The Fieldbus Foundation have announced that nearly 500 attendees, including many of the world's leading suppliers and end users of Foundation fieldbus, took part in its 2011 General Assembly, held March 9-10 at the JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai, India. This annual gathering was the largest event in the foundation's history.
India was selected as the site for the 2011 General Assembly due to its status as the world's fastest growing market for process automation and the overwhelming demand for Foundation technology within the area. Many of the world's largest Foundation fieldbus installations are also located in India, and the amount of application expertise being developed in India is considerable.
Based on the theme "Achieving Operational Excellence with Foundation Technology," the 2011 General Assembly highlighted the advantages of Foundation fieldbus as a world-class solution for improving plant asset management, reliability and economic performance. Foundation technology continues to advance to meet the needs of the process industries, with Foundation fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF), control in the field, field diagnostics and wireless solutions.
The General Assembly program on Wednesday, March 9, included an end user-oriented agenda consisting of fieldbus project case studies given by prominent automation end users from throughout India, as well as various fieldbus tabletop exhibitions. Additional presentations provided updates on the latest Foundation technology developments. The day concluded with a reception for all attendees.
The Fieldbus Foundation conducted its annual business meeting on Thursday, March 10.
The General Assembly kicked off with welcoming remarks by Mr. Thampy Mathew, regional sales director-PA, Pepperl+Fuchs, and chairman, Fieldbus Foundation India Committee (FFIC); and Mr. B.R. Mehta, senior vice president, Reliance Industries Limited, and chairman, Fieldbus Foundation India End User Council (FFIEUC).
Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney addressed the gathering and introduced new foundation chairman Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs. Mr. Timoney described the continued growth of Foundation technology in both established and developing industrial regions of the world. He also highlighted the additions to foundation membership in 2010, with total membership increasing 11.3 percent.
Significant membership gains have been noted in China, Korea and other developing areas.
Fieldbus Foundation Director of Technology Development Dave Glanzer provided a summary of recent technology advancements such enhanced Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), High Speed Ethernet Remote I/O (HSE-RIO), Foundation fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF), and wireless.
Mr. P. Mahajan, technical director, Engineers India Limited (EIL), gave the 2011 General Assembly keynote address. Mr. Mahajan started his career with India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as a scientific officer. During his tenure in the DAE, he was primarily responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance of instrumentation and control systems for heavy water projects. Mr. Mahajan played a significant role in the Indian process industries by introducing the concept of electronic instrumentation and intrinsically safe systems in electrically hazardous plants to India in 1974.
Mr. Mahajan called Foundation fieldbus "one of the best things that have happened in our industry." Citing the Fieldbus Foundation's long history of end user involvement in the development and evolution of the technology, he said, "Foundation fieldbus has a definite edge over other fieldbus technologies" and that the onus is on consulting organisations to play a responsible role to suggest the "right usage of the right technology."
Mr. Mahajan also stated that control in the field (CIF) with Foundation fieldbus should be the default choice for many process automation applications, and described the technology as an "effective tool" for plant asset management.
Other 2011 General Assembly speakers included:
- Jonas Berge, director, PlantWeb Consulting, Emerson Process Management, "Asset Management with Foundation Fieldbus"
- Patrick Flanders, ESD specialist, Saudi Aramco, KSA, "Foundation Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF)"
- Michael Kessler, director-R&D, Pepperl+Fuchs, "New Technology for Foundation Fieldbus Physical Layer"
- Dave Glanzer, director-technology development, Fieldbus Foundation, "Foundation Technology Update"
- Travis Hesketh, Fieldbus Foundation Steering Committee, EMEA, "Control in Field (CIF)"
- H.S. Gambhir, vice president, Reliance Industries Limited, "Implementing Foundation Fieldbus in KGD‐6"
- T. Senthil, SGM (Inst), Chemplast, "Operational Excellence Using Foundation Fieldbus"
- Ravi Gupta, manager, I&C, HMEL Refinery, "Advantages Using Foundation Fieldbus"
- A. Rajabahadur, director, ARC India, "CAPEX/OPEX Benefits Using Foundation Fieldbus"
The General Assembly program concluded with a panel discussion among presenters, which was moderated by Mr. B.R. Mehta of Reliance Industries Limited. Mr. Harsih K. Wadhwa, Fieldbus Foundation India Events Committee chairman, delivered closing remarks.