I was attending one of our great seminar roadshows a couple of years ago and was asked by a user how they can know when new versions of their favorite products have been registered. The simple answer was to encourage them to talk to their supplier directly, but upon further digging, I realized this was something not being well addressed by the process community at large. How are the users supposed to know when a new device is available? If they don’t know they’re a newer versions available how can they upgrade an old device that may not have the full capabilities they require in their demanding application?
The answer is to track and update our members and newsletter subscribers about the latest registered products and to direct them to their appropriate registration page for more information.
If you’ve ever wanted to keep up with learning when new products are available after official registration, be sure to sign up for our electronic newsletter “Fieldbus Flash”. You can do so here: http://www.fieldbus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=217&Itemid=387
For those of you who want to see the latest registered products as of our September newsletter you can view it through our Media Partners web hosted version of the table here: http://www.controlglobal.com/industrynews/2013/foundation-fieldbus-products/
|October Fieldbus Flash Newsletter Screen Capture|
FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is an excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging fieldbus instruments, and provides all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer’s complete device interoperability as specified by the Fieldbus Foundation’s official registration testing procedure. By using the test kit, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for registration.
Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke said, “The updated Foundation for SIF ITK verifies advanced functionality such as the new dual-mode H1 device capability, allowing automation suppliers to bring new safety products to market without having to design two entirely different devices. Developers can implement H1 instruments with SIF features activated or de-activated. More importantly, this means that plants will only have to stock one type of instrument that can be used as either a process device or a safety device.”
According to Mitschke, multiple Foundation for SIF pilot projects are underway at locations around the world with different end users. Saudi Aramco has successfully launched two pilot projects and is preparing to install working systems within operating oil and gas facilities. After these smaller pilot projects are complete, the company plans expanded deployment of FOUNDATION for SIF technology in order to exploit its benefits on larger, mega-scale projects. In addition, Shell Project & Technology has specified FOUNDATION for SIF for use on the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) project in the Netherlands. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.
The FOUNDATION for SIF ITK includes a host of test cases verifying the functionality of a fieldbus device and its conformance with the Foundation fieldbus function block and transducer block specifications. It also incorporates a DD “Super Viewer” allowing examination and verification of a device’s DD, and a conformance test procedure for the Physical Layer. Device developers can “walk” their DD, execute methods, and render visualization elements supported by DD 5.1 technology. The interoperability test suite can be paired with an ITK automation tool designed to eliminate several manual intervention steps required when performing pre-registration testing of fieldbus devices. The tool improves ITK schedule efficiency and provides a direct reduction in the person-hours needed to complete the testing phase. It is available with a maintenance agreement to keep the test suite software up to date with the latest enhancements.
FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is available to current users with maintenance agreements, as well as for new purchases. For more information, please visit the Tools page of the Fieldbus Foundation Website or e-mail email@example.com.
In conjunction with Rockwell Process Solution User Group meeting and Automation Fair, we are happy to announce that the company is the latest process automation system supplier to announce that its PlantPAx process automation system is now registered as a FOUNDATION Fieldbus integrated host system. The PlantPAx system passed tests for the “61b” integrated host profile, the Fieldbus Foundation’s latest and most demanding host profile.
The Fieldbus Foundation has announced updates to its High Speed Ethernet Interoperability Test Kit (HSE ITK), including the addition of transducer block test profiles for both wired and WirelessHART® devices. The transducer blocks bring information from both wired and WirelessHART devices into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, and are a key element of FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology.
Updated to Version 6.1, the HSE ITK is used for interoperability testing of HSE capable field devices. The kit will verify the functionality of a device and its conformity to the FOUNDATION fieldbus function block specifications, before it is submitted to the Fieldbus Foundation for official registration and testing.
HSE ITK Version 6.1 is especially beneficial for automation equipment manufacturers looking to develop FOUNDATION for ROM devices due to its added support for recently released wired and WirelessHART device specifications. Other test kit updates include: Pressure Transducer Block 2, Temperature Transducer Block 2, Flow Transducer Block and Flow Totalizer Transducer Block.
The Fieldbus Foundation’s FOUNDATION for ROM solution offers a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in a wide range of remote applications, ranging from oil and gas pipelines to tank farms and offshore platforms, and even Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) skid-mounted equipment. The technology enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, including WirelessHART and ISA100.11a. It provides an interface to these wireless technologies and uses Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and function blocks to ensure interoperability with FOUNDATION for ROM devices. The remote I/O portion of the specification was released in April 2011 and allows for connectivity of large point-count remote I/O to Foundation fieldbus.
The Fieldbus Foundation has announced registration of the first isolated device couplers based on its Foundation H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device coupler test specification. Devices from MTL and R. Stahl successfully completed the foundation’s rigorous registration process.
As part of a Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, isolated device couplers are installed where the fieldbus trunk (i.e., home run cable) is connected to the various device spurs. Isolated device couplers are specifically designed to allow automation end users to connect more devices per coupler while permitting live segment work in hazardous plant areas. These couplers provide isolated, conditioned power to multiple fieldbus devices and protect against short circuits caused by excess current in a spur. By enabling more devices per segment, they also help reduce controller input/output (I/O) points and associated installation costs.
MTL’s 9370-FB Series Fieldbus Barrier provides a range of complete integrated enclosure systems, instead of stand-alone barrier modules. All internal components are live pluggable, meaning that field maintenance can be carried out quickly and safely. Surge protection devices for the trunk and spurs can be easily fitted without requiring product re-design. The product series includes 6- and 12-spur versions in stainless steel or GRP enclosures, as well as a redundant option enabling improved system availability in critical fieldbus networks.
|MTL’s 9370-FB Series Fieldbus Barrier|
R. Stahl’s Series 9411/21 and 9411/24 isolated device couplers are suitable for use in Zone 1, Zone 2 and U.S. Division 2, and are available with plastic or stainless steel housings that can be tailored to fit customer requirements. The series also includes a unique power management feature: during the start-up of a fieldbus segment, the spurs energize one after the other. This reduces the inrush current on a segment by up to 50 percent, requiring less spare energy and making longer segment lengths possible.
|R. Stahl’s Series 9411/21 and 9411/24 Isolated Device Couplers|
We at the Fieldbus Foundation have recently made some updates to our device coupler test specification. For the uninitiated, device couplers or isolated device couplers (where applicable) are installed where the fieldbus trunk (i.e., home run cable) is connected to the various device spurs. Isolated device couplers are specifically designed to allow automation end users to connect more devices per coupler while permitting live segment work in hazardous plant areas. These couplers provide isolated, conditioned power to multiple fieldbus devices and protect against short circuits caused by excess current in a spur. By enabling more devices per segment, they also help reduce controller input/output (I/O) points and associated installation costs.
The FOUNDATION fieldbus device coupler test specification includes criteria from the international IEC 61158 standard and additional functional tests such as input impedance, short-circuit reaction time, and bus voltage consumption. The specification is designed for coupler manufacturers to perform a standard set of tests against their implementation. A team of volunteers comprised of current members of the foundation who supply coupler products, as well as end users employing registered couplers, developed the test cases.
At the Fieldbus Foundation we take a lot of pride in the work we do testing and registering both devices and hosts. As of last month, we registered our 500th unique product at the Fieldbus Foundation — a linking device from Softing. Combined with our many re-registered products, that makes 759 total product registrations at the Foundation. You can view our registered products page here to get a complete list by type of product and supplier.
The Fieldbus Foundation today announced that it has registered the first FOUNDATION fieldbus devices based on its H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) Version 6.0.Emerson Process Management and Yokogawa supplied the registered H1 (31.25 kbit/s) devices, which were tested for their functionality and conformity with the FOUNDATION function block and transducer block specifications.
Emerson’s registered devices include the TopWorx D2-FF Discrete Valve Controller, which combines analog/digital position sensing and monitoring with FOUNDATION fieldbus communications and pilot valve output drivers for on/off applications; and the Rosemount Analytical 1066 pH Transmitter, which measures pH and ORP/Redox, and provides comprehensive sensor, transmitter, and calibration diagnostics to the bus via field diagnostics.
Yokogawa’s registered devices are enhanced pressure transmitters featuring innovations in multi-sensing technology that makes optimal use of the powerful characteristics of a single-crystal silicon resonant sensor. They also support AR, IS, SC, IT and PID function blocks; NE107 field diagnostics; and software download function.
All H1 ITK 6.0 tested devices support the latest advancements in field diagnostics per the NAMUR NE107 recommendation, which build upon the existing, powerful diagnostic capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus equipment, and at the same time, add a greater degree of organization so field instruments can represent their diagnostics in a more consistent way.
For example, employing NE 107 field diagnostics capabilities, non-critical diagnostics can be routed to a maintenance station for future work while critical diagnostics can be routed to operations with specific recommendations on how to resolve an instrumentation issue. This and other advanced ITK 6.0 features are fully configurable to provide utmost flexibility in user applications.
A complete list of registered FOUNDATION fieldbus products is available in the Fieldbus Foundation’s registered catalog at www.fieldbus.org/registered.
There is a considerable amount of confusion when it comes to understanding what a host system really is, and how we test and register them at the Fieldbus Foundation. The Foundation defines different classes of hosts based on their functionality. Integrated hosts, for example, are what we would typically think of as a fully functional DCS host with HMI, plant asset management, and engineering and configuration capabilities. Other hosts include those used strictly for maintenance purposes. The Foundation has defined sets of functionality that we test for for each class of host. To demystify this whole process, we have created a white paper that outlines the various types of hosts that are offered and their respective functions and testing requirements. You can download the paper in PDF format at the Foundation web site.
The Fieldbus Foundation today announced the release of H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.0.1. This powerful test tool, which tests the functionality of an H1 (31.25 kbit/s) fieldbus device and its conformity with the Foundation function block and transducer block specifications, is available to members holding an active maintenance agreement.
H1 ITK 6.0.1 demonstrates the Fieldbus Foundation’s commitment to quality and its continuous improvement of solutions supporting developers of Foundation fieldbus products. The updated test kit addresses bug fixes to the NI-FBUS Communication Manager (4.0.1) software, which have resolved issues related to alarms and obsolete descriptor errors. It also includes miscellaneous bug fixes to H1 device test cases.
Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute, an internationally-recognized expert in communication and network testing software based in Karlsruhe, Germany, the H1 ITK consists of a test engine, communication stack and function block interface card. An excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging devices, the H1 ITK includes all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer’s complete device interoperability as specified by the Fieldbus Foundation’s official registration testing procedure. By using the H1 ITK, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for official registration.