The Fieldbus Foundation Middle East Marketing Committee (FFMEMC) is delighted with the success of its recent series of Foundation fieldbus roadshows held across the Middle East region from December 5-9, 2010.
The objective of the 2010 series was to target non-users of Foundation fieldbus and those requiring a greater level of introductory information and support than established end users. Held in industrial cities with a limited installed base of Foundation technology, 335 plant, instrumentation and maintenance engineers attended the events in Yanbu and Jubail, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City, Kuwait; and Ruwais, United Arab Emirates.
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The FFMEMC enjoys a close working relationship with several ISA groups across the region and appreciated the support offered by the ISA Saudi Arabia Chapter and ISA Kuwait Chapter in hosting and promoting the events in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Similarly, the FFMEMC was delighted to work with local members of the Foundation fieldbus end user council (EUC-ME) in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
With its primary aim to educate prospective and new adopters of Foundation technology, the agenda started with an overview of Foundation technology and its principal benefits by Mehul Vaidya (deputy chairman FFMEMC). This was followed by a technology update by André Fritsch (Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee member/R.Stahl), that highlighted the Fieldbus Foundation's current and future technology development initiatives and their role in future-proofing an evolving plant enterprise. Taking two of these key areas for further discussion, additional presentations were given on the benefits of Foundation technology and control in the field (CIF) by Dale Perry on behalf of Alan Baird (FFMEMC members/Emerson Process Management), and developments in network diagnostics by Hugh Wingrove (FFMEMC member/MTL).
The large audience of 120 delegates in Kuwait also had the unique opportunity to learn from Bala Elamaran (lead control systems engineer) about Equate Petroleum Company's experiences with the implementation of Foundation fieldbus into its aromatics plant.
FFMEMC Welcome & Introduction (Ravindra Jagasia, FFMEMC chairman): Download 1 (500KB)Foundation Technology Overview (Mehul Vaidya, FFMEMC deputy chairman): Download 2 (2.6MB)Foundation Technology Update (André Fritsch, FFMEMC member/R Stahl): Download 3 (2MB)
CIF Advantages (Alan Baird/Dale Perry, FFMEMC members/Emerson Process Mgt): Download 4 (1.25MB)
Developments in Network Diagnostics (Hugh Wingrove, FFMEMC member/MTL): Download 5 (2MB)Equate Petroleum Company's Experiences (Bala Elamaran, Equate Petroleum Co.): Download 6 (1.4MB)
Question and answer sessions at each event proved to be valuable and informative. The presenters and participating members responded to a wide range of queries and concerns, and clarified the latest status about issues including interoperability between hosts and devices, OPEX advantages, FF-SIF product availability, remote I/O, wireless integration with High Speed Ethernet, and physical layer availability and redundancy. Further opportunities for discussion and networking were available during the breaks and the complimentary meal for all attendees.
Event sponsors include: ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Pepperl+Fuchs, Moore Hawke, Metso, MTL, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.
FFMEMC chairman Ravindra Jagasia, thanked members of the FFMEMC and FFEUC-ME for their efforts. Based on his interactions with key end users involved with the seminars, Mr. Jagasia commented: "We have successfully achieved our aim to reach out to those potential end users needing vendor-neutral information about Foundation technology and how and when it can be implemented into a plant. The feedback from several attendees confirmed that the presenters delivered clear, concise and useful information and that the Q&A sessions provided a valuable discussion forum during which delegates could raise any concerns or queries." He continued, "Discussion forums such as these are such an important multi-directional exchange of information between fieldbus experts, existing users of the technology and those new to fieldbus."
What Leading End Users Thought:
Marwan Madooh, Kuwait National Petroleum Company, Kuwait: "Not only did the event provide updates from experts in their fields, it also gave us chance to network with technology providers and colleagues who are working in the automation and control field. I really enjoyed the event - very well done."
Mohamed Faizy, Arabian Industrial Fibers Company, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia: "Overall the presentations went well within the schedule. In general all the speakers were very cordial to interact with the audience to give a clear picture about the new developments in Foundation Fieldbus technology - especially FF-SIF applications, FF in wireless medium etc. The day could have been a full day session with hands-on training demonstrations by various manufacturers which would give a very clear message to conventional I/O clients to adopt the technology"
Nagarajan Venkataraman, Borouge, Abu Dhabi, UAE: "Overall the presentations were clear, concise and useful. The presenters handled the presentations and the Q&A sessions very well. The vendor-neutral approach of the seminar helped to broaden our understanding of the FF concepts."
Mathew P Isac, Kuwait National Petroleum Company: "The event was well attended. I was delighted to see the participation from the attendees. I hope the FFMEMC will take all necessary steps to address the concerns raised about interoperability."