Fieldbus Foundation Updates FOUNDATION Fieldbus Device Coupler Test Specification

We at the Fieldbus Foundation have recently made some updates to our device coupler test specification. For the uninitiated, device couplers or isolated device couplers (where applicable) are installed where the fieldbus trunk (i.e., home run cable) is connected to the various device spurs. Isolated device couplers are specifically designed to allow automation end users to connect more devices per coupler while permitting live segment work in hazardous plant areas. These couplers provide isolated, conditioned power to multiple fieldbus devices and protect against short circuits caused by excess current in a spur. By enabling more devices per segment, they also help reduce controller input/output (I/O) points and associated installation costs.

The FOUNDATION fieldbus device coupler test specification includes criteria from the international IEC 61158 standard and additional functional tests such as input impedance, short-circuit reaction time, and bus voltage consumption. The specification is designed for coupler manufacturers to perform a standard set of tests against their implementation. A team of volunteers comprised of current members of the foundation who supply coupler products, as well as end users employing registered couplers, developed the test cases.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s Director-Fieldbus Products, Stephen Mitschke, commented, “The Fieldbus Foundation is committed to rigorous test procedures for all Foundation devices, hosts and components. Our device coupler test specification is intended to provide a high level of robustness in fieldbus systems. The resulting registered products are tested to perform optimally with registered power supplies and conditioners, as well as registered H1 cable.”Mitschke added that the latest enhancements to the Foundation fieldbus physical layer specifications will provide end users with greater confidence that registered fieldbus equipment can be employed in a tightly integrated, interoperable control system architecture that is well suited to the most demanding industrial environments.
To obtain this updated specification, please visit the Technical Specifications page of the Fieldbus Foundation’s website at www.fieldbus.org. If you have a signed maintenance agreement in place, you can download the latest specifications on the Fieldbus Forums, otherwise please contact member.services@fieldbus.org.

About FieldComm Group

The FieldComm Group is a global standards-based organization consisting of leading process end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations that work together to direct the development, incorporation and implementation of new and overlapping technologies and serves as the source for FDI technology. The FieldComm Group’s mission is to develop, manage and promote global standards for integrating digital devices into automation system architectures while protecting process-automation investments in HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication technologies. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of the technologies. For more information, visit their web site at www.fieldcommgroup.org.

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