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Interesting Post in Emerson Process Experts on Device Alarms & Alerts

Lots of diagnostic data is available from fieldbus devices, and we at the Fieldbus Foundation have put a lot of effort into making it easier for end users to prioritize diagnostic information and manage it effectively.  Everything from incorporating NAMUR NE 107 recommendations into our specification and other aspects of our FF 912 diagnostics specification is done with eye toward turning diagnostic data into useful information. You also have to consider the impact of standards such as the ISA18.2 standard for alarm management.  A true alarm, according to ISA18, is one that requires immediate operator intervention.  You don’t want to confuse your device alerts and diagnostic messages with true alarms.  There is a great post from Jonas Berge on the Emerson Process Experts web site that discusses this issue, along with some more information on how utilize fieldbus diagnostic data effectively.

Emerson Process Experts: Intelligent Field Device Diagnostic Alarm Management

Configuring NAMUR NE107 Alerts in DeltaV

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
Here is a handy guide from Emerson Process Management on configuring NAMUR NE 107 alerts for the DeltaV process automation system, which has also been tested and registered under the latest Fieldbus Foundation Host Profile 61b registration.  The term “FF912” refers to the section of the FOUNDATION specification that incorporates NAMUR NE107 alerts and prioritization.  You can read more about FF912 in this white paper that we released earlier this year.  

New Paper on Endress+Hauser Approach to Fieldbus Diagnostics

FOUNDATION fieldbus has a unique approach to management of device diagnostics. The publish/subscribe structure of FOUNDATION fieldbus means that diagnostic information is available immediately to a wide range of workers in the plant. The challenge is to organize that data in a way that turns it into useful information for the right people at the right time. That’s why the Fieldbus Foundation created the Fieldbus Diagnostic Profile addition to our specification. The Field Diagnostic Profile incorporates the NAMUR NE 107 recommendations, which state the diagnostic data should be presented in a standard manner, with standard coloring and symbology, so it is easily understandable by the different worker roles that must have access to the information.

As with all our technology specifications, Fieldbus Foundation provides a standard framework on how data should be handled and provided to those that need it. The suppliers in turn have the ability to add their own competitive advantage by providing ways to manage an even wider range of diagnostic information within our standard structure. This is what Endress+Hauser have done with their approach to FOUNDATION fieldbus standard diagnostics, and they are making this approach available to other automation suppliers as well.

Endress+Hauser is one of the world’s leading process automation suppliers. The company was one of the founding members of the Fieldbus Foundation, and has a long history of involvement standards making bodies and committees. The company’s new approach to categorizing fieldbus diagnostics has value not just because it can provide a wide range of diagnostic information about its devices, from electronics to sensing element to the process itself. The Endress+Hauser approach also gives the company the ability to form new diagnostic models based on the information from and relationships between multiple devices in the plant. This brings the diagnostic capability to the asset, unit, and plant level. Endress+Hauser also wants to make this diagnostic capability available to other vendors.  Read the rest at the link:

Taking Field Diagnostics to the Next Level: Endress+Hauser

Putting NAMUR NE 107 to Work for You

One of the good things about FOUNDATION fieldbus being an open specification is that we can incorporate other standards and recommendations into our spec if they provide value to the end user.  This is the case with the NAMUR NE107 recommendations for device diagnostics.  For those of you that aren’t aware, NAMUR is a user group comprised of many the world’s major process automation end users.  The group publishes specific recommendations for areas of process automation that many times find their way into the world of process automation products and services.  The NE107 recommendations provide specific advice on how diagnostic information from intelligent devices should be presented to those that need it, from operators to maintenance technicians and engineers, in a standard format with standard colors and symbols.

The amount of diagnostic information available from today’s field devices is staggering.  With a complex device on FOUNDATION fieldbus, such as a valve positioner or Coriolis flowmeter, you can have literally hundreds of diagnostic parameters.  Some of these parameters are going to provide information that is critical to the process, others may simply indicate the need for future maintenance.  NE107 provides a simple way to contextualize all of these parameters.

NAMUR NE107 Status Signals

The Fieldbus Foundation made NAMUR NE107 part of our specification, and all the devices that get tested and registered under our new Interoperability Test Kit version 6 must conform to the NE 107 spec.  The same goes for all our new host DCS systems tested under our new host profile registration process.

Emerson Process Management recently published a good white paper “Configuring FF912 Alarms in a DeltaV System”.  The Emerson DeltaV system is tested under our most recent host profile called “61b”, which supports NE107.

The Fieldbus Foundation registered devNice site already has approximately 34 devices with NE107, and E107 compliant systems can already benefit from these devices. The number of devices supporting NE 107 is growing rapidly.  This means that new plants can now start benefiting from NE107 straight away. Existing plants can benefit from NE107 devices by upgrading system software to latest version supporting NE107. No hardware changes are required to enjoy NE107. 
NE107 compliant FOUNDATION fieldbus products are available From 21 different suppliers:
  • AUMA
  • Cameron
  • Emerson
  •  Endress + Hauser
  • FCI
  • Heinrichs Messtechnik
  •  Honeywell
  • Invensys
  • Magnetrol
  • Metso
  • Mettler-Toledo
  • Micro Motion
  •  Pepperl+Fuchs
  •  Rosemount Analytical
  • Stahl
  • TopWorx
  • VEGA
  • Westlock
  • Yokogawa
  • Young Tech
Devices are available in 16 different categories:
  • Bus diagnostics
  • Conductivity Transmitter
  • Coriolis Mass Flowmeter
  • Displacement Level Transmitter
  • Electric Actuator
  • Field display
  • Guided Wave Radar Level Transmitter
  • Host System
  • Nuclear Density and Level transmitter
  • Nuclear Level Transmitter
  • Nuclear Mass Flow Transmitter
  • On/off valve
  • Oxygen, Chlorine, and Ozone Transmitter
  • pH, ORP, Redox Transmitter
  • Pressure Transmitter
  • Safety Valve Controller
  • Thermal Mass Flow Transmitter
  • Valve Positioner
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