The Fieldbus Foundation joined the FDT Group, HART Communication Foundation, PI (Profibus and Profinet International) and the OPC Foundation, to host the co-sponsored Field Communication Lounge at two of Germany's major trade shows this year - the Hannover Fair in April, and the ACHEMA Fair in June.
With its theme, "Bringing Field Communications together for YOU", the aim of the Field Communication Lounge was to create a single area for visitors to see and experience the latest in field communication technologies and discuss how these technologies work together to deliver powerful results to improve plant operations, performance and a company's profitability. The Lounge's combined exhibit concept better aligns with the way in which users often integrate field communication technologies at their own facilities. Visitors to the fair had a central location to discuss and compare the leading automation communication protocols - their advantages, their applications, their integration, and how they can work together.
One key feature of the Field Communication Lounge was a common display area in which the organisations exhibited their individual process and factory automation communication technologies in dedicated technology kiosks.
The Fieldbus Foundation's technology kiosk enabled live technology demonstrations using its multi-vendor systems to show the key benefits of Foundation fieldbus including process integrity, business intelligence and open, scalable integration. The demonstration systems consisted of several live Foundation fieldbus segments, featuring three DCS systems and numerous field devices and physical layer components. The fully functional set-up allowed the demonstration of all situations which may occur during the installation, commissioning and operation of a real process plant.
New for ACHEMA 2012 was a Fieldbus Foundation technology kiosk dedicated to the demonstration of its latest development initiative - Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM). Developed in response to the increasing challenges facing remote applications within the process automation industry, Foundation for ROM offers a unified digital infrastructure for asset management.
Also featured at both shows were product and integration solution displays by leading global suppliers staffed by experts available to discuss a wide range of field communication and integration technology solutions to enable improved asset management, lower operating cost and reduced plant downtime.
The 570m² Field Communication Lounge at the Hannover Fair also featured a common presentation forum in which experts from the five host organisations presented the latest field device communication technology solutions during a series of technical and educational presentations held throughout each day.
Members of the Fieldbus Foundation were pleased to welcome so many visitors to the Field Communication Lounges at both shows. Thomas Kasten, chairman of the German Marketing Committee, explains, "This collaborative concept by leading technology organisations was first introduced at the 2011 Hannover Fair. We received so much positive feedback from show visitors that it was clear that we would adopt the Field Communication Lounge concept again for the major shows in Germany during 2012 - and this year we welcome the addition of OPC Foundation to the group". He continued, "At the Field Communication Lounge, so many well known suppliers of advanced plant communications technology are just a few steps apart so that with just a short stand-tour, visitors can gain a comprehensive overview of the latest developments, make comparisons and discuss integrated solutions with the experts on hand".
Fieldbus Foundation members participating in the 2012 Field Communication Lounges included: ABB, APAT, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus International, Heinrichs Messtechnik, Honeywell, Invensys, Leoni, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rockwell, R. Stahl, Siemens, Softing, Yokogawa and many more.