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Calgary Canada Shows it’s as Strong as Ever on Fieldbus

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.

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2014 FF Seminar Demo Unit

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.

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Advantages of FOUNDATION in FPSOs

I came across an interesting article on the use of FOUNDATION fieldbus in a Floating Production Storage and Offloading project. I originally posted it to our LinkedIn group but I thought it was a good piece to also share with everyone on our blog.

The article, by Suresh P. Nair, was featured in a web exclusive by InTech.

The article explains all the benefits of having a “plug and play” technology that allows for quick modular connections of instrumentation in a very confined space. As we all know, space on a sea-bearing vessel comes at a premium so the smaller the footprint of your equipment, the more room for raw product. More raw product is the bottom line.

In the LinkedIn group posting I linked above, Jonas Berge talks about what this type of installation means beyond just FPSOs. The overarching benefit here is with regards to the ability to modular construct FOUNDATION fieldbus projects. While the immediate benefits for this type of application on an FPSO is space savings, weight savings, diagnostics, cabling savings, ease of commissioning etc (you all know the extensive list of benefits of FOUNDATION fieldbus by now), the true benefits are something bigger.

With the ability to modularly construct projects, easier project implementation on site greatly increases. Jonas points out that the ability to modularly construct a project allows the user to “reduce labor at the isolated site where resources are scarce, using manpower in the yard where resources are plenty.” There is a powerful message to be learned in that statement. I agree with Jonas that we’re not too far off from major mammoth projects being built offsite and shipped modularly for connection. We already see this type of thing happening across other industrial projects like major roadway/bridges and building construction. In fact, many of our regular homes are being built offsite these days with entire walls being pre-fabricated and delivered to site.

Be sure to read the full article on InTech’s website here: Advantages of FOUNDATION for FPSOs

Also, be sure to read all of Jonas Berge’s insights on the project on our LinkedIn group here: FOUNDATION Fieldbus LinkedIn Group – FPSO

As a side note I can’t help but be reminded of the story of a hotel just south of us in San Antonio that is sitting along the riverwalk that was build in a modular fashion for the Texas World Fair in 1968. It took only 46 days to “build” 496 rooms on the 21 story hotel.

Click Image to Read about the Modular Construction of the San Antonio Hotel

NEW Brochure Released on the Basics of FOUNDATION Fieldbus

What is FOUNDATION fieldbus? How does it differ from 4-20mA? What are the advantages of our all-digital FOUNDATION fieldbus network? These are just a few great questions users find themselves looking to understand before retrofitting their existing plants. The Fieldbus Foundation has put together a new brochure addressing just these types of questions. The new literature is a ‘back-to-basics’ style brochure focusing on the core of what FOUNDATION fieldbus is at its roots. This guide provides a simple explanation to new users, potential users, marketing professionals etc looking to understand what value FOUNDATION delivers.

What is FOUNDATION fieldbus?
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;

Social Media/Forums

Official FOUNDATION Fieldbus News Outlets

FOUNDATION Fieldbus: Control in the Field Helps Nicaragua Achieve its Aggressive Renewable Energy Agenda

Having been awarded the concession for a geothermal field in Nicaragua, US geothermal power specialist Ram Power and their design engineer POWER Engineers evaluated the available technologies and opted for a standard control system to be located centrally in the control building. The decentralized field devices (e.g., pressure and temperature transmitters and control valves) at the San Jacinto Steamfield are linked to the central controller over a FOUNDATION fieldbus Modbus over Ethernet gateway. The project team of Ram Power selected the Softing FG-110 FF gateway to link the field devices to FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. In using this approach, Ram Power was able to exploit the advantages of FOUNDATION fieldbus Control in the Field (CIF) to implement the required control loops, thereby moving the actual control function from the control room to the field devices.

To learn more about the business value of Control in the Field, check out ARC’s report: The Business Value of Control in the Field. You can also click the link in the body copy about for a great presentation on CIF by Travis Hesketh at our General Assembly in 2011.
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