One of our best kept secrets at the Foundation is our free DesignMate segment verification tool. DesignMate allows plant automation professionals to audit segment layouts in a user-friendly environment. The tool helps assure end users their fieldbus infrastructure will work with desired parameters such as cable length, number and type of installed devices, and selected power supplies. DesignMate allows users to perform rapid calculations, eliminate human error, improve efficiency, and minimize the amount of paperwork required during the segment design phase.
Azerbaijan International Operating Company, operated by BP, has awarded a major offshore automation contract to Emerson Process Management that includes FOUNDATION fieldbus. According to the press release:
“Emerson is the Main Automation Contractor for the project and will deliver a variety of technologies and services. The company’s PlantWeb(TM) digital plant architecture — including Foundation fieldbus communications, digital automation systems, asset management software, and intelligent field devices — will provide process control and access to management information. Its network of intelligent transmitters and valve positioners will deliver continuous process and equipment health information to identify potential problems before they affect operations.“
We have been saying for the past year that upstream oil and gas is one of the fastest growing markets for fieldbus, just as it is for overall process automation. FOUNDATION fieldbus, however, addresses many of the unique concerns that the oil and gas industry has, especially when it comes to our work with Remote Operations Management. Offshore Magazine has a good article on the Chirag Oil Project and what it entails.
At the Fieldbus Foundation we take a lot of pride in the work we do testing and registering both devices and hosts. As of last month, we registered our 500th unique product at the Fieldbus Foundation — a linking device from Softing. Combined with our many re-registered products, that makes 759 total product registrations at the Foundation. You can view our registered products page here to get a complete list by type of product and supplier.
Offshore magazine has picked up the ARC write-up on FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management. It’s no secret that the offshore business is one of the strongest candidates for this technology. There are a lot of special measurements that must be made in the offshore business. FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management can provide better diagnostics for devices that exist in extremely harsh conditions where humans can’t always go.
Many of us here at the Fieldbus Foundation, myself included, are just getting caught up after a very busy week at our General Assembly in São Paulo, Brazil last week (March 5-8). The main event at the annual general assembly is of course the end user seminar, which was held Wednesday March 7 at the Sheraton World Trade Center hotel and attracted around 240 attendees. It was a great crowd, most of it local to Brazil with lots of end users from companies like Petrobras, Braskem, Deten Quimica, Shell, and more. All of our major supplier partners were represented as well, and we attracted 20 sponsor companies that had their tested and registered FOUNDATION fieldbus solutions on display.
Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Richard Timoney and Chairman of the Board Dr. Gunther Kegel each gave brief addresses, both of which highlighted the importance of FOUNDATION fieldbus in rapidly developing economies such as Brazil. There is no question that Brazil will remain one our most important markets in the foreseeable future.
Keynote Address Highlights Petrobras’ Large Investment in FOUNDATION Fieldbus
We were very fortunate to have Petrobras Director of Automation Mr. Ronaldo Magalhaes as our keynote speaker, who shared many of his positive experiences and lessons learned from the huge investment that Petrobras has made in FOUNDATION fieldbus. Petrobras has announced some of the most ambitious capital spending plans of any major global oil company, with an expected $224 billion in capital spending to develop an estimated 5 billion barrels of reserves through 2015. Most of this money will be spent in the upstream sector. FOUNDATION fieldbus is going to be a big part of the Petrobras automation strategy moving forward.
|Close to 240 Attendees Showed up to the General Assembly|
Other End User Presentations
Alexandre Pereira Lopes from Braskem shared his company’s experiences with FOUNDATION fieldbus. Most of the intelligent field devices that Braskem has deployed are FOUNDATION fieldbus devices, and Alexandre had some good ideas about how to get the most out of the diagnostic data that is provided, as well as some application specific examples. Alexandre Santana of Deten Quimica talked about their extensive use of HSE and control in the field.
|Fieldbus Plays to a Packed House|
Clelio Alves of Petrobras discussed the implementation of a FOUNDATION fieldbus project from an engineering perspective. Marcos Peluso of Emerson Process Management discussed ongoing research into the performance benefits of control in the field being done by UK-based independent consulting firm ISC. Miguel Borges of Petrobras discussed efforts to found another Fieldbus Certified Training Partner location in Brazil through the LEAD training center. English versions of some of these presentations will be forthcoming (some are in Portuguese only, see links below).
|Panel Discussion at End of Day
L-R Clelio Alves, Miguel Borges, Alexandre Santana, Marcos Peluso, Ronaldo Magalhaes, Dave Glanzer
FOUNDATION for ROM in Brazil
We also had the opportunity to bring our FOUNDATION for ROM demonstration unit to Brazil. I did my presentation on the business value of the technology and Dave Glanzer, our director of technology, did an excellent job describing the FOUNDATION for ROM specification and the details surrounding our demo unit. For an explanation of the demo unit you can see this video shot in conjunction with Peter Welander of Control Engineering. Petrobras has volunteered to provide an end user demonstration site for our FOUNDATION for ROM field demo program, which will take place over the next 18 months at various end user sites around the world. Other end user participants include Reliance refining in India and Saudi Aramco, and two other major end users.
End User Council Meeting
Our End User Advisory Council meeting was held on Tuesday March 6. EUAC chairman John Rezabek of Ashland Chemical as usual did an excellent job leading this meeting and we came up with several new ideas on how we can work on improving the end user experience with FOUNDATION fieldbus. We will be announcing more about these plans as we form working groups and develop a roadmap. One of the great strengths of the Fieldbus Foundation is its large degree of end user involvement, and we managed to recruit some new members to the council in our visit to Brazil. Fore more information on joining the EUAC, please send me an email.
The General Assembly was also host to our annual business meeting and board of directors meetings, which had excellent attendance. We also wish to extend a big thank you to our Brazilian Marketing Committee, which helped tremendously in organizing this event. We look forward to hosting the event in Brazil again! We also wish to thank our sponsors — including ABB, Beamex, Beka, Belden, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fluke, Ivnensys, Metroval, MooreHawke, MTL Cooper, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R Stahl, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Smar, Westlock, Yamatake, and Yokogawa.
|Thanks to our Sponsors|
About 150 people attended our recent seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 22. Sponsors included ABB, Azbil/Yamatake, Endress+Hauser, Emerson, Honeywell, Leoni, MooreHawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell, SMAR, Softing, Stahl, Turck, and Yokogawa. The theme of the seminar was one that we are increasing on at the Fieldbus Foundation — Successful Implementation and Improved Operation. FOUNDATION fieldbus has become much easier to use over the past several years, and with some good guidelines you can easily achieve reduced installed cost and get significant operational benefits in the form of reduced maintenance costs, reduced unplanned shutdowns, and more.