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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.

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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Automation Software: They’ll Make a Better Software Fool

Automation Software: They’ll Make a Better Software Fool

Nice column by John rezabek, Chairman of our End User Advisory Council, on control in the field and the “Hold Last” behavior of fieldbus positioners.  

Last Seminar of the Year next month being held in the Houston Area – Sign up today!

Next month (November 6-7th to be exact) will be the last seminar of the year in North America and we’ll be in the Houston area. One of our prestigious certified training centers, Lee College in Baytown, TX has chosen to host us for our event. We look forward to this really great opportunity.

Lee College offers certified training courses of varying lengths and depths of study and is the only one in the Southern united states to offer this type of vendor-neutral excellent training.

Our day-long seminar on November 6th will focus on the applications side of FOUNDATION technology and how the technology unlocks more power for your process so you can spend more time at operational efficiency and less time in unexpected shutdown. In case you have not ever attended one of our seminars, you definitely don’t want to miss it. Some of the best and brightest minds in FOUNDATION fieldbus are in attendance sharing their knowledge and experience. The best part of it too is that it’s completely FREE for all attendees. You can find out more information as well as register on our website: http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=136&Itemid=371

Typical seminar format

Following the end user oriented seminar, we have a Sales Force Training seminar on November 7th that is geared towards salespeople of FOUNDATION fieldbus. The class is a half day training session on the latest news of the technology and how it can be a major part of a customers next installation. The course gives market data and figures for FF as well as some great resource material to help guide you and your customer on every aspect of FOUNDATION technology. Learn how the latest FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management can help your customers see further into their process by reaching out to remote assets and integrating them into their control systems and how they can integrate wired HART, WirelessHART and ISA100.11a into their existing FF infrastructure! Also come hear about our latest announcement on Project Gemstone and how FOUNDATION fieldbus is the only open system out there focusing squarely on making the user experience easier and more intuitive, including device replacement.

We understand how valuable salespeople’s time is so we’ll have everyone out of the training day before noon so you can still make customer calls and site visits. Sign up today to refresh yourself on the latest FOUNDATION fieldbus has to offer!
http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=136&Itemid=371

Be sure to check out our Twitter page for announcements on the seminars @FieldbusEvents. You can also view videos from previous seminars on our YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/FieldbusFoundation.

Chicago Seminar Update

We were very happy to be able to present at the ISA Will DuPage Section meeting last night in Plainfield, IL at Nevins Brewing Company. It was a great turnout at what is obviously a very well run ISA section with lots of active members.  Today we are hosting our end user seminar at the Chicago O’Hare Airport Marriott.  In fact, here is a picture of our End User Advisory Council Chairman John Rezabek delivering his presentation on the value of FOUNDATION fieldbus for end users.  You can download the presentation here.

John Rezabek, Chairman of the FOUNDATION Fieldbus End User Advisory Council

As John is fond of saying, FOUNDATION fieldbus grew out of the ISASP50 committee, which was comprised largely of end users, who asked for things like our user layer, control in the field, and standard digital communications.

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.

New Series of YouTube Videos

Thanks to the cooperation of CFE Media and Control Engineering we have a series of new YouTube videos on various fieldbus topics.  Shot at our certified training center at Lee College in Baytown Texas, these videos feature Lee College Chief Instructor Chuck Carter and our own Talon Petty discussing various fieldbus topics, including control in the field, signing up tags in the host and troubleshooting device addressing, and out of scale readings (overpressure) with FOUNDATION fieldbus.  You also get a really nice look at the Lee College Fieldbus Center lab, which has a lot of nice equipment and resources!

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Videos at Control Engineering Web Site

YouTube: Control in the Field Demo Part I

YouTube: Control in the Field Demo Part II

YouTube: Signing up Tags in the Host and Troubleshooting Device Addressing

YouTube: Out of Scale Readings (Overpressure) With FOUNDATION Fieldbus

FOUNDATION Fieldbus in Modernization Projects

The installed base of process automation systems that are approaching or have approached the end of their useful life is about $65 billion according to ARC Advisory Group.  Most of the project activity in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe revolves around control system migration and modernization.  Users making their control system migration decisions are also simultaneously laying the groundwork for their overall future automation strategy for the next decade or more.

Users don’t want to replace what they have with more of the same old proprietary technology.  That is why we are seeing more FOUNDATION fieldbus popping up in modernization projects around the world.  In the latest issue of InTech I have written an article that tackles this subject, as well as some of the key differentiators that FOUNDATION technology can offer.  Many solutions today offer alternatives to traditional “Marshalling” techniques for wiring and I/O and so forth.  With FOUNDATION fieldbus, we eliminate a lot of that marshaling, wiring, and I/O, we don’t try to repackage it.  Our block-based structure also means you can put control in the field, which ultimately increases plant reliability and eliminates unplanned shutdowns.  Your overall hardware footprint is the smallest compared to any other industry solution.

The old arguments that control in the field is not safe or reliable simply do not hold water.  From gas fields to chemical plants to refineries, end users have avoided countless unplanned shutdowns because of control in the field and have saved millions.  Read more at the article!

Latest Edition of Spitzer and Boyes E-Zine: FOUNDATION Fieldbus Control

Our friends over at Spitzer and Boyes are continuing their multi-part series on FOUNDATION fieldbus for control.  In the August issue of their e-zine you can read the third installment by Dick Caro, who discusses scheduling in fieldbus control systems, particularly the publish and subscribe mechanisms.  It’s worth a read, as are the previous two installments.  

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