mitschke continued, “Field diagnostics technology per the NAMUR NE107 recommendation offers a robust solution for implementing role-based diagnostics, meaning the right information is sent to the appropriate person—when they need it—without flooding operators, engineers and maintenance with nuisance alarms. Field diagnostics enhances user control and distribution of messages between field devices and host/asset management systems. This allows for faster response times as each message is presorted according to criticality, whether it is a process alarm or a maintenance alarm. Users can map alerts based on their particular device situation and its importance to the overall process.”
The Fieldbus Foundation has also released an updated version of its Foundation fieldbus Device Description (DD) Library, which provides standardized source code for all fieldbus blocks and parameters—making it easy for developers to build DDs for fieldbus instrumentation. Suppliers only need to implement custom blocks and other supplier-specific additional parameters. Furthermore, the DD Library promotes a standardized view of field device information across manufacturers, enabling consistent configuration by end users. The library is maintained to describe the most recent Foundation specification.
The latest DD Library Version 3.5 enhancements include:
- Additional Device Description Language (DDL) code to support the FF-906 Positioner Transducer Block Specification, as well as the capability revision in the AN-007 Device Replacement Application Note
- Additional DDL code for support of Complex Transducer Blocks
For more information about Foundation fieldbus specifications, please visit the Fieldbus Foundation's Specification Page. For details regarding the DD Library, please visit the Tools Page or e-mail
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 www.fieldbus.org.