Be sure to check out the newly released Fieldbus Report posted today! The bi-annual Fieldbus Report is your resource for all things FOUNDATION. It has the latest news, fieldbus solutions, programs and initiatives being developed by the Fieldbus Foundation. It also contains a comprehensive list of the latest registered fieldbus products so you can be sure you keep up to date with the latest technological advances.
Be sure to grab a copy and read about the new Fieldbus Foundation Usability initiative we’ve been writing about! You can find the latest Fieldbus Report (as well as past versions) by going here: Fieldbus Report
As the Fieldbus Foundation continues to develop and release enhancements to our Technical Specifications, it is important we clearly emphasize to our audience the impact that these latest (and future) improvements will have on the user experience. Next week, we plan to announce the latest release of our FOUNDATION Technical Specifications (2014.1) which largely deals with enhancements to address new the usability of FOUNDATION fieldbus. Importantly, it also refines a few of the specifications in order to prepare for the first official FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management device registrations.
Guided by the End User Advisory Council for the Fieldbus Foundation, the organization started an initiative to quickly begin work on the usability of the technology. As we all know from experience, usability is a key factor in technology adoption. Things that are hard to work with and understand tend to never gain the traction they may rightly deserve. I rather find the iPhone parable a great example to illustrate the point. When the original iPhone was released to great fanfare, it really did nothing special. Blackberry had been allowing emails on their devices for years, every Tom, Dick and Jane had a phone with a camera on it…so what was so special? The answer is the usability of the device. It was the pure and simple beauty in a handheld device that was intuitive and effective.
For those of you that attended the Honeywell User Group down in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago, I hope you had a chance to listen to Darie Dreptate’s (Fieldbus Foundation) talk on the usability initiative. I understand it was very well received.
I hate to spoil the whole message on usability so I’ll direct everyone to an article I wrote for Industrial Automation Asia for full details…and believe me it’s exciting stuff you want to read about. I’ll give you a few hints though… Backwards Compatibility, DD Templates, Automated Device Replacement and PV Interchangeability.
Check out the article starting on page 18: http://flipbook.digiflip.com/IAA/May14/flipviewerxpress.html
Success! The Fieldbus Foundation’s North American Marketing Committee participated in the first seminar of 2014 year in Calgary, AB Canada on June 5th and 6th.
The engineering offices of Fluor in Calgary started the successful week by hosting the Fieldbus Foundation for a lunch and learn for over 35 engineers from the Quarry Park and Sundance locations. The event was led by Talon Petty of the Fieldbus Foundation with subject experts Mike Clark – BusCorp, David Lancaster – Previously of Bechtel, and John Rezabek – Ashland Chemical. The event was very well received by the engineers who showed a strong understanding of FOUNDATION fieldbus, yet also a thirst for the latest information.
Mike Clark presented on the topic of what the Fieldbus Foundation dubs VirtualMarshalling. Mike’s presentation, titled “Why Make Marshalling Smarter, When You Can Eliminate It?” discusses the solutions available in the industry and how they each work from a schema perspective. Some folks often wonder how they can make marshalling smarter or more user friendly, but from the perspective of FOUNDATION fieldbus, electronic marshalling was eliminated the day FOUNDATION fieldbus was created. With FOUNDATION, the marshalling doesn’t require any hardware or software configuration changes, it’s simply all there. It’s done natively in FOUNDATION fieldbus. Devices simply tell the user what they have available, and the user configures the device as they see fit.
Dave Lancaster presented on the topic of Host/Device Selection. This very important step can often be under-evaluated because a few exciting device features sold a device to the user before he/she could properly understand its capabilities compared to it’s required use case in their application. Fully understanding a users application and needs, give the users the ability to make important selection choices, and when the user spends the extra time fully understanding the impact of his/her choices during the host/device selection, the project is more successful overall. Dave’s presentation offers key consideration points for users and engineers to think about during the selection phase.
A big thanks goes out to all of the engineers at Fluor that participated in the lunch and learn and the team there at Fluor that helped coordinate the activity.
The event on June 6th, hosted at Hotel Arts in downtown Calgary, was the 2nd event in as many days and was a smashing success with roughly 130 registered attendees for the day-long event. The event covers a full project lifecycle from infrastructure selection to maintenance and device replacement. You can read the full agenda here: Calgary Agenda.
Hosting some of the most knowledgeable FOUNDATION experts in North America, the seminar challenged some past notions and offered some helpful best practices based on years of experience. The 2014 seminar is all-new down to the demo system on display. In the past years, the demonstration units showed static devices on display, but in 2014 the new unit actually runs a live process during the event to fully immerse the audience and to illustrate how powerful FOUNDATION fieldbus is for process applications. One particular such instance is when we illustrate Control in the Field (CiF). After demonstrating the redundancy and robustness of the host system, a catastrophic failure is simulated via complete loss of the control system. Despite total loss of the DCS, the attendees see continued control of the process level application via CiF. To take it a step further, a dump valve is opened to show an immediate loss in level after which the valve goes full open and continues to maintain level even with this additional process disruption. It’s a powerful demonstration.
There are 2 more seminars in North America currently scheduled for 2014. The locations are Baton Rouge, LA and Houston, TX (Sept 15-16 & Sept 17-18 respectively). If you’re in either of those areas be sure you sign up to attendee the new seminar, you won’t regret it! You can view additional information at http://fieldb.us/seminars-2014. Other global seminars can be found by going to http://www.fieldbus.org and browsing under the “Global” section of the website for specific regions.
Another big thanks goes out to all of our seminar sponsors that allow us to host these events free of charge to attendees. These guys have great FOUNDATION fieldbus solutions to showcase to attendees at each show.