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  Date: 07/07/2013

Fieldbus demonstrates "digital fieldbus automation experience"

Fieldbus Foundation said it has conducted the first live demonstration of its Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fieldbus Foundation says "The first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and Foundation fieldbus H1 protocols into a single, standard data management environment, Foundation for ROM extends the capabilities of Foundation fieldbus to wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids."

During the functional testing, Brazil based oil and energy company Petrobras's technicians accessed device diagnostics in wireless devices, including device status. Integration of video was demonstrated through observation of a control valve to determine if the valve was open or closed. A temperature sensor for a HART temperature transmitter was also pulled to show how the diagnostic alert would be visible in the same context as a Foundation fieldbus H1 device, stated in the release.

In both wired or wireless HSE backhaul network, the Foundation for ROM solution enables automation end users to bring device data into the Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure, says Fieldbus foundation.

Fieldbus Foundation supplier members sponsoring the Foundation for ROM demonstrations included: APATechnologies, AUMA, Azbil, Beka Associates Ltd., Belden, Biffi, Buerkert Werke, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Festo Brazil, Fuji Electric, Honeywell, Invensys Operations Management, Leoni-Kerpen, Magnetrol, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. STAHL, Rotork, Smar, Softing, StoneL, Turck, Westlock, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.

Fieldbus Foundation has announced in month of May a new technology development initiative Project Gemstone intended to make the digital fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analog control systems from device setup to device replacement and daily maintenance practices.

Project Gemstone covers initiatives such as Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM), Field Device Integration (FDI) Cooperation, and ISA108 intelligent device management.

Foundation for ROM technology allows users to integrate their WirelessHART, wired HART, ISA 100.11a devices, remote I/O, and Modbus communication into the Foundation fieldbus managed infrastructure. FDI is working towards a single device integration package that will provide all the benefits of Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and FDT/DTM technology. The ISA108 standards effort is defining recommended work processes for intelligent device management, regardless of communication protocol. The foundation's new usability team is also focusing on how to make fieldbus devices easier to specify, set up, configure and maintain.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney commented, "Our goal at the Fieldbus Foundation has always been to listen to the industrial marketplace and provide a managed infrastructure for process automation that allows end users to focus on their processes and their plants, not the technology tying everything together behind the scenes. For this reason, we have undertaken a number of key projects centered on making fieldbus automation solutions more user-friendly and compatible with other technologies."

According to Timoney, today's control technology should be easy to use and interoperable, and allow results to be achieved quickly, but end users need the right work processes to guide them in its successful application. For example, plant engineers want to be able to combine devices from different networks and manage them effectively, with minimal effort.

"Experienced automation professionals in the process industries have taught us a lot about the implementation of fieldbus and how to make it better," said Timoney. "As an end-user-driven organization, we are taking all of this feedback from our dedicated end user customers, suppliers and engineering partners and driving it into a continuous improvement process to make the technology easier to use in a wide range of applications."

Timoney added, "Many of the recent advancements we have made in our specification are geared not just toward the user. They allow process automation suppliers to create more effective applications as well. If you are a small supplier just starting out today, you can really use the Foundation fieldbus specification to create an entire control system offering."

 
          
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