One of the things we try to do at the Fieldbus Foundation is put information into the hands of people that need it. We want people to learn how to do fieldbus the right way, from engineering and design to installation, maintenance, and operations. That’s why we offer free end user seminars around the world, our DesignMate segment design tool, and our numerous Fieldbus Certified Training Program partners.
Perhaps our “best kept secret”, however, is our AG 181 System Engineering Guide. We recently revised AG 181, making this revision 3.2. You can download the latest version of AG 181 System Engineering Guidelines here. AG 181 contains the distilled wisdom of many of the world’s leading experts from those in the engineering and construction world to end users, systems integrators, educators, and suppliers. AG 181 offers many good pointers on how to do your fieldbus project right the first time. It is an essential part of the toolbox of any FOUNDATION fieldbus professional! If you already have the older version, this new version will look more streamlined and contains several new sections, as well as rewrites of old sections.
From the news release:
“The flexibility and ease of use of the DeltaV system meets the complex production needs of Jubilant, making it ideal for the company’s critical pharmaceutical processes. The three DeltaV systems communicate with numerous field devices using FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology.
Emerson’s AMS Suite software was used during installation of measurement and control devices to help reduce costs and improve device startup efficiency. Jubilant Life Sciences will use the software’s predictive maintenance capabilities on an ongoing basis to further increase the availability and performance of the plant.”
There is an article in the June issue of Plant Services that was written by John Rezabek, Herman Storey and myself on why we need a standard for Intelligent Device Management. The basic premise is that we have a lot of intelligent devices installed out there, but very few of the end users are actually availing themselves of the diagnostic capabilities of these devices, which can help them reduce maintenance costs and improve operations. Most intelligent devices, be they FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART, or Profibus, tend to be underachievers. Plant asset management workstations often sit collecting dust, in many cases because the end user did not implement the correct work processes to take advantage of the technology. Many end users also do not implement intelligent device management applications correctly. Implementing the intelligent device management strategy at the early phases of a project, for example, is key to your success.
Many of us in the industry that deal with fieldbus and intelligent devices thought that it would be good to have a standard that could outline some recommended work processes, a template if you will, for users to work from as they deploy their intelligent device management strategy and bring it through the operational and maintenance phases of the plant. Our standards proposal has been submitted to ISA and we are awaiting official approval. Meanwhile, you can get the whole story at this Plant Services Article!
With Fieldbus, it’s all about the tools. You need good plant asset management applications to take advantage of diagnostic data, and you need good device configuration applications to get everything working the way you want it. Yokogawa has recently announced that it will release version 2.05 of its FieldMate Device Management Wizard on August 6. The new version includes German, French, and Russian language support as well as a new tool that makes it easier to replace a sensor with one of a different model. A new verification tool for checking the integrity of Yokogawa AXF magnetic flowmeters is also included. You can read the entire release here.
At last month’s Achema show I got the chance to participate in a series of panel discussions held jointly by ARC Advisory Group; end user organization NAMUR; and ZVEI. I participated in the Operational Excellence track, where we discussed the definition of Operational Excellence in today’s plants and what it takes to achieve OpX. Of course my side of the conversation focused on the diagnostic data and information available from fieldbus devices and how users can most effectively manage that information, both through technology and through revamping their old, traditional work processes. There is a nice blog post at ARC that sums up the discussion.
Check out this new YouTube video done by Fieldbus Foundation marketing specialist Talon Petty — it’s a short “How-To” video for our DesignMATE segment verification tool, which allows plant automation professionals to audit segment layouts in a user-friendly environment. The tool helps assure end users that 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. This tool is maintained by the Fieldbus Foundation and you can visit our website here to download a free copy http://bit.ly/DesignMATE.
We have picked up a couple of new members in the past couple of months. Located in China, CrowCon is a manufacturer of gas detection devices, control systems, and gas sampling systems. Lapp Group India is a manufacturer of high performance cable. We continue to gain new installations in developing world economies like India and China, and we look forward to more indigenous companies becoming members of the Fieldbus Foundation in the future.