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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.

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.

Forays into Fieldbus Technology Pay Off

Another stellar article by John Rezabek, Ashland Chemical, was published in Control’s magazine last month, and I’d like to highlight it. John, as many of you may know, is the End User Advisory Council Chairman for the Fieldbus Foundation, and a big reason for this is his experience, depth of knowledge, and motivation to understand and keep up with the latest trends in fieldbus.

His article covers the message of what some users have heard about “bitter” experiences with fieldbus in its original days. John goes on to explain the key game-changing factors in successful projects as well as advancements that have and will make things even easier for users. There is no reason fieldbus can’t be a highly-successful wonderful experience for users (John is one of many examples of a user reaping massive benefits from smart digital technology).

As usual, there is no reason to spoil the message and writing John has so eloquently put together so follow the link below to read his post.

http://www.controlglobal.com/articles/2014/forays-into-fieldbus-technology-pay-off/

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

Read Our Article in InTech this Month!

Check out this new article published at InTech that goes into a lot of detail about the new initiatives we are taking at Fieldbus Foundation to bring the technology forward and enhance usability.  Worth a read!

Big changes ahead for Fieldbus Foundation on the eve of twentieth anniversary

FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 Interoperability Test Kit 6.1.1 Now Available

The Fieldbus Foundation today is pleased to announce the release of the Foundation fieldbus H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.1.1. The H1 ITK is an advanced testing solution benefitting both developers and end users of Foundation fieldbus H1 devices.

The latest version of the Interoperability test kit reflects the increased focus of the Fieldbus Foundation on usability. The Fieldbus Foundation has already made enhancements to its Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) that make it easier for end users to replace “Like for Like” devices. In other words, the procedure for replacing a device with a newer revision level of the same make and model of device is automated to allow the configuration in an existing field instrument to be restored in a newer version of that instrument without manual intervention.

ITK Version 6.1.1, a maintenance release, is yet another example of the Fieldbus Foundation’s commitment to this usability-focused continuous improvement process. This latest release includes 64-bit Microsoft® Windows support. The full H1 suite of testing tools, including the Automation Toolkit, is now compatible with modern 64-bit testing systems. Utilizing the Automation Toolkit alongside the H1 ITK allows device suppliers to develop and enhance their products easily and rapidly. Updated test cases for various function blocks and transducer blocks are available to maintain compatibility and fix bugs.

The H1 ITK consists of a test engine, communication stack and function block interface card. An excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging Foundation fieldbus instruments, it includes all hardware and software required to ensure complete device interoperability. By using the H1 ITK, instrument manufacturers can thoroughly test their devices prior to submitting their product for official registration with the Fieldbus Foundation. By ensuring conformance with the Foundation fieldbus specification, developers are able to deliver robust products and enhancements to their users.

The H1 ITK 6.1.1 is available immediately to Fieldbus Foundation members holding active maintenance agreements and for new purchases. For more information, please call the foundation at 512-794-8890 or e-mail member.services@fieldbus.org. To obtain pricing information or download an FAQ, please visit the Tools page on the foundation website at http://www.fieldbus.org.

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