The Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee welcomed over 100 participants to its fifth German Foundation Fieldbus Conference held at the Industriepark Höchst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on Thursday 28th January 2010.
After the welcome note by Dr. Raimund Sommer, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council, and Wolfgang Hoeferlin, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee, established Foundation fieldbus end users shared their experiences. Dr. Niels Kiupel, Evonik Industries AG, explained in his presentation why fieldbus has become the optimum form of communication across the plant. Herr Klaus Fahrner and Michael Rauscher of Nurinova/Celanese AG reviewed their six years applications experience of Foundation fieldbus and concluded that in future all new control and automation applications will implement Foundation technology. In addition to the end user program, Tim-Peter Henrichs, a member of the German marketing committee, updated delegates with the economic benefits of Control In The Field (CIF), an essential but still under-utilised function of Foundation fieldbus. The ARC Advisory Group recently launched a white paper "The Business Value Proposition of Control in the Field" following a quantitative study and evaluation.
The event was sponsored by: Bürkert, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Leoni, MTL Instruments, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. Stahl, Samson, Softing and Yokogawa. All sponsoring companies had table top exhibits throughout the conference with representatives available to discuss products and applications during break times. Thomas Kasten, a member of the EMEA Steering Committee, gave an overview of the key products and services offered by the exhibiting sponsors which helped to initiate informative discussions and exchanges between end users and suppliers.
This sharing of knowledge and experiences continued throughout the afternoon roundtable sessions. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a choice of two out of three parallel discussion groups on the subject areas of Tendering & Planning, Operation, Maintenance & Diagnostics, and Control in the Field & Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions. The roundtable discussions were moderated by industry experts Dr. Volker Oestreich, chief editor - Drives & Motion; Wolfgang Siess, editor - Messtec & Automation; and Armin Scheuermann, chief editor - Chemie Technik.
Wolfgang Hoeferlin was delighted with the level of discussion that took place throughout the day and concluded "The positive feedback from the conference participants confirmed that the combination of presentations and roundtable discussion forums continues to be a winning formula for the end user conferences to follow. The German marketing committee will continue with this successful format for its conferences in the future."
In addition to the full conference program, delegates were offered the opportunity to attend a basic Foundation fieldbus training course on the previous day at the purpose built Foundation fieldbus laboratory at the BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH centre of excellence at the Industriepark.
The training course included technical presentations enhanced by practical demonstrations using a test host system and multiple field devices. Topics covered included: general overview of fieldbus technology and its key features/benefits; architecture and functionality of Foundation technology; and comparisons with conventional technologies.