CNN recently did a segment on the need for more skilled workers in the US manufacturing sector. This video focused specifically on the process industry opportunities in Baytown, Texas, a hub for the US petrochemical business. Lee College in Baytown was featured as an educational institution that is training new workers for the process industries. Not four year degreed engineers, but highly specialized technologists with two year degrees that can go right to work in process plants. Demand for skilled people in Baytown is high, and Lee College happens to be one of our certified training partners under the Fieldbus Foundation FCTP program. At one point they interview a recent graduate who is a 40 year old woman who was doing day care before she got her degree. Her first job will earn her more than her brother who has a four year degreed computer engineer.
As a bonus you can see FOUNDATION Fieldus certified instructor Chuck Carter in one of the shots and some very clear footage of the fieldbus lab.
The Aramco Expats blog has a great article about longtime FOUNDATION Fieldbus proponent Patrick Flanders and Aramco’s involvement in FOUNDATION Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Systems (FF-SIF). According to the article, ” Saudi Aramco is moving to install a completely integrated FF-SIF system at its Ju‘aymah Gas Plant. According to Flanders, that will be the first deployment of the new FF-SIF technology in an operating facility worldwide.” Indeed it is, and we will be watching developments around this first deployment of FF-SIF closely.
Aramco ExPats: Company Moves Ahead in Safety Comms
This week we announced enhancements to the open, non-proprietary Foundation fieldbus physical layer technology. The latest updates to the H1 (31.25 kbit/s) physical layer specifications will improve the robustness of fieldbus control systems by optimizing device interoperability and integration. End users will benefit from easier installation, faster commissioning and seamless startups.
Enhancements to the Foundation fieldbus specifications include:
- Addition of a test procedure for isolated couplers to the existing Foundation fieldbus Coupler Test Specification. Registration of isolated couplers is now possible.
- Improvements to the H1 Physical Layer Conformance Test Specification based on Action Requests received during the last few years. The most significant changes include the addition of a receive jitter test case and a device-coupler interoperability test.
- Updates to the H1 Physical Layer Test Specification to remove obsolete profiles and align new references in the document with the current International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) specifications. Coupler profiles were also added to the test specification.
Implementation of the new Foundation fieldbus H1 Physical Layer Test Specification Version 2.0 is not immediately required. However, fieldbus device developers are encouraged to start using the specification as soon as possible. The updated specification will become mandatory with the next major release of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Interoperability Test Kit (ITK). Until then, developers can still provide proof of conformance to Version 1.5 of the specification when registering a device.
For more information, please visit the Technical Specifications Page.
azbil, also known as Yamatake Corporation, has announced a new field device management platform called Field Organizer. The new application promises to significantly shorten the time required for routine maintenance tasks such as loop checkout. Real time device status updates and integration with Yamatake’s Valstaff maintenance support system for control valves are some other features. Field Organization supports FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART, and FDT/DTM technologies.
Yokogawa recently released a success story for one of its customers in the municipal water business. The municipal water system of Oviedo, Florida recently installed a FOUNDATION Fieldbus based system, devices, and PRM plant asset management application on one of its water treatment facilities. Reduced engineering costs and reduced need for on-site instrument checks were primary reasons for choosing FOUNDATION technology.
Here is a link to the latest Fieldbus Report. It contains information on our recent General Assembly in Mumbai, new EDDL enhancements, new physical layer testing advancements, and a great customer success story. The presdent’s letter is particularly interesting because it points out that the Fieldbus Foundation is seeing increased business and end user acceptance as the global economy continues to improve. Our membership increased by over 11 percent last year. You may also want to check out the articles on WIO and our new DesignMate tool for segment design.
Invensys Operations Management has announced a new Foxboro® RTT30 FOUNDATION Fieldbus Temperature Transmitter. The device is capable of taking dual temperature inputs and has a lot of diagnostic features, including sensor drift and sensor corrosion detection.
You may have noticed a couople of weeks ago when we announced the first hosts to be tested under our new “61b” Host Profile Registrtion process. Emerson Process Experts blogger Jim Cahill has a great post today about what that testing really means for interoperability between hosts and devices. The post mentions that our new registration process supports device level access (DLA), support of enhanced function blocks, and conformance to NAMUR NE 107 field diagnostic guidelines.
The new ST100 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) is available in a FOUNDATION Fieldbus-compatible version.