There are many subjects on this page, simply jump to where you wish to go by selecting the one that you are interested in: Foundation Fieldbus Basics | Justifying and Economics of Foundation Fieldbus | Foundation Fieldbus Design | Foundation Fieldbus Control in the Field | Foundation Fieldbus Parameter Search | Foundation Fieldbus High Speed Ethernet (HSE) | Lightning and Surge Protection of Foundation Fieldbus Systems | Foundation Fieldbus Registered Products | Foundation Fieldbus Compliant Hosts | Foundation Fieldbus for Remote Operations Management | Foundation Fieldbus in Safety Instrumented Systems | Foundation Fieldbus in Hazardous Areas | Foundation Fieldbus Frequently Asked Questions | Calibrating Foundation Fieldbus Transmitters | Foundation Fieldbus Installation | Foundation Fieldbus Commissioning and Diagnostics Tools | Foundation Fieldbus Tools | Foundation Fieldbus Segment Checkers | Foundation Fieldbus Application | Foundation fieldbus Videos | Foundation™ fieldbus Educational Links | Foundation Fieldbus Useful Websites | Fieldbus Technical Comparison Data and Tools for Various Buses | Electronic Device Description Language | Field Device Integration | Digital Signals | Field Device Tool (FDT) Technology | Other Fieldbuses | Alternative Fieldbus Approaches

Foundation technology is the world's leading digital protocol for process automation. It provides end users with the "Freedom to Choose" best-in-class, interoperable control products from their suppliers of choice, and the "Power to Integrate" control systems, subsystems and devices across the plant enterprise. The result is improved plant performance-and greater business results.


Foundation Fieldbus Basics

The following technical information is from Metso Automation:

Fieldbus Ready to bring Real Benefits? - Oliver Jenkins - To date, major promoters of Fieldbus technology have focused on capital investment savings, since this has enabled easy justification of Fieldbus use on greenfield projects. But the early adopters of Fieldbus technology have found that once the initial challenges are overcome, the real benefit is achieved in mill run time, improved production efficiency, rapid production demand changes, flexible control strategy management, information flow, control data integrity, troubleshooting and device performance.

The Time is Right to Consider Fieldbus - A field bus (of one type or another) can be found across the whole plant structure. From Ethernet, through industrial LAN to control networks and discrete devices, it can bring a broad range of generic advantages. Field buses can also bring significant benefits to manufacturing systems in process control.

Control Valve Experience with FF Technology - at major Chinese petrochemical plant CSPC, a joint venture between the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Shell, is one of the largest petrochemical projects launched in the world in recent years. When production started in Nanhai early in 2006, the project was the biggest installation utilizing Foundation Fieldbus (FF) technology in process control and field instrumentation. The main reason for FF technology to be selected for the CSPC Nanhai project was its ability to provide a proactive approach to instrument maintenance. This is due to the fact that FF allows much more data to be transferred between field instruments and the host system compared with HART technology, for example. FF devices transmit information about an instrument’s condition before it actually needs maintenance or, obviously, when an instrument has an actual problem, as well as providing detailed diagnostic information about the nature of the problem. CSPC’s petrochemical plant is an early and successful example of adaptation to a new technology. CSPC uses diagnostic information from the intelligent FF valve controllers daily.

The following technical information is from Moore Industries-Pacific, Inc.

Introduction to Fieldbus - This technical paper covers how fieldbus works, shows how to connect instruments, and explains why-in most cases-you can’t realistically connect all 32 instruments on a single fieldbus segment. It also discusses the differences between PROFIBUS and FOUNDATION fieldbus, FISCO vs. Entity intrinsically-safe fieldbus systems, installing redundant segments, and EDDL vs. FDT - Thanks to MooreHawke Fieldbus.

Your First Fieldbus Installation? - Mike O’Neill of MooreHawke Fieldbus-thanks to Control Engineering Europe.

Bridging the Intrinsically-Safe Fieldbus Disconnect - MooreHawke, a division of Moore Industries has released a new white paper highlighting the various methods of connecting fieldbus devices in hazardous areas without compromising safety. This paper presents an overview of different ways to safely implement PROFIBUS PA or FOUNDATION fieldbus H1™ networks in hazardous areas while maintaining cost control and the inherent advantages of fieldbus. It highlights different methods of designing and installing fieldbus in hazardous areas including Entity, FISCO and High-Powered Trunk with field barriers. Also explored is the High Power Intrinsically-Safe Trunk concept pioneered by MooreHawke. This method allows users to get up to 350mA of I.S. power into a hazardous area by utilizing a patented split-architecture design. Readers of the white paper will have a better understanding of the complexities of Intrinsically-Safe fieldbus designs along with the history of innovations that have led to the latest industry advances. The white paper also includes a full-page chart highlighting key data points and installation advantages unique to each method.

The following technical information is from Samson Controls:

Communications Networks - A comprehensive 32 page document.

Communication in the Field - Lots of information here.

Serial Data Transmission - 48 pages packed full of information.


Other Links

Fieldbus Acronyms - (MS Excel file) - Thanks to Ian Verhappen and Industrial Automation Networks.

The Fieldbus Book - a Tutorial - This excellent 41 page tutorial from Yokogawa is well written and covers some material not mentioned by others elsewhere.

Building on the Foundation - Jonas Berge - Steady improvements and enhancements over the last decade together with an increasing knowledge base in the process industries have made it far easier to realize the promised benefits of Foundation fieldbus plant network technology - from Emerson Process Management.

Digital Buses for Digital Plants - Digital communications technology reduces wiring and improves end-to-end signal accuracy and integrity in modern digital plants. Digital technology enables new innovative and more powerful devices, wider measurement range, elimination of range mismatch, and access to more information. Overall, use of digital technology can reduce automation project costs by as much as 30 percent as well as providing a two percent operational improvement. This article explores considerations to be made in selection of bus technology for optimal digital plant architecture - from Emerson Process Management.


Justifying and Economics of Foundation Fieldbus

Economic Case for Using FOUNDATION Technology - Modern DCS systems are major distributed networks with multiple data paths, which, in the interests of security and the highest plant availability, are almost always duplicated and made redundant. This article describes how FOUNDATION fieldbus systems can now incorporate redundancy and fault-tolerance right down to the H1 field layer. The major impact is on project ROI and plant revenues, and only FOUNDATION technology can offer this level of security and benefit to the plant operator - From the Fieldbus Report and MooreHawke Fieldbus.

Prepare for Tomorrow's Digital Plant - Ubiquitous and Cheap Data will Transform how an Enterprise Operates - Ian Verhappen - Rethink Applications - As sensors become more rugged, reliable, smarter and smaller it becomes possible to embed them on the surface of vessels much like is being done today with skin thermocouples on boiler furnace tubes. In the near future, such sensors will be available to measure, e.g., pressure, strain and corrosion. There even will be miniature analysers. A wireless gateway installed through a nozzle in a vessel will eliminate the need for any wires or connections inside the vessel itself. A few years from now a reactor may boast IP-enabled sensors surface-mounted on its baffles. Pressure, temperature and other sensors, each about the size of a dime, will create a complete vessel profile. Their data will allow us to operate the reactor much closer to optimum conditions, resulting in higher yield at lower overall risk. In addition, we'll be able to detect hot spots, build-up, fluid mal-distribution, localised corrosion and much more - enabling much earlier identification of abnormal situations. The possibilities for integrated sensors will be limited only by our imagination. From Industrial Automation Networks and

OpEx Data to Knowledge - and Profits - Ian Verhappen - There is more data generated by modern control systems in a day than was generated in a year just decades ago, yet the same control systems are unable to take full advantage of it. Data without relevant context has negative value and must be integrated with other data from higher level systems to be useful. This paper discusses how data integration across systems and organizations converts data into knowledge and knowledge leads to profits.

Fieldbus End User Adoption Trends Show Growing Acceptance - ARC Insight Report.

Physical Layer Diagnostics reduces Downtime - Phil Saward (MTL-UK) - Hand-held test tools have been used routinely on the world's major fieldbus installations to speed the installation process by diagnosing wiring errors prior to start-up. In response to enduser feedback, recent enhancements have delivered better features such as noise measurement in multiple frequency bands and the ability to store field measurements before downloading them in the maintenance shop. Now, with the advent of continuous, on-line monitoring of the fieldbus physical layer, diagnostic information can be integrated into the asset and alarm management environments of today's fieldbus control systems. The paper will describe how the use of Foundation fieldbus as the protocol for communicating diagnostic information delivers an open architecture that is independent of control system choice. The key benefits of physical layer diagnostics will be explained, such as the ability to detect deterioration of segment performance before it affects the process, and improved use of maintenance resources during commissioning, hand-over and long-term operation - from the FFEUC Australia.

Maintaining Functional Value in FF Systems - Craig Webb (Honeywell) - A component of the justification for the use of FOUNDATION Fieldbus (FF) field devices has been the capability of those devices to provide comprehensive diagnostics. Delivering a useful result from these diagnostics has proven to require a structured approach to information collection, management and access. Raw device diagnostics must be processed to translate them into focussed, usable data that can be aligned to predefined maintenance actions and understood response urgencies. There is also benefit from the coupling of off-device assessments with on-device diagnostics to support functionally oriented process equipment performance assessment. The application of FF field devices in minimally manned and unmanned plant increases the reliance on FF dependability and the performance of diagnostic assessment. Performance of the device function must be sustained and rare failure events must be recognised and acted on with appropriate urgency to prevent production impact. Managed appropriately, diagnostics can greatly assist in the timely detection of the need for planned intervention. An approach for the management of device diagnostics for a range of FF device types, including transmitters and valve positioners, is discussed. This approach is currently used in the oil and gas industry in on-shoreplants and off-shore processing facilities - from the FFEUC Australia.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Provides Automation Infrastructure for Operational Excellence - This ARC report highlights that End users are increasingly specifying automation products and services not based upon the level of technology they provide, but on the business value proposition. FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology should be looked at from the same point of view - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

Fieldbus Diagnostics latest Advancements Optimise Plant Asset Management - Stephen Mitschke - Since May 2006, the Fieldbus Foundation has been collaborating with NAMUR an international process industry end-user association based in Germany, on fieldbus performance enhancements such as device diagnostics, which both parties identified as requiring further clarification and guidance for the user community. A key objective of this collaborative effort is to unify the integration of fieldbus self-monitoring data to ensure the availability of valuable device diagnostic information to process plant personnel. Advancements in field diagnostics support a structured approach to asset management, which simplifies operators’ tasks and increases their confidence in utilizing equipment diagnostics and asset software - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

Reducing Lifecycle Costs with the Power of Fieldbus - How Yokogawa Turns Advanced Fieldbus Functions into Economic Return -FOUNDATION fieldbus offers some advanced functionality and features that suppliers can take advantage of to make things easier for end users across the plant lifecycle. In this paper, we look at some of the advanced functions of fieldbus from the design phase through the operational phase and show you how suppliers can use the FOUNDATION fieldbus specifications to create a truly powerful process automation solution for the end user.

Taking Diagnostics to the Next Level - The FOUNDATION fieldbus specification was created from the ground up to allow suppliers to add their own competitive advantage to the technology. At the same time, we provide a standard infrastructure for your process automation requirements. Endress+Hauser is one supplier that has used the Foundation’s new FF-912 Diagnostics specification to address a wide range of diagnostic data from field devices, from the process to the sensing element to the device electronics. The world of device diagnostics is about to expand exponentially.

The following links are from Emerson Process Management:

Justifying Fieldbus part 1 and part 2 - John Rezabek discusses a variety of ways to justify FF projects.

Fieldbus Justification Goes Beyond Total Cost of Ownership - Larry O'Brien - Fieldbus, as a digital replacement for 4-20 mA analog communications, is a simple concept, but it is significantly changing the way that users look at their processes and is providing a flood of information from the field about both the devices and their associated processes. Users should approach the process of choosing, implementing and using fieldbus in a way that will achieve successful and superior performance, reduced costs and operational excellence in the context of the enterprise’s business.

The "Smart Refinery" - “Smart” technologies have been around the refining industry for a couple of decades. In fact, process automation, control and monitoring technologies get smarter every year. But are they actually improving your business? Are they helping you address the impending workforce crisis we are all facing? Are they helping provide you with the flexibility to change your production strategies to deal with varying crude states? Are they giving you the confidence to run your refinery at your rated capacities while ensuring safe operating conditions, which are non-negotiable? Emerson Process Management have combined their experience with leading refiners with the knowledge and perspective of their leading technology and applications specialists to stimulate insights and ideas for bringing predictability into your operation. These are not blue-sky ideas. They are down-to-earth and practical, yet advanced ideas for harnessing the power of technology to enable your staff to be their most effective and efficient. We call it the “Smart Refinery.” This brief guide aspires to provide insight into how you can harness these new technologies to gain value from improving your plant’s operation.

Improving Quality with Digital Plant Architecture - The major source of quality problems in plants, mills, and refineries is process variability. PlantWeb digital plant architecture’s predictive intelligence helps you detect and correct potential problems before they can increase variability. As a result, you can keep instruments and other equipment performing at their best, improve control, and sustain the resulting gains - so you can reduce variability and shift setpoints for higher-quality output.

Justifying Fieldbus - This slideshow covers the benefits of fieldbus including Fieldbus Savings from Physical Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. It also includes Multisensor Transmitters, Reduced CAPEX , Engineering and Installation costs, Maintenance Benefits, Ease of Troubleshooting, Increased Plant Availability along with examples. It is a super resource for an engineer looking to justify a fieldbus project to their Management.

Business Case For Use of Foundation Fieldbus - Amit Ajmeri, Ferrill Ford, & Sudhir Jain - Testimonials are out there talking about significant savings users have when they use FF technology for their project, but each and every case is different and savings are claimed under the project specific environment. Preparing a business case and doing an economical analysis between conventional and FF systems assists in identifying potential savings. Savings will fall under two categories. CAPEX reducing project engineering cost and OPEX reducing operations and maintenance cost.

Fieldbus Fosters Innovations - Boosting performance in the process plant are several new innovations -triggered by the digital spark of fieldbus. Jonas Berge reports.


Foundation Fieldbus Design

Application Guides available from the Fieldbus Foundation - Foundation Technical Guides were developed to provide an in-depth analysis of key fieldbus technical issues: wiring & installation, Function Block implementation, system engineering, and more. The technical guides are a valuable resource assisting control industry professionals in their usage of Foundation technology.

The following technical information is from Moore Industries-Pacific, Inc.

Advances in Fieldbus - Mike O’Neill of MooreHawke Fieldbus details of some of the awkward issues that fieldbus users might have to face including hazardous area choices, integrating devices into systems from different manufacturers, redundancy and fault-tolerance.

A Truly Redundant Wiring Solution for Foundation Fieldbus Segments - Mike O’Neill - A restricting factor in the uptake of FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology is that the physical layer used does not naturally allow for redundancy. Power supplies and interface packages can provide redundant connections to higher level networks, but all device communications within individual segments are absolutely dependent upon the performance and integrity of a single twisted-pair cable. This paper introduces a completely new and secure solution for fieldbus segment cabling which, when used in conjunction with redundant DCS system interfaces and redundant segment power supplies, is the final piece necessary to overcome objections to the reliability and vulnerability of fieldbus systems.

Redundant FF-H1 Segment Wiring - Mike O'Neill (MooreHawke) - from the FFEUC Australia.

Foundation Fieldbus Specifications

NB: These files are in MS Powerpoint format. Files are compressed using WinZip. Please note some of these files are quite large, and may take a few minutes to download.

This emerging multidrop technology has been in development for many years and is finally gaining the recognition that it deserves. It provides many CAPEX and OPEX advantages including Control in the field, advanced diagnostics and predictive maintenance.

Field Device Networking: Extending Interoperability Beyond Devices - Larry O’Brien - Testing field devices may not be enough. Most interoperability problems happen when a device tries to communicate with a host system, but that can be addressed. As a company that is responsible for developing and maintaining communication protocols that are used by a large number of equipment manufacturers and end users, interoperability is one of our greatest concerns. Interoperability in this context is the idea that equipment from a variety of manufacturers can function in the same system without having to be coaxed or forced in the form of reconfiguration or other changes. A pressure sensor from company A should function on the same fieldbus segment as another unit from company D. To facilitate that objective, our organization, like other standards bodies, specifies how this communication takes place - from Control Engineering and the Fieldbus Foundation.


Other Links

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Project Implementation Considerations - John Yingst, Sr. Product Manager Honeywell Automation & Control Solutions.

Laying the Foundation-Building Fieldbus Systems that Deliver Benefits - Gregory R Belcher (BE Hons) Systems Consultant, Honeywell Ltd. Australia.

Fieldbus Wiring Design and Installation Guide PDF - This updated document which now includes earthing and grounding recommendations provides a readable overview of the Fieldbus physical layer and is a great place to get started with Foundation Fieldbus wiring and installation - from Relcom.

High System Availability for Foundation Fieldbus PDF - This application note focuses on the requirement for high availability of the physical layer components such as Power Supplies -from Relcom.

The importance of Isolation for Foundation Fieldbus - Maintaining Isolation between the fieldbus pair and plant ground is critical for the reliability of a Foundation fieldbus application, this application note addresses this - from Relcom.

FF Technology on the Ravensthorpe Project - Dirk Pieterse (RJV) - Fieldbus technologies have been implemented on the processing plant as follows;

  1. FOUNDATION Fieldbus was implemented for Instruments and Valves including a significant number of digital signals;
  2. Profibus DP for Drives; and
  3. Modbus RTU for non critical serial data communications.

Key implementation objectives were to make effective use of fieldbus information in operating and maintenance strategies. This required integration of various systems and work practices. A consistent implementation philosophy was followed with respect to fieldbus implementation criteria, standardised devices and device revisions. The Lump Sum Turnkey Contractors (LSTKs) and package suppliers adhered to the project objectives with respect to devices, device revisions and implementation methodology. This paper covers a brief overview of the process, fieldbus implementation, design criteria, engineering and diagnostic tools utilised, installation, commissioning and lessons leant - what to do different on the next major fieldbus Project - from the FFEUC Australia.

Digital Fieldbus for Mineral Processing - Manoj Pandya (Alcan) - This paper discusses the implementation of digital communication technology for process control equipment from concept to commissioning. The primary focus of the paper is a technology plan developed by Alcan Engineering Pty Limited (ALCENG). The topics covered include migration to new technology and associated risk management, engineering design process and commissioning, as well as the benefits gained and “tips and traps” for a successful project implementation - Thanks to the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and the FFEUC Australia.

Alumina Refinery FF Project (Alunorte) - Luiz Carlos Simões, Ivo Cilento, Glaubério Pereira Junior and William Soares Vidal - Alunorte Alumina in partnership with ABB , adopted extensive use of Foundation Fieldbus (FF). as part of a major expansion to their refinery by adding two new production lines. Alunorte chose fieldbus technology because it provided superior integration of Control Systems and Field Instrumentation and greater flexibility for future implementation of asset management tools and process optimisation regimes. In a corporative effort, ABB, Alunorte and third party suppliers integrated 35 different field devices, from 11 manufacturers, to the Distributed Control System (HOST). This approach lowered the commission efforts and contributed to the successful expansion of the plant that makes Alunorte produce 4.2 Millions Ton/ year of Alumina - from the FFEUC Australia.

Specification & Implementing a FF Project - Phil Eastwood (Worley) - This presentation is based on our experience on implementing a Foundation Fieldbus based control system on an offshore “Not Normally Manned” gas platform in the North West Shelf of Australia, from the detailed design phase of the project through to fabrication site commissioning. The project has been conducted based on the client’s project philosophy of developing a set of FF standards for specification of field devices, host and integration of data to the upstream asset management system which may be universally applied to future projects. The following key subject areas were covered; System Architecture and Control Philosophy, Segment Risk Management, Host PCS Fieldbus Requirements, Field Device Selection and Configuration Requirements, FISCO Specification and Certification, 3rd Party Vendor Supplied Equipment, FF Documentation Requirements, Factory Inspection and Testing Requirements, Installation and Site Integration Requirements and Asset Management Integration - from the FFEUC Australia.

Selecting the Right Cable for FOUNDATION fieldbus Control Networks - What you need to Know - Sandy Fulton - FF-844 is the new Fieldbus Foundation cable compliance specification. FF-844 includes the electrical requirements of ISA 50.02 and IEC 61158, but it also contains some additional requirements which help you know your cable is the right cable for use in FOUNDATION fieldbus control networks - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

The Integration of Fieldbus Devices to an Existing DCS - A NASA paper - Debashis Sadhukhan and Craig M. Dunn - Existing analog strain gauge transducers and signal conditioners were replaced with new Foundation™ Fieldbus Transmitters in the Distributed Control System, DCS, at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The reasons for implementing this upgrade and an evaluation of the results of the project are the subjects of this paper. Problems and advantages with the original transducers and the newly installed transmitters are described and compared. Detail of the physical network layer between the Foundation™ Fieldbus Transmitters, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Multipurpose Micro-Processor (MMPs) and the operator workstations are illustrated. The complex nature of the facility and methods of future control of the associated processes are also discussed.

Evaluating A Foundation Fieldbus System - 20 questions and answers These questions and answers were compiled based on Smar's 6-year experience of working with Fieldbus systems. They are intended to be used as a guide to help evaluate a true Foundation Fieldbus system, so it can be selected wisely and safely. From Smar Implementing Fieldbus Technology - Thorsten Krohn - This paper describes the fieldbus technology decision, the objectives for using fieldbus technology and the implementation strategy employed to realise the objectives.

Do You Design Fieldbus Networks? This Software Tool from Pepperl+Fuchs Helps You To:

  • Check operational parameters to validate fieldbus segment architecture
  • Evaluate potential problems with a fieldbus segment configuration
  • Design your FOUNDATION® fieldbus H1 and PROFIBUS PA networks
  • Display, archive and print your entire design
  • Import field devices from a library or create new ones with the device editor


Foundation Fieldbus Control in the Field

Video - Understanding the Use Case for Control in the Field - Control in the field vs. control in the host: Foundation fieldbus technology allows for both, so how do you choose? A new study offers suggestions. If you are a Foundation fieldbus user, you know that it supports control in the field (CIF), which allows a sensor and actuator to form its own self-regulating PID loop, independent of the host control system. While the effectiveness of the approach is well documented, what user cases make it the most compelling for application? A new study has been completed by Industrial Systems and Control, an engineering consulting group in Glasgow, Scotland, that examines how CIF operates and where it is likely to offer the greatest advantages over traditional host-based process control. In the video Dr. Andy Clegg explains the parameters of the study, and the basic findings. His report discusses how his team carried out the independent evaluation, and the circumstances under which the high determinism of CIF can outperform conventional loops driven by a PLC or DCS - from Control Engineering.

ARC Advisory Group: Control In The Field Enhances Process Integrity - In the white paper, titled "The Business Value Proposition of Control in the Field," ARC describes the incorporation of a function block structure and other supporting functions in Foundation fieldbus providing a complete automation infrastructure for operational excellence. Embedded control functionality in Foundation devices is one of the key enablers for achieving high availability control and a stepping-stone towards single-loop integrity - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

Fieldbus Enables Single-loop Integrity with "Control in the Field" - Single-loop integrity is the "good engineering practice" of designing process control loops (or control strategies) in such a way that if any element (e.g., transmitter, wire, power supply, controller, control valve, etc.) fails, there is minimal impact on production. Prior to the introduction of DCSs and PLCs single-loop integrity was a widely used good engineering practice in process plants around the globe and some end-users on the ISA SP50 digital fieldbus committee felt strongly about it. The vision of those forward-thinking committee members is now achievable using FOUNDATION fieldbus (FF) function blocks to implement control-in-the-field (CIF). - H. BU YU, SINOPEC Engineering Inc., China, and M. PELUSO, Emerson Process Management.


Foundation Fieldbus Parameter Search

Foundation Fieldbus Parameter Search (ßeta) - "Taking the Frustration out of Foundation" - As a systems engineer working primarily with Foundation Fieldbus devices, it was evident that there was a lack of information available describing the numerous parameters and functionality. is a solution to this. Starting out as a repository for all parameters, ffsearch enables the searching of any parameter displaying manufacture provided information.


Foundation Fieldbus High Speed Ethernet (HSE)

HSE's Future - Linking the CEO to the Field - Thanks to Ian Verhappen and Industrial Automation Networks.

HSE: An Open High-Speed Solution for Plantwide Automation - Dave Glanzer - Fieldbus Foundation - The Fieldbus Foundation's High Speed Ethernet (HSE) technology provides a cost effective, high-speed, plantwide backbone for process and discrete automation. HSE enables users to solve a wide range of hybrid, batch and time-critical discrete control applications. HSE supports the entire scope of the FOUNDATION fieldbus technology, including standard function blocks and device descriptions, and takes full advantage of the low cost and ready availability of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Ethernet components. HSE complements, rather than replaces, the Fieldbus Foundation’s H1 (31.25 kbit/s) fieldbus, and thus meets the worldwide market demand for a unified control network solution. It integrates H1 for distributed process control applications with a high-speed (100 Mbit/s) technology for advanced hybrid, batch and manufacturing applications, and provides for information integration with plant management systems.


Lightning and Surge Protection of Foundation Fieldbus Systems

Lightning and Surge Protection for Fieldbus Systems - This publication contains a brief introduction to fieldbus systems. It continues by describing the surge protection necessary to protect such systems from the detrimental effects of lightning and other surges - From MTL Instruments.

Surge Protection as part of OpEx - Chris Ground - From MTL Instruments.


Foundation Fieldbus Registered Products

Registered Products - Searching for registered Foundation products? Look no further-the Fieldbus Foundation's registered product catalog lists all of the H1 and HSE devices carrying the official Foundation checkmark. It's all you need to identify products by manufacturer and device type, and view parameters such as function blocks, Device Descriptions, etc.


Foundation Fieldbus Compliant Hosts

Compliant Hosts - The Fieldbus Foundation conducts a comprehensive test program to verify the Foundation technology features supported by suppliers' compliant host systems. We provide a complete list of tested hosts available to meet your digital control system requirements.


Foundation Fieldbus for Remote Operations Management

FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management - One of the fastest growing segments in the world of process automation is remote operations management. As the name implies, remote operations refers to the management of automation assets that are located in or are dispersed throughout remote geographic locations where it is difficult or impossible to send personnel. This is not limited to remote offshore oil platforms and oil and gas pipelines. It can also include tank farms and terminals, water and wastewater treatment facilities, and any industry or application that requires remote access to automation assets.

Video - The Unveiling of FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management - The Fieldbus Foundation has unveiled its Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM) solution, a new technology initiative intended to develop a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in remote applications such as tank farms, terminals, pipelines, offshore platforms, and even OEM equipment skids. The technology enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, including WirelessHART and ISA 100.11a. 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 - from Control Engineering.


Foundation Fieldbus in Safety Instrumented Systems

Planning & Implementating FF-SIS - Gordon Stevenson (Bechtel) - This paper discusses the planning and implementation of FF-SIS within the process industry. How to realise the benefits of FF and its impact on the specification, design, validation, verification and maintenance of an SIS are addressed. The risks associated with FF-SIS are examined and practical risk reduction/mitigation steps proposed - from the FFEUC Australia.


Foundation Fieldbus in Hazardous Areas

The following technical information is from Moore Industries-Pacific, Inc.

Implementing Foundation Fieldbus H1 networks in Hazardous Areas - The purpose of this paper is to provide some insight into the process of safely implementing Foundation Fieldbus in a classified area - Mike O’Neill of MooreHawke Fieldbus.

Achieving Redundant Intrinsically-Safe Fieldbus Segments for Fisco & Entity Devices - Mike O’Neill - During the last year or so, a variety of approaches have been released offering users new fieldbus segments with redundancy and FISCO device connectivity. This paper describes and compares those new designs with regard to segment capacity, MTBF, overall availability, installation areas and implementation cost.

Installing Fieldbus in Hazardous Locations - Harry Wilson - This article covers the North American aspects.


Other Links

DART Fieldbus: Intrinsic Safety Now Available without Power Limits - The New DART System from Pepperl+Fuchs enables process users to take full advantage of the benefits of fieldbus technology in intrinsic safety environments . Pepperl+Fuchs have introduced the Dynamic Arc Recognition and Termination (DART) technology for use in the popular FieldConnex Fieldbus Infrastructure. DART Technology is a dynamic system that provides dramatically higher power levels while maintaining intrinsically safe energy levels - from Pepperl+Fuchs.

Fieldbus Non-Incendive Concept (FNICO) - Phil Saward - from MTL Instruments.

FISCO Intrinsically Safe Fieldbus Systems - This application note is a practical guide to the selection, installation and maintenance of equipment complying with the Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO). The document begins with a discussion of the origins of FISCO and an introduction to the main elements that should be considered when assembling FISCO systems. Later sections then develop each subject in more detail, with the intention of providing clear guidance to new and experienced Fieldbus users - From MTL Instruments.

The Application of Intrinsic Safety to Fieldbus Systems - Chris Towle Chairman: MTL Instruments Ltd - This excellent paper covers the technical aspects of FISCO, FNICO, Exe and Exi combination, Maintenance and Inspection along with Intrinsically Safe Ethernet - Presentation from the IDC Technologies "Hazardous Areas: Classifications and Equipment Conference 2007"- from MTL Instruments.

FISCO - Intrinsically Safe Fieldbus Systems - A practical guide to the selection, installation and maintenance of equipment complying with the Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe COncept (FISCO) for fieldbus systems in Zone 2 and Division 2 hazardous areas. The document begins with a discussion of the origins of FISCO and follows with a review of the main elements to be considered when assembling FISCO systems. Further sections develop each subject in more detail. The intention is to provide clear guidance to new and experienced fieldbus users.

FISCO, FNICO plug in, users, approvers tout the advantages of duel fieldbus safety concepts - Ellen Fussell ISA - It's a fieldbus approach versus a standard analog approach. It reduces users' barriers from entering into the fieldbus world. It reduces installation costs, hardware, and wire. Sound familiar? The fieldbus intrinsically safe concept (FISCO) has been on the tongues of fieldbus users in hazardous locations for some time. But lately, more users are turning to FISCO as well as the fieldbus nonincendive concept (FNICO), which allow them to plug more devices into their network in a safe way and save money at the same time.

FNICO - Non-Incendive Fieldbus Systems - A practical guide to the selection, installation and maintenance of equipment complying with the Fieldbus Non-Incendive COncept (FNICO) for fieldbus systems in Zone 2 and Division 2 hazardous areas. The document begins with a discussion of the origins of FNICO and follows with a review of the main elements to be considered when assembling FNICO systems. Further sections develop each subject in more detail. The intention is to provide clear guidance to new and experienced fieldbus users.

Non-Incendive Fieldbus for Simplified Maintenance is a paper that discusses the benefits of High Powered Trunk and Energy Limited Spurs for a Class I Division 2 or Zone 2 installation of Fieldbus systems - from Relcom.

Why should you Choose Intrinsic Safety rather than Flameproof for Fieldbus Applications? - From ICEweb.


Foundation Fieldbus Frequently Asked Questions

Fieldbus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Common questions regarding Foundation Fieldbus wiring, power, and installation answered here - from Relcom.


Calibrating Foundation Fieldbus Transmitters

Calibrating Fieldbus Transmitters - Fieldbus is becoming more and more common in today’s instrumentation. But what is fieldbus and how does it differ from conventional instrumentation? Fieldbus transmitters must be calibrated as well, but how can it be done? Until now, no practical solutions have existed for calibrating fieldbus transmitters.


Foundation Fieldbus Installation

Fieldbus Installations - Lessons and Learnings - English and Portugese - Thanks to Ian Verhappen and Industrial Automation Networks.

The following technical information is from Moore Industries-Pacific, Inc.

Installing Fieldbus in Real-Life Applications - Many automation engineers are coming face-to-face with real fieldbus applications for the first time. Fieldbus is a wonderful technology with many benefits, but fieldbus installation requires some additional considerations over and above normal 4-20mA projects. In this in-depth white paper, we discuss some of those issues, and show you how to deal with them.

Fieldbus Installation - Short-Circuiting Fieldbus Installation Problems - Tim Wilson and Jeff Marsh - Like other process industry operations, bio-fuel production plants seek state-of-the-art automation technology in order to reduce raw material costs, increase yields, comply with regulatory standards and maximize revenues. However, plant managers must ensure control systems provide reliable operation and a low cost of ownership over the life of installed assets. Although modern, fieldbus-based process control systems offer many operational benefits, ethanol producers need effective measures to protect the fieldbus physical layer against short circuits, improper termination and other problems that can adversely affect system performance and reliability. They also need solutions enabling a quick ramp-up from installation to operation of the control system in order to improve their time to market - from Control Global.


Other Links

Methods for Planning, Installation, Commissioning and Diagnosis of Fieldbus Installations - Andreas Hennecke, Sven Seintsch and Thomas Kasten - This paper describes working practice for all phases of the project: planning, commissioning, plant start-up, operation and online troubleshooting of fieldbus systems. Strategies are described that enable users to maximize the benefits of fieldbus technology. Thanks to Pepperl and Fuchs.


Foundation Fieldbus Commissioning and Diagnostics Tools

FF Commissioning Practices - Ian Verhappen - The digital communications capability of Fieldbus networks and their associated “plug and play” feature enable changes to be made to the traditional way in which field device commissioning is performed. This paper discusses how these differences can be used to reduce the field commissioning time on a typical project - Thanks to Ian Verhappen and Industrial Automation Networks.

Fieldbus: Commissioning with Advanced Diagnostic Tools - Modern day fieldbus diagnostic tools - such as the Advanced Diagnostic Module for the FieldConnex® Power Hub - bring transparency to the fieldbus physical layer and communication. The module performs measurements such as supply voltage, load current, signal level, line noise or jitter. The module listens to the communication and distinguishes between segment and device information. Clear and concise displays within the Diagnostic Manager show readouts to the user - this brings transparency to a plant condition that seems ambiguous - from Pepperl+Fuchs.

Monitoring the Fieldbus Physical Layer - Commissioning the fieldbus with advanced diagnostic tools - What was unthinkable for point-to-point wiring, is affordable for the fieldbus: the new Advanced Diagnostic Module from Pepperl+Fuchs offers the measurement and monitoring of the physical fieldbus structure from the control station. Designed as a plug-in card for the modular power supply system Power Hub, the module gathers all the measurements of the fieldbus physical layer for all fieldbus segments and combines them at a single maintenance workstation online and in realtime. The fieldbus diagnosis provides transparency, and the measurability of the actually transferred signals gives installers and operators of process systems a more complete picture of the behavior of the fieldbus. This allows for otherwise often inexplicable behavior to be analyzed with precision. You can also measure and verify the reserve power available on the fieldbus - from Pepperl+Fuchs.

Advanced Diagnostics Self Validates Health of Fieldbus Networks - Wil Chin and Allen Avery - Diagnostic capabilities for Fieldbus networks have evolved significantly over the years. Rudimentary tests such as instrument elevated zero outputs and simple I/O health checks gave way to superior instrument and process diagnostics with the introduction of HART, which had its limitations due to bandwidth restrictions. The advent and acceptance of Fieldbus has in-creased the use of sophisticated sensor technology and process diagnostics. Until recently, it was cost prohibitive to monitor the health of the entire Fieldbus network. However, that has changed with the introduction of more sophisticated Fieldbus hardware and advanced diagnostic systems - from Pepperl+Fuchs.

Troubleshooting Guide describes common fieldbus physical layer problems and how to find them - from Relcom.

Preventing Fieldbus Physical Layer Problems application note provides suggestions to help minimize problems with the fieldbus physical layer - from Relcom.


Foundation Fieldbus Tools

The FBT-6 Fieldbus Monitor is a hand held device that allows field personnel to perform a variety of physical layer tests to troubleshoot and commission fieldbus segments. The FBT-6 builds on the FBT-3 fieldbus tester that is established as the standard for fieldbus H1 test equipment.

Having Trouble with your Fieldbus installation? Troubleshoot with Relcom Tools that are available? Designed specifically for Fieldbus, Relcom offer three hand-held testers for network monitoring, validating field wiring, and probing for bus power and Fieldbus signals.

The Testing Fieldbus Wiring with an FBT-6 and FBT-5 application note provides information about using these two instruments together to test fieldbus wiring - from Relcom.

Portable Tools Can Make Fieldbus Easier - Most people think of fieldbus as digital integration of field devices with process automation systems and that working with Fieldbus can only be accomplished with fixed assets (such as PCs) located in fixed locations, but there are also a number of portable tools available that can make specific fieldbus tasks a lot easier and help you get a better return on your fieldbus investment. There are some very good reasons for using portable tools and a wide range of products available with different functions and price levels. Here are some of the more compelling reasons to use portable tools, the different classes of tools, and some things the Fieldbus Foundation is doing to ensure that the products you purchase match their specifications.


Foundation Fieldbus Segment Checkers

Fieldbus Segment Calculator - This tool models the behaviour of MTL’s 9370-FB Series Fieldbus Barriers, and provides a rapid “Go/No-Go” indication of the electrical characteristics of the fieldbus network. All the relevant parameters of the fieldbus segment are easily configurable, including field device currents, cable lengths, cable cross-section and number of fieldbus spurs. Power supply and host control system types are easily selectable from pull-down menus, or can be user-defined.

MTL Segment Calculator - The MTL segment calculator is a spreadsheet-based tool designed to assist network and planning engineers when designing and implementing FOUNDATION fieldbus ™ H1 networks. Specific data covering MTL fieldbus power supplies, including the latest Redundant FISCO units, wiring hubs and third-party field devices are pre-programmed although users can input their own device parameters. Calculations using surge protection devices are also accommodated.

Emerson Process Management Segment Design Tool for Physical and Electrical Design Verification - The Segment Design Tool is a Windows 2000/XP/Vista compatible program designed to provide a general guide for reducing the time required to engineer a FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 segment of DeltaV systems, Ovation systems and 3420 Fieldbus Interface Modules. The Segment Design Tool checks the segment layout utilizing the FOUNDATION Fieldbus rules governing cable lengths, power consumption and proper segment termination. This tool now supports a variety of Intrinsically Safe concepts, including Entity, FISCO FNICO and High Power Trunk (HPT). Given that the tool results are based on ideal components, power and layout specification, the tool results only provide a general indication as to the expected performance of the segment; therefore; the PlantWeb Architecture components specifications and installation instructions will always take precedence.


Foundation Fieldbus Application

Fieldbus Solution Helps Conoco Create Innovative Plant - A Greenfield Carbon Fiber Facility Expands Data Access with a Foundation Fieldbus-Based Control System. By A. Thomas O'Grady - from Honeywell.

A Nuclear Perspective on Foundation Fieldbus Application - This presentation covers the selection and reasons behind this Foundation Fieldbus solution in the Duke Energy plant - Michael H. Miller - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

Foundation fieldbus has improved Safety and Availability of Chemical Additives Plant for over 10 years - This article describes how FOUNDATION fieldbus based control system was used to automate a chemical additives plant operated by Wuhan Youji Industries Co., Ltd. in the People's Republic of China. The process involves the production of sodium benzoate, a food and beverage preservative, from toluene or methylbenzene. In particular, the article discusses how a new, FOUNDATION fieldbus-based control system met the need for improved safety and fault tolerance at the plant, and provided a solution for increased availability and reduced losses of raw materials and finished products - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

The World’s Largest Installation of Foundation Fieldbus at China’s Largest Petrochemical Complex - Mike Spear - Across the 10 plants and utilities there are over 48 000 control loops, with about 166 000 I/O tags and around 25 000 points hardwired to the automation system. There are 40 000 instruments and some 13 000 intelligent devices networked in the world’s largest Foundation Fieldbus installation. In total there are 2500 FF segments. Adrian Howell, SECCO’s process control manager, says that ‘while we knew that a fieldbus approach would save considerable amounts of cabling, a conservative approach was taken to the number of devices connected on each segment. Designs were limited to no more than 12 devices, and the average ended up as five devices per segment, where each segment varies between two to 11 devices - from the Fieldbus Foundation.

Power Plant sees Green with New Digital Bus System - John Blaney, Jim Murray, and Gary Tingley - Chasing advantages in design and construction savings, the utility wanted to incorporate digital bus technology in as many areas as possible. Both Foundation fieldbus and PROFIBUS are used significantly throughout the balance of plant systems. Another reason behind the decision was simply the opportunity to try new technology on a new plant since the technology has been proven in many other industries, just not in the power industry - From the ISA and InTech.

Foundation Technology: End User Perspective on Automation Infrastructure for Operational Excellence - Phil Stoor -Brunner Mond (UK), a major producer of sodium carbonate (soda ash) for the European market, decided to replace the outdated control system at its Northwich East plant in Cheshire, England, with the latest process automation technology. Brunner Mond sought a modern control system that would improve its operational efficiency, reduce plant maintenance costs, increase safety, and minimize unplanned shutdowns due to equipment failure. After considering various competitive approaches, Brunner Mond installed a FOUNDATION™ digital automation infrastructure. During the first phase of the DCS replacement, fieldbus technology was employed on two Solvay towers used to carbonate ammoniated brine to form sodium bicarbonate crystals. This project proved to be successful, and set the stage for implementation of additional fieldbus controls on Brunner Mond’s Northwich production operation.

Intelligence Moves Plant from Preventive to Predictive Maintenance - Laura Thomas, Jay Kalinowski, Curtis Cook and Lou Verduzco - Applying fieldbus technology to a water treatment plant requires a shift from traditional instrumentation and electrical design methods. OCWD made the decision to preselect a DCS, develop software and hardware standards, and have all systems developed using those standards. Before preselecting a DCS, OCWD decided to use Foundation fieldbus for instrumentation and DeviceNet for motor control centers and variable frequency drives. Classic I/O would serve as necessary. After a preselection process, OCWD selected Emerson Process Management's DeltaV system.- thanks to InTech.

FOUNDATION™ Technology:Automation Infrastructure for Operational Excellence - Phil Stoor -Senior Project Manager -Brunner Mond - After considering various competitive approaches, Brunner Mond installed a FOUNDATION™ digital automation infrastructure. During the first phase of the DCS replacement, fieldbus technology was employed on two Solvay towers used to carbonate ammoniated brine to form sodium bicarbonate crystals. This project proved to be successful, and set the stage for implementation of additional fieldbus controls on Brunner Mond’s Northwich production operation - from Emerson Process Management.

Fast Track Conversion Transforms Supertanker into an Intelligent FPSO - This article describes the conversion of the world's largest FPSO which utilised fieldbus technology to create an "intelligent" vessel - from Emerson Process Management.

Five Critical Factors for Selecting Fieldbus Valve Manifolds - Enrico De Carolis - In today’s highly automated machines, fieldbus valve manifolds are replacing conventional hardwired solutions. They more easily perform vital functions by integrating communication interfaces to pneumatic valve manifolds with input/output (I/O) capabilities. This allows programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to more efficiently turn valves on and off and to channel I/O data from sensors, lights, relays, individual valves, or other I/O devices via various industrial networks. The resulting integrated control packages can also be optimized to allow diagnostic benefits not previously available. This paper presents controls engineers, specifiers, and buyers with new insights into five crucial factors they must consider before selecting pneumatic fieldbus valve manifolds - commissioning, distribution, modularity, diagnostics, and recovery - while also outlining some shortcomings of conventional approaches. Finally, it highlights new designs that offer substantial improvements in the application, performance, and maintenance of these valve manifolds from the end users’ and OEMs’ points of view - from Numatics, Inc.

Taking the Bus - New coal fired plants are poised to benefit from the adoption of advanced automation and digital bus-based technologies - from Emerson Process Management.


Foundation fieldbus Videos - These videos are useful real examples of FF Technology.

The following are from Emerson Process Management:

Rosemount 3095 multivariable Fieldbus Transmitter - This video shows a Rosemount model 3095MV ("multivariable") transmitter having the capability to measure differential pressure, gauge (static) pressure, and process temperature all in one unit. Furthermore, being a FOUNDATION Fieldbus device, it can execute function blocks useful in performing control tasks. This makes the instrument capable of measuring mass flow rate as well as executing control functions, passing an "output" signal to some other Fieldbus device such as a valve positioner to control flow without need of an external control system.

Foundation Fieldbus Robustness - A DeltaV product demonstration showing how Foundation fieldbus device-based control loops remain operational even when redundant control cards are disabled.

I/O on Demand - Foundation Fieldbus - A demonstration showing how the DeltaV S-series Foundation fieldbus cards integrate power and diagnostics to eliminate complexity and reduce engineering work.

I/O on Demand-Electronic Marshalling - Whilst not Fieldbus related this demonstration shows how DeltaV S-series electronic marshalling dramatically reduces installation and maintenance costs while increasing engineering and start-up flexibility.

Fieldbus Interoperability - An overview of how DeltaV can talk to other suppliers' field devices.

Foundation Fieldbus - DeltaV FOUNDATION fieldbus demonstration.

Fieldbus and DeltaV - Machinery Health - A demonstration showing how the DeltaV system uses smart field device information to avoid abnormal situations caused by equipment issues.

Fieldbus and DeltaV: Instrument Air Leak Example - A demonstration showing how information from smart field devices combined with the DeltaV system's control strategies helps avoid process upset conditions.

Fieldbus and DeltaV - Advanced Control Field Device Failure - A demonstration showing how DeltaV system control strategies can incorporate information from smart field devices to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Redundant Fieldbus Interface - A short demonstration of the world's first host implementation of FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 interface redundancy in the DeltaV system.

Foundation Fieldbus Function Block Modes - Showing how we may view and change the operating modes of Fieldbus function blocks on the screen of an Emerson DeltaV DCS.

Foundation Fieldbus Function Block Signal Status - Showing how we may view the status of Fieldbus instrument signals on the screen of an Emerson DeltaV DCS.

Working with Multiple Fieldbus Networks - Russ Muller and James Powell discuss an application involving multiple fieldbus protocols.

Fieldbus Transmitter on DeltaV - This short video shows how a Fieldbus instrument appears on the display of DeltaV Explorer software. You can see all the available function blocks within this particular device (a Rosemount 3095 MV mass flow transmitter).

Fieldbus Network Voltage Measurements - Showing how to measure DC Volts and a simple check of Data flow using a multimeter.

Fieldbus Network Voltage Measurements 2 - More useful simple checks.

Fieldbus Device Commissioning Label - A excellent video detailing the information on rosemount fieldbus device commissioning labels.

Fieldbus Network Voltage Oscilloscope Display - How to use an Oscilloscope in a fieldbus network.

Fieldbus pH Transmitter Calibration - Calibrating a Mettler-Toledo pH transmitter that is FOUNDATION Fieldbus instead of 4-20 mA. First, the calibration points were set using Emerson AMS software to access the digital parameters inside the transmitter. Then, the transmitter was standardized using two pH buffer solutions: 7pH and 4pH.

Back-up LAS - A DeltaV product demonstration of backup communications in interoperable fieldbus devices.

Fieldbus Coupling "brick" with Short-Circuit Protection - A demonstration of the short circuit protection and detection and how the segment is protected.


Foundation™ fieldbus Educational Links

Fieldbus - Competent People will be at a premium - (Article from Jim Russell of ICEweb)

SAIT Foundation Fieldbus™ Certified Training - Since 2000, SAIT Polytechnic has been helping managers, engineers and technicians worldwide realize the potential of Foundation™ fieldbus technology. SAIT offers the five-day Foundation Fieldbus Certified Professional and the four-day Foundation Certified Technician. Delivered in SAIT's dedicated lab facilities, these fast-track programs present theory and lab exercises in order to gain practical knowledge. Find out about upcoming dates for these courses.

Foundation Fieldbus Competency - Project Training Recommendations - This article outlines a suggested approach for staff training in any new FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus (FF) project - including both greenfield and brownfield sites - Thanks to Seacove Systems-Australia.

Foundation Fieldbus Training in Australia - A Variety of Courses from Seacove Systems. This is Foundation Fieldbus End User Council Australia Inc accredited training.

Foundation Fieldbus End User Training - As adoption of Foundation technology expands throughout the process industries, there is a corresponding need to train plant personnel on the use of this advanced control solution. Fieldbus Foundation-certified training, with centres located around the world, offers workshops that every end user should attend.

Foundation Fieldbus Concepts - A comprehensive self-paced learning module on CD-ROM - Used in Lee College's Fieldbus FOUNDATION certified training curriculum-From Hightech Multimedia Tutorials

The PlantWeb University has excellent courses on Foundation Fieldbus. You will have to log on but it is worth the effort!


Foundation Fieldbus Useful Websites

The Fieldbus Reference List - R.A. Hulsebos- If you thought there were a lot of networks that call themselves "fieldbus", look here. A great job Rob! - Rob's home page is also worth a look.

Fieldbus Web Sites - A non-comprehensive list of other online sources of information about Fieldbus products and practices. 

A swag of papers and other information is available from the Fieldbus Foundation under the headings of :-

Technology - FOUNDATION technology improves the performance of the process industries. It’s the key to a modern, field-based control architecture. Presentations are available concerning a range of technology-related topics.

Economics - FOUNDATION technology reduces both capital equipment costs and plant operating expenses. Users achieve a competitive advantage in a today’s global marketplace. Find out more for yourself.

Applications - End users with mission-critical applications benefit from the implementation of FOUNDATION-based control systems. View presentations describing fieldbus projects around the world.

White Papers - The Fieldbus Foundation provides a variety of technical white papers explaining the design, installation and operation of Foundation-based plant automation systems. These documents where prepared by leading experts on Foundation technology, and include a wealth of valuable information for process industry end users.

Articles - The Fieldbus Foundation has a number of Tutorial articles, user case histories, commentaries and other editorials help automation industry members understand Foundation technology.

The Fieldbus Report - Each issue contains technology information, application studies, products news, and more. Current and recent issues of this publication are available for download. The downloads are huge so if you are not on broadband expect to wait a long time!

Installations - Fieldbus Foundation listing of articles relating to publicly-announced Foundation fieldbus installations in countries around the world.

Foundation Fieldbus End User Councils - You can have a voice in the future of Foundation fieldbus by participating in a Fieldbus Foundation End User Council (EUC). Regional EUCs, established worldwide. These provide an excellent open forum for the exchange of information about the application and development of fieldbus technology in a wide range of industries. - this useful link from Fieldbus Inc has useful papers and other details on Foundation fieldbus.


Fieldbus Technical Comparison Data and Tools for Various Buses

HART v Foundation Fieldbus - The Facts and the Real Difference - Jim Russell - Thanks to ICEweb.

The question is often asked “Why should I install Foundation Fieldbus™ when the features are all available with HART?” This White paper addresses this question, provides some of the answers and covers the following;

  • The Technologies
  • Differences, Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Why some Manufacturers / Suppliers continue to push HART and put up a “Smokescreen”.
  • Brownfield and Greenfield Plants- What technology should be used.
  • Simple HART v FF Comparison Chart.

An End User Functional Comparison of HART® and FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Protocols - from Emerson Process Management

Bus Comparison Matrix - This must be just about the best bus comparison document around - Thanks to Rob Hulsebos.


Electronic Device Description Language

The following information are thanks to

The Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) - Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) technology is used by major manufacturers to describe the information that is accessible in digital devices. Electronic device descriptions are available for over 15 million devices that are currently installed in the process industry. The technology is used by the major process control systems and maintenance tool suppliers to support device diagnostics and calibration. Just "heaps" of information here on the EDDL site!

EDDL Makes Device Setup Easy - Device setup (aka configuration or parameterization) can be carried out using a handheld communicator in the field, a laptop in the workshop, or from intelligent device management software as part of asset management solution. Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is the technology used by device manufacturers to define how the system shall display the device setup parameters to the technician. EDDL makes setup of intelligent devices easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards, illustrative images, and help text, and provides unparalleled consistency of use.

Device Revision and Lifecycle Management Guide - How to keep systems up to date and compatible with new devices using EDDL - DDL (IEC 61804-3) is a device integration technology created as a solution to the device revision problem. EDDL makes managing devices of different types and versions easier. EDDL2 is a file that is loaded onto the computer or handheld field communicator. There is no EDDL inside the device3 itself. Thus there is no such thing as an "EDDL device" or a "non-EDDL device". Devices are HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS, and WirelessHART devices, and these protocols support EDDL.

EDDL Makes Device Diagnostics Easy - Device diagnostics can be carried out using a handheld communicator in the field, a laptop in the workshop, or from intelligent device management software as part of asset management solution, either from a dedicated maintenance console or integrated in the operator console (see separate white paper on integrated operation). Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is the technology used by device manufacturers to control how the device diagnostics is displayed to the technician. EDDL makes diagnostics of smart transmitters and other intelligent devices easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards and help, and provides unparalleled consistency of use.

EDDL Makes Calibration Easy - Calibration can be carried out using a handheld communicator in the field, a laptop in the workshop, or from intelligent device management software as part of asset management solution, either in a dedicated maintenance console or integrated in the operator console (see separate white paper on integrated operation). Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is the technology used by device manufacturers to control how the device diagnostics is displayed to the technician. EDDL makes calibration of intelligent devices easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards and help, and unparalleled consistency of use.

Commentary on FDT/DTM vs. EDDL - This commentary is highlighting some observations in the WIB test report T 2768 X 07 "FDT/DTM or EDDL for asset management using FF technology" dated November 2007, usually left out when referenced by the FDT Group. It also explains some misconceptions, probably due to only one device having been verified.

EDDL makes Working in the Field Easy - Field communicators have existed for as long as intelligent devices. The early problem of plants having to grapple with many different communicators was solved already in the mid nineties by standard protocols like HART and Foundation fieldbus together with the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL, formerly just known as DDL), an integral part of both technologies. A single universal field communicator supports all instruments, an arsenal of many communicators is no longer required.

Consistent Look & Feel - EDDL makes Intelligent Device Management Software Humane - When devices from multiple vendors were first integrated using bus technologies there were difficulties accessing all device features and there were difficulties to make full use of the features that could be accessed. Many plants were not able to use the device management software part of their asset management solutions to its full potential. A new concept was required to achieve even greater results with digital bus technologies. The new innovative solution to the problem was enhancements to an old technology that has been an unnoticed part of leading digital bus technologies for over fifteen years. This international standard, called EDDL (IEC 61804-3), with enhancements, makes bus technologies come alive and easy to use in exactly the same way the World Wide Web made the old Internet come alive and so easy that anyone could use it. Systems based on EDDL with enhancements now make maintaining intelligent devices very much easier for technicians and enable digital bus technologies to be fully utilized to derive greater result for the plant and there are no other means to achieve the same result. This article will explain how consistent look & feel is achieved in spite of each device manufacturer independently deciding display content any way they like.

EDDL Questions Answered - 20 FAQ questions about EDDL answered.

Keeping Systems and Communicators Up-to-date using EDDL - Technical Paper - Christian Diedrich, Jonas Berge, Ludwig Winkel and Terry Blevins - Modern control systems as well as Device Management software and field communicators use electronic device descriptions, EDD, to define the interface and supported interactions with field devices for configuration, diagnostics and calibration. Over the long life of plants, new device types and versions keep getting added as part of replacements and modifications. Thus, these systems and maintenance tools must accommodate many new types, each generation also providing new features. For example, more than 1000 EDD’s are currently available from 85 different vendors. Also, many manufacturers are currently updating their device descriptions to take advantage of the visual enhancements recently introduced into the IEC61804-3 standard, Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL). Therefore, to achieve the best results, the latest electronic device descriptions should be used with your HART devices and Profibus and Foundation fieldbus devices.

The following Foundation fieldbus technical information is from Emerson Process Management.

Digital Fieldbus Installations Use EDDL Technology for Simplicity with Advanced, Full Functionality - EDDL technology enables a Host System manufacturer to create a single engineering environment that can support any device, from any supplier, using any communications protocol, without the need for custom software drivers for each device type.

EDDL: Marching into Mainstream - Jonas Berge - Simple smart pressure and temperature measurement transmitters could be configured without need for graphics. However, more sophisticated (complex) devices such as valve positioners, variable speed drives, machinery health monitors, and radar level transmitters now common in process industry plants require advanced graphical setup and diagnostics. By upgrading software to the new enhancements of the international standard IEC 61804, plant personnel can make their devices, both old and new, simple and advanced, easier to use than ever before. Similarly, predictive diagnostics can be better integrated into daily work practices by displaying them to the right persons. This is achieved without making system management more difficult with respect to staying current with new devices and Windows versions. This article recommends a best practice for device integration outlined in the NAMUR NE 105 recommendation by upgrading to a single standard: IEC 61804-3.

Temperature Transmitters Warming Up to EDDL - Jonas Berge - Enhancements to the EDDL IEC 61804-3 standards have improved advanced setup and diagnosis of high-end temperature transmitters. Temperature transmitters communicate digitally using protocols such as HART, Foundation fieldbus, and WirelessHART. Supporting this mix of transmitters can be a challenge. However, modern temperature transmitters diagnose themselves, the sensor wiring, and the temperature element. This allows for more effective maintenance schemes that help keep the loop and plant running with minimum downtime.

Pressure Transmitters: EDDL Equals "Easy" - Dale Perry/Jonas Berge - EDDL technology makes sophisticated pressure transmitters easier to use. within the last few years many specialised pressure transmitters have been introduced. These transmitters specialise in areas such as DP Flow, Mass Flow, Safety Certified, and Diagnostics. The value of specialised transmitters has been demonstrated to increase quality, throughput, or uptime. Any added complexity of maintaining these transmitters through their life cycle, installation, start-up, routine maintenance or emergency maintenance could be a challenge to plants.

OPC made Easy - EDDL can save numerous man-hours of OPC server configuration and speed up project completion - Jonas Berge - OPC is an o p e n standard me t h o d for transferring data between software applications, used for example to obtain data from devices. Once an OPC server is configured, external software in HMI clients and other users can easily access the wealth of detailed diagnostics and information in hundreds or thousands of intelligent devices around the plant. Configuring OPC clients is easy: just point and click on data in the OPC server. To enable this, the OPC server must first be configured. Electronic device description language (EDDL) makes this easy.

EDDL: Unlocking Device Information - Jonas Berge explains how enhanced Electronics Device Description Language (EDDL) simplifies device configuration, calibration and diagnosis, and brings benefits to the bottom line.

EDDL allows Interoperability for Devices to Constantly Gather Information - No matter what control system a plant is using, it is now easier for users to choose best-in-class instruments for their networks. The technology that allows this is Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL). From the ISA and InTech.

1.14 The Digital Drive - Jonas Berge explains how variable speed drives can become an integral part of the digital plant architecture. The final control element that first comes to mind for process applications is the control valve, but variable speed drives (VSD) also variously referred to as a variable frequency drives (VFD), adjustable frequency drives, or frequency converters are also used as final elements in closed loop flow or pressure control. When it comes to set up, the sheer amount of configuration options available in a variable speed drive can seem overwhelming to technicians who have to commission them. A drive can have hundreds of parameters to customize AC motor controls for different applications. Most AC drives also have useful diagnostics about the motor and drive system and some even have predictive diagnostics. To help technicians more easily setup applications and diagnose problems, drive manufacturers now use electronic device description language (EDDL) to make drives easy to setup and diagnose by defining how the drives are displayed in the system. Bus technology and EDDL provide the ability to integrate instrumentation and controls with electrical and switchgear, enabling plants to freely select control system and electrical system independently, yet enjoy the ease of use as a result of tight integration - from Control Engineering Asia.


Calibration Advantages using Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) Technology

The following white papers and articles are from the EDDL group.

Calibration Trim - EDDL technology makes calibration easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards as well as know-how made available from the device manufacturer's experts. The result is lower cost of maintenance, and better performing devices.

Intelligent Device Management Tutorial: Calibration - In the early days of smart transmitters the concept of remote range setting ("remote calibration") and re-ranging without applying input was revolutionary. It took years of education to be accepted and understood. Calibration can be carried out using a handheld communicator in the field, a laptop in the workshop, or from intelligent device management software as part of an asset management solution. Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is the technology used by device manufacturers to define how the system shall display the device information and functions to the technician. EDDL makes calibration of smart transmitters and other intelligent devices easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards and help, and unparalleled consistency of use.

EDDL Solution for Field Tasks - Field communicators have existed for as long as intelligent devices. The early problem of plants having to grapple with many different communicators was solved already in the mid nineties by standard protocols like HART and Foundation fieldbus together with the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL, formerly just known as DDL), an integral part of both technologies. A single universal field communicator supports all instruments, an arsenal of many communicators is no longer required.Use of Windows software from the central control room has since become possible thanks to multiplexers and digital communication interfaces embedded in control system I/O modules. These systems may access data in devices using HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS, WirelessHART, or a combination of two or more of these. Although many maintenance tasks can be done remotely from centrally located device management software part of Asset Management Solution (AMS), there are several other tasks that must still be carried out in the field right next to the device. Because of such field work, a compact field communicator is highly valued by maintenance technicians. A notebook computer is not ideal. EDDL is the only technology suitable for portable communicators because it works on embedded operating system used in such devices. IEC 61804-3 graphical enhancements the EDDL now make field communicators easier to use and powerful enough for complex devices.

Calibration Trim Wizard using EDDL - Narrated by Emerson's Harish Jayaraman this video shows how calibration trim is simplified by wizards from software or handheld communicator from different vendors using EDDL - from YouTube.


Field Device Integration

Field Device Integration (FDI) - Making Device Management Easy - End users have struggled with different forms of device integration technology over the years, but the FDI effort aims to rationalize the worlds’ leading technologies for managing information from intelligent field devices. With FDI, managing the flood of information from today’s intelligent devices will get much easier. FDI will allow users to focus on how to best use their applications instead of worrying about how everything will connect together. FDI also means reduced development costs for device and system suppliers - from the Fieldbus Foundation.


Digital Signals

A Comprehensive16 page Discrete Digital Signal Technical Manual from Samson Controls.


Field Device Tool (FDT) Technology

FDT/DTM - The most Powerful Way to Release Intelligence built in Smart Field Devices - Visualization of these diagnostics requires a graphical user interface which meets customer expectations for openness and the capability to be integrated in any system. The technology supporting these very basic requirements is FDT (Field Device Tool). FDT is developed and marketed by the FDT group, which is a group of leading automation suppliers to both the process and factory automation industries. Go to page 7 to get this article - From Metso Automation.

Good for Maintenance - Even better with Monitoring! - Ulrich Gensicke - FDT-based device and asset management software saves more than time and costs.To be competitive, high productivity and reliability are important factors. Use of an online diagnostic and monitoring system guarantees that all the functions of intelligent field devices can be exploited to the maximum - From Metso Automation.

Open Asset Management with FDT: the Core of a ‘Smart’ Process Plant - Field Device Type (FDT) technology remains one of the automation industry’s best-kept secrets. In spite of this, it is rapidly gaining market acceptance by simplifying the digital communication between a plant’s field devices and its control environment. It is at the heart of a ‘smart’ plant’s IT infrastructure and can deliver major cost savings to the plant’s operations - from

FDT Technology Provides Valuable Information on the Desktop - End Users Benefit from Trend in Increased Visibility of Diagnostic Information - David Huffman - Visibility and simple presentation of diagnostic information is growing more important every day. We see the influence of developments in this area from the printers in our homes or offices to some of the latest "heads up" displays in our automobiles. So it should be no surprise that similar advances are being made for the control platforms and critical instrumentation in our manufacturing facilities. Thanks to

The following links are from the FDT Group.

Field Device Technology (FDT) - Technical Description - FDT (Field Device Technology) is an interface specification for open data exchange between field devices and automation plants that is standardized by the international standards IEC 62453 and ISA103. In Field Device Technology, two terms are particularly important: DTM (Device Type Manager, or “device driver”) and FDT Frame Application. Both are software components whose functions can only be performed together. FDT provides a common platform for data exchange for all available device drivers (DTMs) produced under this standard. This allows complete and functional access across different network hierarchies to all device functions for devices made available by the DTM. With this capability, every device can be confi gured, serviced, and maintained via one basically standardized user interface - independent of manufacturer, device type or communication protocol. Information from an automation plant (especially communications or field devices) is needed throughout the entire life cycle of a system or application. FDT provides support with versatile and extremely helpful functions as early as planning and project engineering, then during installation and commissioning, and finally during operation and service.

FDT Movie - Are you looking for an easy to understand introduction to FDT and its benefits? Have you always thought it would be nice to have something else to explain FDT than just a normal PowerPoint presentation?

Field Device Tool (FDT) Technology, What is It? - FDT (Field Device Tool) technology standardizes the communication interface between field devices and systems.The key feature is its independence from the communication protocol and the software environment of either the device or the host system. FDT allows any device to be accessed from any host through any protocol.

FDT Technology Benefits - User and Vendor benefits.

FDT Introduction Brochure - FDT is an open technology that enables users to easily access and extract intelligent information from their automation products.

ISA103 Field Device Tool Interface - The FDT Group is dedicated to providing Open Access to Device Intelligence for the automation industry. Like other information technologies, the FDT Group is looking forward to the evolution of the FDT specification in response to the feedback from end users. The ISA103 Field Device Tool Interface Committee was formed in 2006 to consider the adoption of IEC 62453 Standard as an ISA Standard. In May 2009, the FDT Group achieved a significant milestone when the IEC 62453 Standard was unanimously accepted by the international standardization community.

Which is Better? - Currently, two technologies are available for doing so: DD (Device Descriptions) and its enhanced form eEDDL (enhanced Electronic Device Description Language), and FDT (Field Device Tool). In order to assess which approach delivers the best results, it was necessary to test and compare their performance in practice.

Value Proposition for FDT Technology Continues to Increase - Wil Chin and Paul Miller - Even after achieving a significant milestone in 2009, IEC 62453 approval, the FDT Group’s efforts continues. Under its new leadership, the FDT Group continues to move forward at an increasingly faster pace as more suppliers and users alike embrace the technology.

FDT Technology - What Are DTMs? - Annie Sisson - It has been recognized time again that the ability to have open access to device intelligence is essential to enhanced reliability and reduced start-up times. In the area of industrial automation, FDT Technology provides this “open access” with a device type manager (DTM). With DTMs, users can configure device parameters, operate devices via a graphical interface and access advanced diagnostic information from any location - thanks to Control Global.

FDT Open Access to Device Intelligence Unlocks Interoperability to Bridge Information Silos - The user benefits of truly open industrial device management continue to be an elusive goal in virtually every industry. For example, in the process industry, users have accepted that there will never be a single, standardized protocol for all applications. Other industries are suffering similar issues. If history is an indicator of the future, users will be working with multiple incompatible protocols for many years to come. Users continue to dream of the day when one can plug & play hardware and software seamlessly without a second thought regardless of industry, device, actuator, control system or application. FDT is making this closer to reality than anyone would have thought possible only a few years ago.

FDT - Technical Description - A comprehensive Technical Description.

Field Device Tool (FDT®) Technology for the Process Automation and Manufacturing Industries - What end users want is a standard interface that connects any automation system to any device, providing them with the freedom to choose the best device fit for their application, irrespective of supplier or communication protocol.

Human-Centered Design (HCD) in an FDT/DTM Environment - Tom Wallace - We Need a New Way to Interface With Field Devices That Increases Productivity, Reduces Training Needs, and Reduces Human Error - The process industry faces a perfect storm of factors that will change how we interact with field devices. Plants are becoming larger, more complex and subject to more regulation. Plants will have more devices, more different device types, and the devices themselves will be more complex. Also, devices and communication protocols are becoming more complex and capable. In addition, we're facing the loss of experienced workers with their replacements being less experienced and fewer in number. We face doing more work and more complex work with fewer and less experienced people. We need a new way to interface with field devices that increases productivity, reduces training needs, and reduces human error. This new way will use human-centered design (HCD) - from Control Global.


Other Fieldbuses

The Fieldbus Reference List:

The Fieldbus Reference List by R.A. Hulsebos is an extensive listing of links to would you believe 362 systems.



The following technical papers are available via Semiconductor OnLine:

The FactoryCOMM Tools DeviceNet Trouble Shooting CHEAT SHEET

DeviceNet Trouble Shooting Guide for Installation & Maintenance Professionals

Alternative Fieldbus Approaches

Fieldbus Diagnostics, Without Fieldbus - George Buckbee and Tom Kinney, ExperTune Inc.- Digital field buses are often justified on the basis of the benefits of advanced diagnostics. This paper investigates and shows alternative technologies to capture diagnostics.

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