ARC is known for its list of top technologies to watch in the coming year and I am pleased to say that FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management is mentioned on this year’s list alongside technologies such as predictive analytics and cloud computing.
I read an article last week in Flow Control magazine about a new BP Whiting crude unit starting up last week. This unit startup is a key milestone in the ongoing multi-billion dollar modernization and upgrade of the Indiana Whiting refinery. I have it on good authority that this project also incorporates a fair amount of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology, and is just one of many refinery modernization projects across North America that has decided to make FOUNDATION fieldbus part of its modernization strategy. Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Refining, Inc. also incorporates many FOUNDATION fieldbus devices and host systems at its refineries in North America (more information here). Chevron is also incorporating FOUNDATION fieldbus into both its new projects and modernization projects.
|The BP Whiting Refinery (Source: BP Facebook Page)|
Host systems that are being tested to our latest Host Profiles for testing and registration purposes must support NAMUR NE 107 recommendations for displaying intelligent device alerts.
|NAMUR NE 107 Diagnostic Alert Categories|
We always like to highlight the capabilities of our Development Services Providers (DSP) at the Fieldbus Foundation. The DSP program is a resource for all companies wishing to design, develop, manufacture or sell FOUNDATION fieldbus devices. A Foundation DSP is a company or individual who has met the Fieldbus Foundation’s standards for tools, training and experience to provide services for the development and registration of Foundation products that can drastically reduce your development costs if you are a new supplier entering the fieldbus market.
One recent success story involves our DSP partner Softing and leading Korean valve positioner supplier YoungTech. A recent case study published by Softing shows how YoungTech worked with Softing to help introduce a FOUNDATION fieldbus digital positioner to the Korean marketplace quickly and with significantly reduced development costs.
From the case study:
“Having already undergone FOUNDATION fieldbus Physical Layer Conformance testing, Softing was able to offer a communication module with a pre-certified platform, saving YTC even more time and expense. The only outstanding test to be run was for FOUNDATION fieldbus interoperability. Once completed, the YT-2500 became the first positioner certified according to the FOUNDATION fieldbus Positioner Transducer Block Specification.”
IMS Research, now part of IHS, recently published a market forecast report that looked at the future of various fieldbus protocols and the growing role of Ethernet in industrial networks. That report caused quite a stir in the industry because it seemed to predict the imminent downfall of fieldbus, which would in the future be replaced with “Ethernet”. Of course, the terms “Ethernet” and “fieldbus” are not mutually exclusive, and I had some commentary and analysis of my own that you can read in this blog post.
Now, IMS research analyst Tom Moore and author of the report, has some clarifications about the IMS research findings and states the following in a recent blog post that you can read here:
“Although the research findings questioned the long-term sustainability of fieldbus in certain applications, we certainly haven’t forecast the impending doom of the technology. In fact, new fieldbus node connections will continue to grow healthily to 2016. From a recent IHS press release, “The future is strong for fieldbus, with new connections still increasing year-on-year. The growth rate for new fieldbus nodes is forecast to be just over 9 percent to 2016.”
Personally, I do not think it was the intention of IMS Research to foretell the doom of fieldbus, and if you look at the actual numbers presented in the report it does show continued growth for fieldbus over the next several years. The problem in my opinion is that people tend to latch onto the term “Ethernet” and view it as a panacea for everyone’s network requirements. Yes, many plant networks today, even FOUNDATION fieldbus HSE, are based on Ethernet. So, the discussion is not one of “fieldbus versus Ethernet”. It is rather a discussion of Ethernet and standard IP-based networks in automation versus other networks.
Nancy Bartels, managing editor of Control magazine, has written a very good article about Field Device Integration (FDI). FDI Cooperation, as you may have read about here in this blog, is committed to developing a single technology for the management of information from all intelligent devices by rationalizing both EDDL and FDT technology. You can also read more about FDI in this informative white paper published by the Fieldbus Foundation.
The Fieldbus Foundation held its first North American seminar of 2013 in Canada at the Radisson Edmonton South hotel from June 5-6. The end user seminar on June 5 attracted close to 75 attendees. Presentations included Lifecycle Benefits of FOUNDATION technology by Fieldbus Foundation global marketing manager Larry O’Brien, Successful Project Design by Mike Clark of BusCorp, Segment Design by Talon Petty, and Reducing Cost and Effort in Installation and Commissioning by End User Council Chairman John Rezabek. Several successful demonstrations of the technology were given on our demo units and included Steve Tiller from Invensys demonstrating installation and commissioning of fieldbus devices, Ray Azizian from Yokogawa demonstrating device diagnostics, and Al Dewey from Emerson Process management demonstrating control in the field. Ed Williamson, lead instructor from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) was also on hand to talk about the value of investing in training and the Fieldbus Foundation Certified Training Program (FCTP). On Thursday June 6, we held our sales force training where we had about ten sales professionals show up.
Our purpose at these seminars to take the mystery out of fieldbus and show people in a hands on way just how easy the technology can be. Our thanks go out to the supplier and user volunteers that made this seminar happen and to all those that showed up. Our next North American seminars will take place in Chicago at the Marriott O’Hare on September 18 and at Lee College in Baytown, Texas on November 6. You can register and view the agendas here. We have also posted several of the presentations from the seminar at our Slideshare account. Hope to see you at the next seminar!
|Get back to the basics with the new FOUNDATION fieldbus brochure|
Click on the link above to download the brochure and understand how this real-time digital communication network designed specifically for process control can help you gain the competitive edge through reduced hardware footprint, reduced device count, faster commissioning, tighter control, better signal quality and advanced diagnostics.
The Fieldbus Foundation also has many alternative resources available to help understand the value of FOUNDATION technology on an ongoing daily basis. Below are a few;
- YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/FieldbusFoundation
- LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Fieldbus-Foundation
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/FOUNDATIONField
- Slideshare – http://www.slideshare.net/Fieldbus-Foundation
- Fieldbus Forums – http://forums.fieldbus.org