I found myself reading an interesting article today from Wired.com. It was an article on the “connected home” of tomorrow. As we see more and more of our lives pushed towards automation, it just seems natural that automation would extend into a smarter home. In fact, I have a digital meter outside my home that not only provides my electricity provider the convenience of reading my meter remotely, it also allows me to view my energy consumption from a day to day basis…even down to a hour by hour basis. It’s really cool stuff. Every week I receive an email that details my electricity use each day, and even gives me the high and low temperatures in my city on those days. Even more impressive, I can compare the usage over time (last week, last month etc.). Still further, I have a Wi-Fi connected thermostat that allows me to setup, monitor and change my thermostat without ever having to get off the couch or even be at home altogether. Life is grand.
As more and more start-ups begin designing more complex advancements into our homes to automate things like our lights, TVs, dishwashers etc. the more we put ourselves at risk to cyber attacks. There is an inherent risk with opening your home to outside connections, but those risks exponentially increase with obsolete systems or buggy works done by low budget automation houses. This is where standards can help and where on line in particular from the article stuck out to me: “The best way to ward off…problems before they metastasize is to embrace openness.”
I will not argue that open standards are inherently more secure than a proprietary solution, but in general there are many reasons why it actually can be. The difference is in world-wide usage of a standard. Proprietary solutions tend to be developed and maintained by a smaller group of highly trained unique individuals. Open standards by contrast are spread widely, and are adopted and implemented by many. The benefit being that buggy back-door findings and strange anomalies get detected sooner, and can be fixed purely based on the number of individuals interacting with it. It’s the same principle that makes “group think” so powerful.
Often, proprietary systems run by a core group of individuals lack the outside view of others. Ever heard the saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees?”. This is the same idea. The core group gets so engrained in doing what they do, that they cannot see a flaw if it exists. I’m sure the people over at Siemens would love to have prevented the Stuxnet virus that left a big black eye against their teal coloring. I think everyone can agree on that.
By adopting open standards, individuals and companies can minimize risk and ensure longevity to their investments. Open standards are owned or run by one single manufacturer so if one goes bankrupt or can’t offer the solution you need, another is there to take its place.
Long live standards-based protocols! Long live fieldbus.
P.S. For those interested in the article that started it all, check out the article posted on wired here: http://www.wired.com/2014/08/connected-home/
Austin, Texas, July 25, 2014 – The Boards of Directors of the Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation are pleased to announce that they have approved unifying the two Foundations into a new industry organization dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in the world of Process Automation.
The combined power of both organizations will serve to protect the investments that end users in Process Automation have made in HART and FOUNDATION™ fieldbus communication technologies. The mission of the combined organization will be to develop, manage, and promote global standards for integrating devices into automation-system architectures, providing functional solutions for process automation suppliers and end users. Suppliers will also profit from the increased efficiencies in resource utilization, procedure consistency, and member service and support improvements.
The Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation have a long history of cooperation. For example, the two worked together to develop common international standards, such as Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) specifications and Field Device Integration (FDI) technology. Combining the organizations offers significant potential for harmonizing the procedures and efforts supporting the two protocols, as well as simplifying each technology’s implementation while better delivering their full benefits in plant operation and maintenance.
The Foundation Fieldbus and HART specifications will continue to exist individually, and to evolve into the future. Each protocol will retain its own brand name, trademarks, patents, and copyrights.
The new organization will continue development, support, and promotion of the two existing protocols, and will direct the development, incorporation, and implementation of new and overlapping technologies. Thus, the new organization will eventually serve as the single source for FDI, the sole integration tool for HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus technologies. The name of the proposed organization is not yet finalized.
The next step will be to complete the membership ballot by the end of summer 2014. Following a successful membership vote, legal filings for the creation of a new not-for-profit entity will take place in September 2014. As a final step, it is expected that the new organization offices will be consolidated and located near Austin, Texas, in early 2015.
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 allows you to view your process in high definition; manage information effectively; and optimize people, processes and technology. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.
About the HART Communication Foundation
The HART Communication Foundation (www.hartcomm.org) is the technology owner and standards organization for the HART Communication Protocol. Founded in 1993, the Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit, membership organization providing support for the HART Communication technology and standards worldwide. The Foundation is supported by a global membership of 319 companies. HART Communication is the leading technology for process measurement and control with more than 40 million HART-enabled devices installed worldwide.
Another stellar article by John Rezabek, Ashland Chemical, was published in Control’s magazine last month, and I’d like to highlight it. John, as many of you may know, is the End User Advisory Council Chairman for the Fieldbus Foundation, and a big reason for this is his experience, depth of knowledge, and motivation to understand and keep up with the latest trends in fieldbus.
His article covers the message of what some users have heard about “bitter” experiences with fieldbus in its original days. John goes on to explain the key game-changing factors in successful projects as well as advancements that have and will make things even easier for users. There is no reason fieldbus can’t be a highly-successful wonderful experience for users (John is one of many examples of a user reaping massive benefits from smart digital technology).
As usual, there is no reason to spoil the message and writing John has so eloquently put together so follow the link below to read his post.
Be sure to check out the newly released Fieldbus Report posted today! The bi-annual Fieldbus Report is your resource for all things FOUNDATION. It has the latest news, fieldbus solutions, programs and initiatives being developed by the Fieldbus Foundation. It also contains a comprehensive list of the latest registered fieldbus products so you can be sure you keep up to date with the latest technological advances.
Be sure to grab a copy and read about the new Fieldbus Foundation Usability initiative we’ve been writing about! You can find the latest Fieldbus Report (as well as past versions) by going here: Fieldbus Report
As the Fieldbus Foundation continues to develop and release enhancements to our Technical Specifications, it is important we clearly emphasize to our audience the impact that these latest (and future) improvements will have on the user experience. Next week, we plan to announce the latest release of our FOUNDATION Technical Specifications (2014.1) which largely deals with enhancements to address new the usability of FOUNDATION fieldbus. Importantly, it also refines a few of the specifications in order to prepare for the first official FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management device registrations.
Guided by the End User Advisory Council for the Fieldbus Foundation, the organization started an initiative to quickly begin work on the usability of the technology. As we all know from experience, usability is a key factor in technology adoption. Things that are hard to work with and understand tend to never gain the traction they may rightly deserve. I rather find the iPhone parable a great example to illustrate the point. When the original iPhone was released to great fanfare, it really did nothing special. Blackberry had been allowing emails on their devices for years, every Tom, Dick and Jane had a phone with a camera on it…so what was so special? The answer is the usability of the device. It was the pure and simple beauty in a handheld device that was intuitive and effective.
For those of you that attended the Honeywell User Group down in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago, I hope you had a chance to listen to Darie Dreptate’s (Fieldbus Foundation) talk on the usability initiative. I understand it was very well received.
I hate to spoil the whole message on usability so I’ll direct everyone to an article I wrote for Industrial Automation Asia for full details…and believe me it’s exciting stuff you want to read about. I’ll give you a few hints though… Backwards Compatibility, DD Templates, Automated Device Replacement and PV Interchangeability.
Check out the article starting on page 18: http://flipbook.digiflip.com/IAA/May14/flipviewerxpress.html
Success! The Fieldbus Foundation’s North American Marketing Committee participated in the first seminar of 2014 year in Calgary, AB Canada on June 5th and 6th.
The engineering offices of Fluor in Calgary started the successful week by hosting the Fieldbus Foundation for a lunch and learn for over 35 engineers from the Quarry Park and Sundance locations. The event was led by Talon Petty of the Fieldbus Foundation with subject experts Mike Clark – BusCorp, David Lancaster – Previously of Bechtel, and John Rezabek – Ashland Chemical. The event was very well received by the engineers who showed a strong understanding of FOUNDATION fieldbus, yet also a thirst for the latest information.
Mike Clark presented on the topic of what the Fieldbus Foundation dubs VirtualMarshalling. Mike’s presentation, titled “Why Make Marshalling Smarter, When You Can Eliminate It?” discusses the solutions available in the industry and how they each work from a schema perspective. Some folks often wonder how they can make marshalling smarter or more user friendly, but from the perspective of FOUNDATION fieldbus, electronic marshalling was eliminated the day FOUNDATION fieldbus was created. With FOUNDATION, the marshalling doesn’t require any hardware or software configuration changes, it’s simply all there. It’s done natively in FOUNDATION fieldbus. Devices simply tell the user what they have available, and the user configures the device as they see fit.
Dave Lancaster presented on the topic of Host/Device Selection. This very important step can often be under-evaluated because a few exciting device features sold a device to the user before he/she could properly understand its capabilities compared to it’s required use case in their application. Fully understanding a users application and needs, give the users the ability to make important selection choices, and when the user spends the extra time fully understanding the impact of his/her choices during the host/device selection, the project is more successful overall. Dave’s presentation offers key consideration points for users and engineers to think about during the selection phase.
A big thanks goes out to all of the engineers at Fluor that participated in the lunch and learn and the team there at Fluor that helped coordinate the activity.
The event on June 6th, hosted at Hotel Arts in downtown Calgary, was the 2nd event in as many days and was a smashing success with roughly 130 registered attendees for the day-long event. The event covers a full project lifecycle from infrastructure selection to maintenance and device replacement. You can read the full agenda here: Calgary Agenda.
Hosting some of the most knowledgeable FOUNDATION experts in North America, the seminar challenged some past notions and offered some helpful best practices based on years of experience. The 2014 seminar is all-new down to the demo system on display. In the past years, the demonstration units showed static devices on display, but in 2014 the new unit actually runs a live process during the event to fully immerse the audience and to illustrate how powerful FOUNDATION fieldbus is for process applications. One particular such instance is when we illustrate Control in the Field (CiF). After demonstrating the redundancy and robustness of the host system, a catastrophic failure is simulated via complete loss of the control system. Despite total loss of the DCS, the attendees see continued control of the process level application via CiF. To take it a step further, a dump valve is opened to show an immediate loss in level after which the valve goes full open and continues to maintain level even with this additional process disruption. It’s a powerful demonstration.
There are 2 more seminars in North America currently scheduled for 2014. The locations are Baton Rouge, LA and Houston, TX (Sept 15-16 & Sept 17-18 respectively). If you’re in either of those areas be sure you sign up to attendee the new seminar, you won’t regret it! You can view additional information at http://fieldb.us/seminars-2014. Other global seminars can be found by going to http://www.fieldbus.org and browsing under the “Global” section of the website for specific regions.
Another big thanks goes out to all of our seminar sponsors that allow us to host these events free of charge to attendees. These guys have great FOUNDATION fieldbus solutions to showcase to attendees at each show.
The Fieldbus Foundation, and its sponsoring companies, are running their first North American seminar for 2014 next week on June 5, 2014. The seminar to-date has nearly 110 registered attendees. It’s going to be a great event.
In 2014, the seminar series was entirely revamped from scratch. We’ve got all new presentations, a new speaker, and most importantly an all new live-process demo. A core group of volunteers helped us at the Fieldbus Foundation build a really great demo that is most certainly going to impress attendees.
The seminar is a full one day event that walks attendees through a project life-cycle from inception to completion. We talk about; how to select the right technology for your application, how important having your personnel trained before a project can generate huge ROIs down the road, how making informed decisions on the front-end reduces headaches on the back-end, how simplifying segment loading eases design stages, and how good installation practices reduce intermittent issues as the plant ages. Furthermore, we discuss the advances in device configuration and commissioning as well as how to make the biggest impact with FOUNDATION Fieldbus. I’ll give you a hint, it’s in the data! Attendees will learn the importance of taking full advantage of the advanced diagnostics inherent to FOUNDATION, and how Control in the Field can be a quarterly or yearly profit-saver by reducing unplanned shutdowns.
These seminars host some of the most knowledgeable FOUNDATION fieldbus experts in North America so be sure to not miss out if we’ll be in your area! If we’re not coming to your area, be sure to email email@example.com to request a visit!
The seminar also provides attendees with PDH certificates and a 10% discount for FOUNDATION Certified Training at any participating FCTP site in North America. We’ll even feed you all a nice lunch so be sure to come out and learn about the latest news and advice from the Fieldbus Foundation and its participating member companies.
A thanks goes out to all of our participation companies that help make these events possible and allow us to offer them free of charge to all of you. We’d also like to offer a special thanks to Mike Clark with BusCorp, Canada who has been instrumental in the design & setup of the new demo unit!
Be sure to REGISTER for our event in Calgary, and come see the latest technology from your suppliers (our sponsors)!
The Fieldbus Foundation Central & Eastern European Marketing Committee will be hosting a FOUNDATION fieldbus event coming up on May 27th in Poland! If you’re in the area, be sure to attend. It’s FREE! Oh and don’t forget to spread the word!
The event will be hosted by members of the FFCEEMC and guest speaker Dr. Bindert Douma (certified FOUNDATION trainer – STC Group, Brielle, the Netherlands).
The comprehensive agenda of presentations in Polish or English language will include topics including an introduction to the FFCEEMC and the University of Miskolc certified training centre; an overview of FOUNDATION fieldbus – an automation infrastructure for operational excellence; lifecycle economics; planning and implementing fieldbus projects; explosion protection; FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management; diagnostics and trouble-shooting; open discussions/question & answer session.
Go here for more information: http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1256&Itemid=439
The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC) is pleased to invite you to attend a FOUNDATION™ technology end user seminar on Tuesday 13 May, 2014, from 09.30 – 16.00 at:
Hotel Myslivna Brno
Nad Pisárkami 276/1
623 00 – Brno-Kohoutovice
PSČ 623 00
Tel: +420 547 107 111
Fax: +420 547 107 707
The event will be hosted by Mr Jozef Schulcz (Vice Chairman – FFCEEMC) and experts of the FFCEEMC who are delighted to welcome guest speakers Dr. Bindert Douma (certified FOUNDATION trainer – STC Group, Brielle, the Netherlands) and Mr József Subert (certified FOUNDATION trainer – University of Miskolc, Hungary). In addition to these FOUNDATION technology experts, end users are invited to share some personal project implementation experiences.
The comprehensive agenda of presentations and technology demonstrations will include:
• an introduction to the FFCEEMC
• an overview of FOUNDATION fieldbus – an automation infrastructure for operational excellence
• FOUNDATION fieldbus myths – and the reality!
• planning the fieldbus infrastructure (including explosion protection and safety instrumented functions)
• commissioning the hardware; implementing fieldbus projects; diagnostics and trouble-shooting
• an end user experience
• open discussion and question & answer session
In addition to the presentation programme, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss applications and suitable FOUNDATION solutions with representatives from several member companies during the breaks. There is no charge to attend this event and complimentary refreshments, buffet lunch and seminar materials will be provided. Every attendee will receive a certificate of participation at the end of the seminar.
The FFCEEMC includes representatives from major suppliers of control systems and instrumentation including Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.
For more information about the FFCEEMC, its activities in the Central & Eastern European region, and local language user resources, visit the FFCEEMC webpages.
Please register your attendance at the end user seminar no later than Friday 9 May, 2014, with Mr Jozef Schulcz, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Jaroslav Suchan by e-mailing: email@example.com
We look forward to welcoming you to our seminar.
Stockport, UK – 14 April, 2014 – The Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee (FFUKMC) is finalising its plans for the first of its 2014 schedule of end user events – a FOUNDATION Technology Study Day to be held in Stockport on Tuesday 13 May, 2014.
With a morning session focused on an introduction to FOUNDATION technology, a lunch break with tabletop displays and additional presentations, and an afternoon session offering a more advanced programme, delegates will be able to tailor the day to suit their own requirements. Delegates may choose to attend either the morning or afternoon session or they are welcome to attend both. There is no charge to attend and the lunch and lunchtime sessions are open to all delegates.
Following registration and coffee, the morning session, from 10.00-12.30, will include an introduction to FOUNDATION technology and solutions, and an insight into the lifecycle economics of the system.
The afternoon session, from 13.30-16.00, will present a more in-depth programme of presentations and practical workshops with a focus on supporting a FOUNDATION installation through asset management; device replacement; calibration and recommended maintenance practices.
All registered attendees are invited to the complimentary lunch during which Fieldbus Foundation member companies will be available to discuss and demonstrate their FOUNDATION products and services.
Also available during the lunch break are update presentations on FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (F-ROM) and FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF).
New for the Stockport Study Day will be a round table discussion about the ‘Roles and Relationship of IT and Security” which is will be open to all attendees and will offer a forum to debate solution networking and data security issues.
Richard Barnes, chairman of the FFUKMC is looking forward to welcoming current or potential end users, system integrators, EPCs, and all personnel with an interest in FOUNDATION fieldbus systems or a need to gain an understanding of the technology. “The FFUKMC has tried and tested this new approach to its end user seminars – we understand the need for differing levels of information to suit individuals in differing roles within the process automation enterprise. The study day format which we adopted for our recent events in London, Aberdeen and Middlesbrough allows everyone to gain high quality information whether it’s at an introductory level or an advanced level. We’ve also listened to feedback from previous attendees and have introduced new topical elements into the agenda”. He continued, “There will also be several opportunities throughout the day for networking with other users and potential users, as well as industry experts and suppliers of the systems, devices and components that make up a FOUNDATION system.”
The event will be held on Tuesday 13 May at the Emerson Process Management offices, Arden Business Centre, Horsfield Way, Bredbury, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 2SU. Delegates are invited to register their names, company, email address and session preferences with the UK Committee, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FOUNDATION Technology Study Days will continue to be held at locations around the UK. The next scheduled event will be announced in due course. Visit the UK events page for more info.
About the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee
The FFUKMC was formally established in 1999 to promote an increased awareness and adoption of FOUNDATION™ technology throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland through a range of end user focused activities including technology seminars and roadshows, technical demonstrations and support, and trade show and conference participation.
The FFUKMC membership now includes: ABB, Beamex, Beka Associates, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL –Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Moore Industries, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Rotork, R.Stahl, Smar, Turck, Vega and Yokogawa.
For more information about the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee and its activities in the UK and Ireland, visit the FFUKMC webpages of the Fieldbus Foundation’s website www.fieldbus.org, or email email@example.com.