Technology initiative promises to transform the industrial remote operations market
AUSTIN, Texas, December 6, 2011 – The Fieldbus Foundation unveiled its Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM) solution at a media event held Thursday, December 1, at the Fieldbus Center at Lee College, Baytown, Texas. Representatives of the control & instrumentation trade press learned how Foundation technology would transform the industrial remote operations market by providing a single integrated infrastructure built specifically for process automation.
The Fieldbus Foundation's Foundation for ROM initiative is intended to develop a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in remote applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids. The technology enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, including WirelessHART® and ISA 100.11a. It provides an interface to these wireless technologies and uses Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and function blocks to ensure interoperability with Foundation for ROM devices.
The media event featured Foundation for ROM technology presentations and demonstrations, followed by a tour of the Fieldbus Center at Lee College, one of the Fieldbus Foundation's Foundation Certified Training Program (FCTP) partner sites. The Fieldbus Center facility is dedicated to training the next generation of process automation operators and technicians.
Fieldbus Foundation Global Marketing Manager Larry O'Brien commented, "Foundation for ROM is important because it is the first example of being able to integrate ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and wired H1 protocols into a single standard environment. More importantly, it is one that does not sacrifice diagnostic capabilities of the existing wireless devices. Instead, we map these capabilities into our block structure to provide a standard environment for data management, quality, and more, eliminating today's solutions which are highly customized and much more costly to maintain throughout the plant lifecycle."
O'Brien commented, "Remote operations management is one of the fastest growing segments of the process automation business. However, it is also caught up in the turbulence of business challenges, technological change, personnel issues, and the need for operational excellence. With Foundation for ROM, industrial operations can implement a true predictive and proactive maintenance strategy for remote assets that could not previously support one. Data from devices on multiple networks, both wired and wireless, are tightly integrated into the Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, providing a single environment for management of diagnostic data, alarms and alerts, data quality, control in the field capability, and object oriented block structure."
Within the Foundation automation architecture, the H1 (31.25 kbit/s) and HSE (100 Mbit/s) fieldbus networks provide a distributed function block capability with HSE serving as a larger pipeline with increased speed and throughput. The Foundation for ROM solution expands these capabilities by establishing open, non-proprietary specifications for an interface to wireless field device networks, a wired HSE backhaul, and a wireless HSE backhaul integrating various wireless sensor networks such as WiFi, satellite, cellular, etc. As part of this solution, Foundation for ROM provides a way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O back to the control room using HSE communication. This is key to improved integration of critical functional areas, including machinery health monitoring, safety interlocks, fire & gas detection systems, and video surveillance.
Remote diagnostics via Foundation fieldbus provides significant improvement in labor costs by avoiding the need to send maintenance personnel on unnecessary trips to the field to check or diagnose problems with instrumentation without the benefit of remote diagnostic data. In the oil & gas industry, for example, the use of Foundation fieldbus and the remote access to devices it affords can reduce the exposure and risk operations personnel face in the hazardous environment of an offshore platform or safety zone.
Access to high-quality process and equipment health data ultimately increases a user's profitability by minimizing downtime and increasing production, which results from well-informed operational, maintenance, and management decisions. Experience has shown that a comprehensive remote operations management solution enables industrial organizations to respond faster to market conditions, increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and achieve higher production availability. It also minimizes the costs and risks associated with remote site visits-enabling fewer core personnel to meet the operational requirements of numerous facilities from a single secure location.
The following companies participated in development of the Foundation for ROM technical specifications: ABB, Abzil/Yamatake, Aniotek, Advanced Process Automation Technologies, Apprion, Belden/Hirschmann, Boeing, BP, Byres Security Inc./Tofino, Chevron, Cisco, Cooper Industries/MTL, EF Johnson, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, ExxonMobil, Fieldbus Diagnostics, Fieldbus Inc., General Electric, Geode Network Technologies, HART Communication Foundation, Herman Storey Consulting, Hodson Consulting, Honeywell, Industrial Automation Networks Inc., International Society of Automation, Invensys Process Systems, Maximum Control Technologies, National Instruments, OPUS Consulting, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation e.V, R. STAHL, RuggedCom, Saudi Aramco, Shell Global Solutions, Siemens, Smar, Softing, Turck, Westlock Controls, Wi-Fi Sensors, Inc., and Yokogawa.
About Lee College
Lee College in Baytown, Texas, serves a geographic area of more than 280,000 residents that includes the Goose Creek, Anahuac, Barbers Hill, East Chambers, Dayton, Hardin, Huffman, Hull-Daisetta, and Liberty Independent School Districts. To learn more about Lee College, visit www.lee.edu.
About the Fieldbus Foundation
The Fieldbus Foundation is a global not-for-profit corporation consisting of leading process end users and automation companies. Within the Fieldbus Foundation, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations work together to develop an automation infrastructure that provides process integrity, business intelligence and open scalable integration in a managed environment. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.