Australia was one of the first countries to adopt FOUNDATION fieldbus, and the end users there have learned a lot about what it takes to make a project successful. Nirmal Nandakumar from KJV Gorgon and Vinod Verma froom CSBP both shared many valuable insights. Fieldbus Foundation marketing manager Larry O’Brien shared the current market landscape and new developments in FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. Jonas Berge of Emerson Process Management provided a good presentation on what the Fieldbus Foundation and its member suppliers are doing to make fieldbus technology easier to use.
Day 2 featured a sales force training seminar with unique content specifically directed at salespeople, including presentations from Ambrose Hagan of CSBP on popular myths and misconceptions about fieldbus. Allen Tighe of SEACOVE Systems discussed the value of FOUNDATION fieldbus from the end user perspective.
Here’s a new video from Brazilian automation publication Controle and Instrumentacao highlighting our FOUNDATION for ROM live demo at the Petrobras Cenpes research facility. You can see some of the key players in the ROM demo here, including Alexandre Muller of Petrobras and Libanio de Souza of Smar. Thanks very much to Controle and Instrumentacao for the coverage!
The Fieldbus Foundation today announced a new technology development initiative—Project Gemstone—intended to make the digital fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analog control systems in every conceivable way, from device setup to device replacement and daily maintenance practices.
Encompassing a wide range of FOUNDATION™ fieldbus development efforts, Project Gemstone covers many of the initiatives the Fieldbus Foundation is already working on today. This includes FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM), Field Device Integration (FDI) Cooperation, and ISA108 intelligent device management.
FOUNDATION for ROM technology allows users to integrate their WirelessHART®, wired HART®, ISA 100.11a devices, remote I/O, and Modbus communication into the FOUNDATION fieldbus managed infrastructure. FDI is working towards a single device integration package that will provide all the benefits of Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and FDT/DTM technology. The ISA108 standards effort is defining recommended work processes for intelligent device management, regardless of communication protocol. The foundation’s new usability team is also focusing on how to make fieldbus devices easier to specify, set up, configure and maintain.
According to Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney, “Our goal at the Fieldbus Foundation has always been to listen to the industrial marketplace and provide a managed infrastructure for process automation that allows end users to focus on their processes and their plants, not the technology tying everything together behind the scenes. For this reason, we have undertaken a number of key projects centered on making fieldbus automation solutions more user-friendly and compatible with other technologies.”
Today’s control technology should be easy to use and interoperable, and allow results to be achieved quickly, but end users need the right work processes to guide them in its successful application. For example, plant engineers want to be able to combine devices from different networks and manage them effectively, with minimal effort.
Experienced automation professionals in the process industries have taught us a lot about the implementation of fieldbus and how to make it better,” said Timoney. “As an end-user-driven organization, we are taking all of this feedback from our dedicated end user customers, suppliers and engineering partners and driving it into a continuous improvement process to make the technology easier to use in a wide range of applications. Many of the recent advancements we have made in our specification are geared not just toward the user. They allow process automation suppliers to create more effective applications as well. If you are a small supplier just starting out today, you can really use the FOUNDATION fieldbus specification to create an entire control system offering.
Project Gemstone will drive an innovation strategy enabling plant owners to focus more on what technology can do for them and their business, versus how they manage the technology itself. The project’s focus on standards-based solutions will also make it easier for automation suppliers to develop new fieldbus-based products and applications. In addition, the Fieldbus Foundation’s testing and registration process is designed to ensure FOUNDATION fieldbus devices, systems and components all work together as they should.
The first of our North American seminar series for 2013 will take place at the Radisson Edmonton South Hotel on June 5, with a mini sales force training seminar the next day from 8 AM to 12 PM. You can register at our CVent registration site. Our end user seminars are design to take a hands on approach to many of the basics surrounding FOUNDATION fieldbus throughout the plant lifecycle. Our sales force training seminars are specifically designed to address the requirements of the salesperson. Come join us in Edmonton!
The Fieldbus Foundation conducted the first live demonstration of its FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Held on April 30, 2013, this important event was attended by Petrobras company executives and automation industry media from around the world.
The first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART®, wired HART, and H1 fieldbus protocols into a single standard data management environment, FOUNDATION for ROM extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to countless wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids. Whether operating on a wired or wireless High Speed Ethernet (HSE) backhaul network, the FOUNDATION for ROM solution enables end users to pull device data into the Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.
Industry Leader Evaluates the Technology
FOUNDATION for ROM equipment is installed on an existing distillation column unit in the Cenpes pilot plant area. The project was completed through a cooperative effort between Petrobras and local Brazilian automation suppliers sponsoring the ROM initiative. The Cenpes installation is an excellent example of the value of installing FOUNDATION for ROM and Foundation fieldbus in an existing plant. The existing distillation column already has many analog and HART field devices installed. Petrobras was able to install a number of additional measuring points with a very small hardware footprint through a combination of FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and wireless devices. The installation includes three types of FOUNDATION for ROM devices — wireless gateways, process controllers connected to FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 devices, and conventional remote I/O.
How the Demo Equipment Operated
The second half of the day consisted of presentations from Petrobras personnel and the Fieldbus Foundation’s demo project leader for Brazil, Libanio De Souza from Smar in Brazil. Renato Ogeda, equipment manager at the Cenpes plant, gave an overview of the Cenpes facility.
De Souza then gave a demonstration of the ROM functionality, including more details on how FOUNDATION fieldbus brings diagnostic information from devices on other wireless and wired networks through the FOUNDATION block-based structure. FOUNDATION for ROM adds a new function block to provide an efficient way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O back to the control room using HSE communication. The new Association Block can aggregate 64 discrete inputs/outputs and 16 analog inputs/outputs. There is also a new function block for Wireless HART that includes HART statuses. FOUNDATION for ROM may be embedded into existing devices including RTUs, controllers, PLCs, PACs, and wireless gateways. Device status is reported using the NAMUR NE 107 framework, based on five states:
- Normal: valid output signal
- Maintenance Required: still valid output signal
- Out of Specification: signal out of the specified range
- Function Check: temporary, non-valid output signal
- Failure: non-valid output signal
Just click the six latest uploaded presentations in our Slideshare account to see the rest of the materials from the demo, including Miguel Borges’ of Petrobras presentation on the anticipated benefits of FOUNDATION for ROM and their experience with the demo. Libanio De Souza from SMAR also gave a very good presentation on the association block technology that makes ROM possible, and Edgar Hoffman of Petrobras delivered an excellent presentation on the benefits of the ROM wireless backhaul technology.
Fieldbus Foundation Slideshare Account
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
Jim Pinto, a name that everyone in the automation business should be familiar with, has written a good article on the differences between Ethernet and fieldbus, and the shortcoming that must be addressed with Ethernet to make it suitable for plant level applications. This is a good antidote to a lot of the press going around recently extolling the imminent demise of fieldbus in favor of its ethereal cousin. Read about it in Automation World.
Our End User Advisory Council chairman John Rezabek has written a great column in Control about the recent spate of articles and research reports that talk about Ethernet and fieldbus. First, let me say that we at the Fieldbus Foundation couldn’t agree more about Ethernet. We knew Ethernet would be widely accepted as an industrial networking technology many years ago when we adopted Ethernet and standard IP for our HSE network. However, many issues still remain regarding Ethernet deployment at the field device level, many of which are discussed by John in this article. There’s a difference between Ethernet and fieldbus, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive.