Search results for Usability

Fieldbus Foundation’s Usability Initiative Explained

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

 

Enhancements to FOUNDATION Fieldbus Usability

We just announced the release of some great new enhancements to usability of FOUNDATION fieldbus. The new specifications that have been released offer a world of new changes to make FOUNDATION simpler.

Check out our release for more details!
http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1236&Itemid=281

(Update) User Demand Drives Pace for Record Product Registration. Major Milestone Achieved – 1,000 Registered Products!

As many of our readers may recall, we wrote a blog post back in September of this year detailing the massive user demand driving unprecedented numbers of product registrations. We were on track for a record year, and we’re here to tell you today…the record has been broken.

2014 has seen three major product registration achievements surpassed in the month of December, and one of them has been standing for 13 years!

Rather than drag on about how fantastic FOUNDATION technology is and how these record numbers prove its digital dominance, let’s jump into the “meat” of the story and reveal the three achievements. We would classify two of them as major achievements, and the third as a major milestone.

Achievement #1 – Largest Number of New Product Registrations Ever!

Eclipsing the previously held record is no small feat, but nonetheless it was eclipsed. In 2014, the Fieldbus Foundation registered 63 new product registrations. The most in the 20 year history of the Fieldbus Foundation. This is an achievement the Fieldbus Foundation, its members and the process automation industries at large should be proud of. After years of dedication and advancement of arguably the most robust digital technology on the market, it still continues to grow and expand to meet and exceed the needs of process industry users. Without the strong member support, and the worldwide acceptance and adoption from the end user community, FOUNDATION technology would not be able to reach goals like this.

This particular achievement owes much of its success to the continued expansion of our membership and to the continued development of exciting new FOUNDATION capable devices. When new members and more FOUNDATION capable solutions are combined, the results can be impressive.

Achievement #2 – Largest Number of Product Re-Registered Ever!

This achievement is another shining example of the worldwide acceptance of FOUNDATION Fieldbus and its continued use in the process automation industry. In 2014, the Fieldbus Foundation re-registered 40 products. As the needs of users across the world evolves and changes, so too has FOUNDATION Fieldbus and that fact is represented in the product re-registration numbers. Just like the 2014 new registration numbers, the re-registrations are the highest in the Fieldbus Foundation’s 20 year history.

Product re-registrations represent a plethora of enhancements from re-visioning through ITK testing to functional enhancements to usability improvements designed to make the user experience much simpler and more intuitive. Overall, 2014 was the most successful total product registration year that the Fieldbus Foundation has ever had and a big thanks goes to all of our supporters across the globe.

Achievement #3 – Major Milestone Achieved with 1,000th Product Registration

Reaching a major milestone in the Fieldbus Foundation’s history, it recently registered the 1,000th FOUNDATION Fieldbus product. What a truly impressive milestone to pass for the organization and its all thanks to our robust industry leading Registration Program. The thorough interoperability testing that the Fieldbus Foundation puts each and every device through is the corner stone to the success FOUNDATION Fieldbus has had in the industry. It has helped ensure proper communication and robust network interaction across the whole process automation infrastructure.

In true form to the Fieldbus Foundation’s mission to provide an automation infrastructure for open, scalable integration of disparate instruments and technologies, the 1,000th device registration happened to be from one of our longest standing members, Softing AG. Even more telling, the device is one that exactly sums up what FOUNDATION Fieldbus has always been about; Integration. Softing’s device, as if from some insight from “the beyond”, is dubbed FFEasy HART and is a hardware device that can be easily integrated into existing HART devices in order to turn them into FOUNDATION compatible devices. Simply put, the purpose of Softing’s FFeasy solution is to significantly reduce the implementation effort to enable a non-native (by original design) fieldbus device to communicate via FOUNDATION Fieldbus. Big thanks to Softing on helping the Fieldbus Foundation achieve such a great milestone.

Softing's FBK-2

Softing’s FBK-2

The Fieldbus Foundation’s surprise 20th birthday present (or should I say presents?) is the perfect way to close out the final year of the Fieldbus Foundation as it transitions into the new FieldComm Group with its industry associate HART Communication Foundation at its side.

Update – Fieldbus Foundation to Participate in the 2014/2015 Hazardex Conference

The Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee (FFUKMC) will be a leading participant of the forthcoming Hazardex In The Regions conference and exhibition series 2014/2015 as an event sponsor, exhibitor and conference speaker. The second conference and exhibition will take place on Wednesday November 26th 2014 at the Dept. of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1 0ET.

Hazardex

The Hazardex In The Regions conference and exhibition events are targeted at hazardous operations personnel in the process industries and will take place in locations convenient for the oil & gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, utilities, new energy and food & beverage industries.

The FFUKMC will present a paper that addresses “The application of FOUNDATION™ fieldbus and the intelligent field towards improving safety in hazardous area process plant”. FOUNDATION fieldbus technology was designed for use within the process industry and the hardware specification has always had hazardous area implementation in mind. The presentation will describe how the application of the technology works to reduce risk to workers and also increases productivity. The FOUNDATION fieldbus design and its application can steamline work procedures and increase the data available to make informed business decisions based on asset status and device degradation information.

The conference speaker programme will also include presentations from senior UK HSE and UKPIA staff. Full details of the conference programme can be found on the Hazardex In The Regions – London webpages.

A table top exhibition in an adjoining area will offer all conference delegates and exhibition visitors the opportunity to view and discuss participants’ products and services with company and organisation representatives. The Fieldbus Foundation display will include a live FOUNDATION technology demonstration for a practical, hands-on understanding of the technology, its application and usability with a focus on supporting a FOUNDATION installation through asset management; device replacement; calibration and recommended maintenance practices.

In addition to the conference programme and exhibition, all pre-registered delegates will receive an information pack, refreshments and lunch. Guests of the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee are eligible for a 10% discount on the delegate rates by quoting promotional code ‘Fieldbus Foundation’ on the booking form.

Also – a special promotion of ‘two for one’ delegate places is availablevisit the Hazardex webpages for more information on this offer.

Visitors unable to attend the whole day conference are invited to pre-register for an exhibition-only permit that allows free of charge entry to the exhibition only. Please see attached booking form.

The event will be held on Wednesday 26th November 2014 at the BIS Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1 0ET.

The next Hazardex In The Regions UK events will take place in Swansea (28 January 2015) and Ellesmere Port (25 February 2015). The FFUKMC will be participating in all UK events.

 

About the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee
The FFUKMC was formally established in 1999 to promote an increased awareness and adoption of FOUNDATION™ technology throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland through a range of end user focused activities including technology seminars and roadshows, technical demonstrations and support, and trade show and conference participation.

The FFUKMC membership now includes: ABB, Beamex, Beka Associates, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL –Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Moore Industries, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Rotork, R.Stahl, Smar, Turck, Vega and Yokogawa.

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 uk_info@fieldbus.org

Fieldbus Foundation Participates At The International Automation Congress (IAC) 2014 October 29-31

The Fieldbus Foundation Central and Eastern European Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC) is pleased to be part of the International Automation Congress 2014 that will be held at Hotel Ramada Aquaworld, Budapest, Hungary, from 29th – 31st October, 2014.

The IAC will provide an international forum for professionals in the fields of process control, factory automation and related computer science, to share their latest research, development and applications experiences with participating manufacturers, developers, industry experts and end users.

IAC 2014 is the first congress to be organised as a joint event that brings together the annual Distributed Control Systems (DCS) symposium and the Factory Automation conference in Hungary, and will now take place every three years.

An extensive three-day conference programme includes a plenary session for all, followed by a parallel agenda for process control, factory automation and computer science fields. Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO, Richard J Timoney, will present a plenary lecture FOUNDATION fieldbus will make the use of digital fieldbus ‘as easy as 4-20mA’ – an overview and update of the progress of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Usability Initiative which aims to further simplify FOUNDATION fieldbus implementation, operation and maintenance and allow users to realise the full value of the technology.

Representatives from Fieldbus Foundation members companies will participate in the process control conference programme with a wide range of presentation topics including:

  • Remote I/O – Fieldbus Foundation technology: an instrumentation overview (Jürgen George, Pepperl+Fuchs)
  • Hazardous area remote I/O with enhanced diagnostics features acc. to NAMUR 107 (André Fritsch, R.Stahl)
  • Successful implementation and maintenance of FOUNDATION fieldbus projects (Bindert Douma, STC. B.V, NL)
  • FOUNDATION fieldbus technology diagnostics (Marian Bartal, Pepperl+Fuchs)

In addition to the conference and social programmes, there will be a table top exhibition adjacent to the lecture rooms. The FFCEEMC will be running live FOUNDATION technology demonstrations throughout the congress using demonstration units that feature host systems and devices from several different suppliers.

A FFCEEMC press conference and lunch will be held on Wednesday, 29th October, following the opening IAC 2014 press conference. Richard J Timoney, Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO, and Jürgen George, FFCEEMC Chairman, will provide an overview of the latest Fieldbus Foundation technology initiatives and also an update on the merger between the Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation to form a new single organisation, FieldComm Group.

Further information about all aspects of the IAC 2014 event and on-line registration is via www.iac2014.hu.

The FFCEEMC includes representatives from major suppliers of control systems and instrumentation including Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, R.Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa.

For more information about the FFCEEMC, its activities in the Central & Eastern European region, and local language user resources, visit the FFCEEMC webpages.

Fieldbus Foundation to Participate in the 2014/2015 Hazardex Conference

The Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee (FFUKMC) will be a leading participant of the forthcoming Hazardex In The Regions conference and exhibition series 2014/2015 as an event sponsor, exhibitor and conference speaker. The first conference and exhibition will take place on October 8th 2014 at the Airport Thistle Hotel, Aberdeen, Scotland.

HazardexThe Hazardex In The Regions conference and exhibition events are targeted at hazardous operations personnel in the process industries and will take place in locations convenient for the oil & gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, utilities, new energy and food & beverage industries.

Richard Barnes, chairman FFUKMC, will present a paper that addresses “The application of FOUNDATION™ fieldbus and the intelligent field towards improving safety in hazardous area process plant”. FOUNDATION fieldbus technology was designed for use within the process industry and the hardware specification has always had hazardous area implementation in mind. Richard Barnes will describe how the application of the technology works to reduce risk to workers and also increases productivity. The FOUNDATION fieldbus design and its application can steamline work procedures and increase the data available to make informed business decisions based on asset status and device degradation information. Additionally, FOUNDATION technology itself received protocol type approval for use in safety applications from TUV. More information on FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions can be found HERE.

The conference speaker programme will also include presentations from senior UK HSE and UKPIA staff. Full details of the conference programme can be found on the Hazardex In The Regions – Aberdeen webpages.

A table top exhibition in an adjoining area will offer all conference delegates and exhibition visitors the opportunity to view and discuss participants’ products and services with company and organisation representatives. The Fieldbus Foundation display will include a live FOUNDATION technology demonstration for a practical, hands-on understanding of the technology, its application and usability with a focus on supporting a FOUNDATION installation through asset management; device replacement; calibration and recommended maintenance practices.

In addition to the conference programme and exhibition, all pre-registered delegates will receive an information pack, refreshments and lunch. Guests of the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee are eligible for a 10% discount on the delegate rates by quoting promotional code ‘Fieldbus Foundation’ on the booking form. A booking form is attached, or visit the Hazardex – Aberdeen webpages.

Visitors unable to attend the whole day conference are invited to pre-register for an exhibition-only permit that allows free of charge entry to the exhibition only. Please see attached booking form.

The event will be held on Wednesday 8 October 2014 at the Airport Thistle Hotel, Argyll Road, Aberdeen, AB21 0AF. Tel: 0871 3769001/01224 793201. For directions, visit the Airport Thistle Aberdeen website.

In addition to the Aberdeen event, the Hazardex In The Regions UK series will also hold events in Central London (26 November 2014), Swansea (28 January 2015) and Ellesmere Port (25 February 2015). The FFUKMC will be participating in all UK events.

About the Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee

FFUK

The FFUKMC was formally established in 1999 to promote an increased awareness and adoption of FOUNDATION™ technology throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland through a range of end user focused activities including technology seminars and roadshows, technical demonstrations and support, and trade show and conference participation.

The FFUKMC membership now includes: ABB, Beamex, Beka Associates, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL –Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Moore Industries, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Rotork, R.Stahl, Smar, Turck, Vega and Yokogawa.

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 uk_info@fieldbus.org

User Demand Drives Pace for Record Product Registration Numbers

Driving Growth

It seems digital process fieldbus can’t get away from people saying “it’s too hard” or “growth is flat”, yet every day in other areas of people’s lives they continue to adopt more and more digital technology. While unsettling as it is to hear that, the most unsettling part is that there seems to lack any evidence to support the conclusion. Why does someone believe it’s too hard? Where can they point to prove there is a stall in digital fieldbus growth? Somehow a message gets disseminated that fieldbus has reached some peak despite data from ARC stating fieldbus is still growing at double digit rates.

Are there regions where fieldbus isn’t as widely adopted as alternatives? Certainly. But are there also areas where fieldbus is overwhelmingly the de facto standard? You bet. It’s hard to argue there have not been projects that should have gone fieldbus, and instead went 4-20mA. It’s also hard to argue there have been projects that seemed certain to go 4-20mA but ultimately stepped into modern fieldbus. There are fieldbus “physics” to be considered. For a given negative story, there is an equal and opposite positive success story to counter. So what then are we to believe?

The Fieldbus Foundation sees it this way: user demand is responsible for driving registrations of fieldbus devices… and as of August 2014, user demand has pushed manufacturers to register record setting numbers of FOUNDATION capable process instruments.

Understanding the Impact of User Demand on Registrations

The data below is for FOUNDATION fieldbus specifically. It is sourced directly from our registration data and reflects a growth in FOUNDATION fieldbus by way of user demand driving increased development and registration.

When digital fieldbus was first introduced, there were only a handful of available device types. Today, thanks to user demand, there is a wide array of available devices to fit nearly every possible application each with their own unique set of capabilities and advantages.

Registered FOUNDATION Fieldbus Product Types

Registered FOUNDATION Fieldbus Product Types

This same user demand has led to the Fieldbus Foundation registering more devices with more companies every single year as it outpaces itself in frequency and rate of registration every year over the last 3 years. The Fieldbus Foundation also averaged roughly 15 new member companies per year during that same period.

3 Year Comparison of FOUNDATION fieldbus Product Registrations

3 Year Comparison of FOUNDATION fieldbus Product Registrations

As one can see, not only has FOUNDATION fieldbus been growing, it has just had the highest product registration month in all of  2014, registering nearly 30 devices. In fact, digging back through data to 1998, growth of product registrations with FOUNDATION fieldbus has never declined or become flat even once.

Looking closer at the sharp increase experienced in August (the end of the red line in the chart above), the Fieldbus Foundation actually had the highest number of product re-registrations since 2001…and we’re only now entering the 4th quarter of 2014. Additionally, the Fieldbus Foundation just registered the 3rd highest number of new product registrations since its founding. At current trends, the organization is projected to see the largest number of device re-registrations and new registrations in the 20 year history of the foundation. Let that sink in for a minute.

Yearly Product Registration Comparison since 1998

Yearly Product Registration Comparison since 1998

So what do the spikes in registrations mean? Well for starters, it means there is a clear and present economic business model for FOUNDATION fieldbus that manufacturers are capitalizing on. As the world has long since entered the digital age in nearly every facet of its life, it is only natural the process industries do the same. Digital provides obvious advantages over traditional analog systems, and Fieldbus Foundation feels that user demand comes from stronger standardization in the areas that the users require it and more flexibility where the users need it.

As the usability and simplicity of FOUNDATION fieldbus continues to improve and meet the needs of the user community, growth will continue as users demand more information and better awareness from their devices to run efficient operations that make reliable high quality products.

Social Interaction

Beyond the growth comparisons to the registration program, the Fieldbus Foundation has seen continued rise and involvement in social media across the globe. The official Fieldbus Foundation LinkedIn Group now has nearly 1,900 members and increases an average of 60 members per month. LinkedIn has shown itself to be a valuable way to communicate about FOUNDATION fieldbus installations with other industries experts. The level of interaction on each discussion post is impressive.

Fieldbus Foundation Group Growth on LinkedIn

Fieldbus Foundation Group Growth on LinkedIn

The @FOUNDATIONField twitter account has 1,885 followers as of this post with similar growth rates as the LinkedIn group. Twitter provides an immediate way people to interact with the organization and to read about current news and events natively on their mobile platform. Again, its the continued growth trend that illustrates user demand for FOUNDATION fieldbus.

The Fieldbus Foundation also utilizes a YouTube channel that has proven effective for spreading educational videos on FOUNDATION technology. It allows the organization to share great “how-to” videos and direct viewers to appropriate content they find useful when visual illustration is needed. For example, one of the most watched videos on the channel is a simple “how to” on wiring H1 fieldbus cable. This video alone has amassed over 16,000 minutes of viewing time. Growth in user demand for fieldbus has generated 50% more engagement in 2014 then in 2013. These numbers will continue to grow and expand as awareness of the channel increases.

Fieldbus Foundation's YouTube Channel

Fieldbus Foundation’s YouTube Channel

Conclusions

The Fieldbus Foundation continues to see double digit growth across the globe and it shows in both the registration program and social conversations. Users demand smarter instruments, more efficient systems and real-time closed loop control. FOUNDATION Fieldbus helps achieve these demands, and in so doing, allows the user to make a salable product safely and reliably on-time and with minimal interruptions. If it wasn’t for this strong user demand, manufacturers wouldn’t have a feasible economic business model to continue delivering fieldbus products at unprecedented rates. It should be said that the Fieldbus Foundation shares its users enthusiasm in looks forward to closing out another successful year of growth and a record breaking year of device registrations. This is a great thing for the process industry.

Hot off the Press! Spring 2014 Fieldbus Report

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.

ImageBe 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

Other stories include; 20th Anniversary Update, FDI, ROM, DSP, People in Fieldbus etc.

Lee College Workforce Exhibiting FOUNDATION Fieldbus

It has been some time since we last posted. Apologies are in order as we’ve been hard at work over here at the Fieldbus Foundation making it better and better for all of you guys. Keep the word usability in the back of your mind because it is an important message right now. Nonetheless, let us focus on the subject at hand.

A news piece was recently released by the Observer over in the Lake Houston area on an exhibit that Lee College will be participating at during the 30th annual ISA instrumentation trade show in Pasadena, TX. The trade show will be held from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, at the Pasadena Convention Center. Lee College workforce representatives will provide visitors with information on classes now being offered through the FOUNDATION Fieldbus Center. They will also have details about fieldbus staff, instructors and registration opportunities.

For those of you who do not know, Lee College is a member of our FOUNDATION Certified Training Program which is a prestigious program run by the Fieldbus Foundation in order to verify competency and robustness of FOUNDATION training at a particular education site. These sites meet very strict guidelines of vendor neutrality and ensure students get trained on the latest equipment and by the most intelligent competent people. If you’re in the Houston area for this show be darn sure you swing by and talk to the people over at Lee College (they know their stuff!).

Drop in to our FCTP section on our website to learn all there is to know about the FCTP program and to download a Whitepaper on what it means for these institutions to be certified under this program.

We wish the ISA Instrumentation Trade Show the best of luck and hope for a successful show. The industry needs continued participation and interest in our field and it’s great to see some of our own great partners involved in these activities!

You can see the original news story referenced by going here: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/lake_houston/news/lee-college-workforce-center-to-exhibit-april-at-instrumentation-tradeshow/article_201716e5-c74d-5a0f-92d0-112a30351025.html

 

Latest Edition of Fieldbus Report Now Available!

You can now download the latest edition of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Fieldbus Report on our web site.  The latest edition includes stories about the proposed merger between Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation and our new Usability Initiatives.  You can also read an update on our FOUNDATION for ROM technology initiative as well as a report from the ROM demo at the Automation Mumbai show.  We also have a new project roundup, an update on FDI, and a new installment for our ongoing series of “People in Fieldbus” articles profiling Matt Schrier of Honeywell.

Fall 2013 Fieldbus Report (PDF)

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