At this year's Hannover Fair, Germany, from 4-8 April, 2011, the Fieldbus Foundation joined the FDT Group, HART Communication Foundation and PI (Profibus and Profibus International), to host the first-ever co-sponsored Field Communication Lounge in Hall 9, Booth D05.
With its theme, "Practical Field Communications for Today and Tomorrow", the Field Communication Lounge created a single area for visitors to see and experience the latest in field communication technology and discuss how the technologies work together to deliver powerful results to improve plant operations, performance and a company's bottom line. For the first time, fair visitors had a central location to discuss and compare different field communication protocols, their advantages, their applications and their integration.
The key feature of the 450m² Field Communication Lounge was the common display area and presentation forum in which experts from the four organisations presented the latest field device communication technology solutions. A series of 30-minute presentations by speakers from each organisation was held each day from 10.30-16.00 including a daily presentation by a representative of the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee on "Foundation fieldbus - close control and SIL", addressing the topics Control in the Field (CIF) and Foundation Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF).
At the end of each show day throughout the week, each organisation hosted a themed Happy Hour at the Forum at which visitors joined representatives of the four associations and their member companies for specialist snacks and drinks. Visitors were treated to a Palatine-region wine tasting with canapés by the Fieldbus Foundation on Thursday 7 April.
Within the Field Communication Lounge, each co-sponsor organisation utilised an individual exhibition area for its member companies to demonstrate practical field communications solutions including field devices, configuration, control and asset management applications, wireless technology, integration products and other solutions that deliver value and benefits to the enterprise today and tomorrow.
Coordinated by the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee, the Fieldbus Foundation section of the Field Communication Lounge featured purpose built kiosks demonstrating Foundation technology solutions and applications through the static and operational displays of registered devices, host systems, tools and services available from 13 of the world's leading automation equipment suppliers. Live demonstrations of the key benefits of Foundation technology including process integrity, business intelligence and open, scaleable integration were conducted throughout the week using the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council's newly commissioned, live-working demonstration systems. The demonstration systems have been assembled using host systems from Endress+Hauser and Honeywell, with power supplies, wiring components and junction boxes from MooreHawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs and R.Stahl, and field devices and displays from ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Moore Industries, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, R.Stahl and Yokogawa.
Thomas Kasten, chairman - Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee, was positive about the new Field Communication Lounge concept. "For several years current and prospective users of fieldbus technology have had to visit several stands - sometimes located in different halls. Having the four main field communication protocol providers together in a single location saved visitors a lot of time and effort. Since most industrial facilities use a combination of field communication protocols, it made perfect sense to join forces with the other organisations so that the technologies could be viewed together, comparisons could be made easily, and integrated solutions discussed with experts on hand". He continued, "this year's show was extremely successful and the Field Communication Lounge concept was fully supported by visitors and exhibitors alike. All participants are keen to continue with the concept for next year's Hannover Fair and ACHEMA 2012 exhibition in Germany."
The Fieldbus Foundation members participating in the Field Communication Lounge included: APAT, Dresser Masoneilan, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus International, Heinrichs Messtechnik, Leoni, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. Stahl, Siemens, Softing and Yokogawa.