November 2006
Fieldbus Facts Online is brought to you by the Fieldbus Foundation, an international, not-for-profit corporation consisting of more than 350 automation industry leaders dedicated to providing the "Freedom to Choose" and the "Power to Integrate."

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In This Issue...

FOUNDATION technology support evident at ISA Expo 2006

Rezabek named End User Advisory Council chair

New Foundation marketing manager Tatum discusses his role

Developer training courses scheduled for December

Foundation officials address ISA Netherlands seminar

Hungarian DCS 12 event draws record crowd

STC Brielle to conduct Mid-East Fieldbus training

DD services kit version 5.0.6 released

Industry leaders support wireless study

New Fieldbus MAU replaces discontinued chip

Emerson automates UK coal-fired power station

R. Stahl 'Fieldbus Wizard' calculates FOUNDATION segments

Softing upgrades linking device firmware

Softing HSE device stack supports critical uses

FOUNDATION technology support evident at ISA Expo 2006

Growing global support for FOUNDATION technology was evident at ISA Expo 2006, which took place at Houston's Reliant Center, Oct. 17-19. The Fieldbus Foundation exhibit demonstrated fieldbus products from a "who's who" of industrial automation vendors and included presentations by fieldbus experts.

The booth displayed cutting-edge fieldbus solutions from major host system and device manufacturers, physical layer suppliers, and other organizations associated with the fieldbus industry. ISA attendees also saw a series of "interoperability demos," which paired hosts and devices from different suppliers.

A key feature was a multi-vendor demonstration of enhanced Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) technology. The demonstration showed EDDL as a universal, proven, and state-of-the-art method for accessing diagnostic, real-time, and asset management information contained in more than 20 million field instruments from a host of manufacturers, and how it provides optimum data and device interoperability.

Enhanced EDDL extends the concept of interoperability to the human-machine interface (HMI) and diagnostic data levels with improved visualization and graphical features. Enhancements focus on device data organization, graphical visualization consistency, and support for persistent data storage.

The Fieldbus Foundation and its members delivered theater presentations on major aspects of FOUNDATION system design, commissioning, and operation throughout the exhibition, and illustrated how end users can realize significant CAPEX and OPEX savings through fieldbus-based control strategies. In addition, certified FOUNDATION technology training centers were on hand to discuss their instructional programs for end users, suppliers, integrators, and other industry participants.

In addition, foundation officials made several significant announcements at an ISA press briefing on Tues., Oct. 17. These include:

  • Release of a Device Description Integrated Development Environment (DD-IDE) that provides a single, easy-to-use application for developing, testing, and debugging Device Description (DD) files.
  • Launch of a new initiative to develop a specification for standardizing remote I/O interface into the FOUNDATION architecture.
  • Establishment of a FOUNDATION Certified Solution Provider Program (FCSP) to support fieldbus device development and define an acceptable level of expertise for FOUNDATION-certified solution providers.
  • Establishment of a FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP) setting uniform standards for fieldbus training curriculum at FOUNDATION-certified training sites around the world, and defining acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.
  • Selection of John Rezabek, controls specialist for ISP Chemicals, as End User Advisory Council (EUAC) chairman. (See additional article elsewhere in this newsletter for more.)
  • Appointment of Bill Tatum, formerly U.S. national sales manager for Smar International, as foundation marketing manager. (See additional article elsewhere in this newsletter for more.)
  • Launch of a redesigned and enhanced Website offering more robust functionality and intuitive navigational features to serve those implementing FOUNDATION technology.

For more information, click here to visit the redesigned Fieldbus Foundation Website.

Rezabek named End User Advisory Council chair

John Rezabek has been named chair of the Fieldbus Foundation's End User Advisory Council (EUAC). Rezabek, a controls specialist at ISP's butanediol (BDO) plant in Lima, OH, will oversee activities of the global FOUNDATION user advisory group.

The EUAC provides a mechanism for relating end-user issues to the Fieldbus Foundation's Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and Board of Directors (BOD). The group gives those implementing FOUNDATION technology a voice in the direction of development work. The EUAC meets several times a year to discuss industry needs and FOUNDATION technology directions, such as the program to develop specifications for the use of FOUNDATION technology in Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS).

Rezabek, who replaces Ian Verhappen, says he welcomes his role of representing the worldwide fieldbus end-user community. "The EUAC plays a vital part in ensuring that FOUNDATION technology meets the needs of today's automation end users," he said. "I am honored to chair this important user group, and look forward to working with my colleagues at other major process industry companies."

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney said he was extremely pleased with Rezabek's acceptance of the EUAC post. He commented, "The EUAC plays a critical role in the direction and success of the Fieldbus Foundation. John Rezabek has an extensive background using FOUNDATION technology in demanding chemical production applications. He is recognized throughout the industry as a strong advocate of fieldbus-based plant automation systems and will do an excellent job of keeping us on track and moving forward. We welcome John as our EUAC chairman."

Rezabek has more than 25 years of process control experience. He has served in diverse staff and supervisory positions for Standard Oil and BP Chemicals, and is now employed by ISP, who purchased a portion of BP's chemical assets in Ohio. He holds a B.S. degree in systems engineering from Case Institute of Technology (Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, OH.

Rezabek was site implementation manager for the first application of FOUNDATION High Speed Ethernet (HSE) and Flexible Function Block (FFB) technology in an operating chemical plant, which was hosted by ISP on behalf of the Fieldbus Foundation.

Click here for more from the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

New Foundation marketing manager Tatum discusses his role

The Fieldbus Foundation has selected Bill Tatum as its marketing manager. An automation industry veteran, Tatum will be responsible for strategic marketing initiatives promoting the growth of FOUNDATION technology.

Tatum has been national sales manager, systems division manager, fieldbus products manager, and regional sales manager for Smar International, a major supplier of automation systems and field devices for the process industries. He also served as instrumentation sales manager and branch manager at The Massey Co., a distributor of process measurement and control equipment in the Southeastern U.S.

Tatum said he looks forward to his new duties with the Fieldbus Foundation, where he will also oversee advertising, technology demonstrations, promotions, and marketing communications. Tatum spoke with Fieldbus Facts Online about his new position:

FFO: What attracted to you to joining the Fieldbus Foundation staff?

Tatum: Basically, it was the chance to go from a position directing a sales organization in North America to an opportunity to influence an entire industry's direction. I also look forward to being involved in emerging technologies like wireless and other areas at the leading edge of the automation industry.

FFO: What are the biggest challenges facing you in this job?

Tatum: For me, it's getting up to speed and directing a global marketing program as opposed to a manufacturer sales force. My prior experience was in sales management, and now I have to transition to a very diverse marketing environment.

FFO: Looking at the foundation and the role it now plays in the control industry, what do you think the future holds?

Tatum: We are committed to the growth of the FOUNDATION technology market, and to meeting the changing needs of end users. That includes new initiatives like remote I/O and wireless.

FFO: How do you view the direction of FOUNDATION technology?

Tatum: The industry is coming to realize the true advantages of the Fieldbus Foundation solution. However, some people still lump all the different buses into one category. In many cases, they don't understand what makes a process bus or a factory automation bus or a bit-level bus.

One of the things we're working on is accurately positioning ourselves versus other technologies on the market. We're not just a communications protocol like the other buses; we're actually a control system infrastructure. We provide a higher-level bus because of the user layer and deterministic control over H1 and HSE. Plus, our function blocks can be implemented in the field or in the host for true distributed control and, most importantly, we do not rely on polling for diagnostics. This ensures that users receive the data they need without having to ask for it. If you have to poll the system for problems, you are engaged in preventive, not predictive, maintenance. These are key factors the market needs to be aware of.

Click here for more from the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

Developer training courses scheduled for December

"Get on the Fast Track" to FOUNDATION technology by attending a hands-on workshop before the end of the year. December courses include "FOUNDATION Overview" and "Advanced Technical Workshop."

FOUNDATION workshops meet the growing requirements of automation professionals for comprehensive fieldbus training. Whether you need to learn technology basics or stay abreast of the latest developments, these training courses will meet your needs.

Click here to download a registration form.

December FOUNDATION technology workshops, both in Austin, TX, include:

FOUNDATION Overview: Dec. 4
Advanced Technical Workshop: Dec. 5-7

Course Descriptions:

"FOUNDATION Overview" is a basic introduction to Fieldbus Foundation technology using a working fieldbus system. Topics covered include: fieldbus concepts, wiring, basic messaging, function blocks, and applications. This class is directed at marketing professionals and application engineers.

"Advanced Technical Workshop" provides in-depth coverage of FOUNDATION technology, including demonstrations of a working fieldbus system. Topics covered include: physical layer, data link layer, fieldbus access sub-layer, network management, system management, configuration, fieldbus message specification, and development of FOUNDATION function blocks. The course is intended for device developers, test engineers, and those needing detailed knowledge of FOUNDATION technology. Prerequisite: FOUNDATION Overview.

Click here to download a pdf with more information and a registration form.

Foundation officials address ISA Netherlands seminar

Senior Fieldbus Foundation executives presented their view of FOUNDATION technology in the process industry to attendees at the ISA Netherlands section's recent autumn seminar.

Rich Timoney, president and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation, noted the growth of FOUNDATION technology acceptance, and explained why fieldbus control solutions are being rapidly adopted around the globe. Timoney said that educated users view FOUNDATION technology as more than a field network, that they view the technology as a "system infrastructure" providing truly scalable integration, the flexibility of implementing control in the field or in the host, and exhaustive continuous diagnostics for effective use of assets and improved operating efficiencies. These three technology cornerstones, he went on, make it significantly different than other simple network protocols and provide a much higher return on the user's investment.

Timoney updated the cooperative effort with the HART Communication Foundation (HCF), OPC Foundation, and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. on Electronic Device Descriptions Language (EDDL) technology, and also on the Safety Instrumented System (SIS) which has received TÜV type approval. The foundation, in cooperation with Shell Global Solutions, BP, Saudi Aramco and Chevron, will host a demonstration and press day event on the technology in the near future.

Marc Van Pelt, Fieldbus Foundation vice-president of EMEA Operations, described the benefits available to end users implementing FOUNDATION technology. Studies and calculations show that major savings can be realized. Van Pelt explained these savings using a business-case model comparing traditional 4-20 mA technology with FOUNDATION technology. Operational savings with the use of predictive maintenance was emphasized. Recorded figures from end-user investigations indicate that approximately 60% of the maintenance done at the device level by maintenance personnel relates to routine checks, no-action work, or re-ranging. Therefore, significant operational savings can be realized using the robust diagnostic and asset management capabilities of the technology.

Said Van Pelt, "Rich [Timoney] and I were delighted to be given an opportunity to address attendees of the ISA Netherlands seminar. Although FOUNDATION technology is undergoing huge growth across the EMEA region and is an enabler for great savings in both CAPEX and OPEX, end users, system integrators, and contractors still need to be made aware of the specific areas in which they can achieve the maximum financial benefits."

For more information on the Fieldbus Foundation, click here.

Hungarian DCS 12 event draws record crowd

Approximately 300 engineers, end users, and representatives of suppliers of process control and automation equipment participated in the 12th annual distributed control systems (DCS 12) conference and exhibition held recently in Hungary. The three-day event, which drew a record crowd, was organized by the Research Institute of Applied Chemistry, the University of Miskolc, and the Miskolc Organization Society for Measurement, Automation and Informatics, and took place at the Hotel Palota in Miskolc-Lillafüred Oct. 25-27, 2006.

DCS 12 included a day dedicated to FOUNDATION technology advancements and applications. The morning session, guided by Tibor Farkas, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation Hungarian Marketing Committee, focused on fieldbus technology and trends. The afternoon session, chaired by Breznay Gábor, HPS division leader, Honeywell Hungary, offered a forum for attendees to hear about end-user applications and experiences.

The program included:

  • "Advances in digital communications" (Marcos Peluso, Emerson Process Management)
  • "Fiber-based fieldbus in harsh environments, technical trends, and applications" (Rolf-Dieter Sommer, Hirschmann Automation and Control)
  • "What physical layer diagnostic should be provided for?" (Citterico Fabio, Pepperl+Fuchs Elcon)
  • "FDT technology for FOUNDATION Fieldbus" (Alain Ginguene, Invensys Systems France S.A.)
  • "On-line diagnostic and predictive maintenance in fieldbus networks" (Thomas Menze, MTL Instruments GmbH)
  • "The prospering of industrial communication R&D and training laboratory" (Vranka Péter, ME AKKI)
  • "Applying a modern device description language in a FOUNDATION Fieldbus environment" (Hortoványi Ottó, Emerson Process Management Kft)
  • "Asset management in the physical layer" (Peter Praske, Hans Turck GmbH)
  • "Presentation of FOUNDATION Fieldbus in HEXION Sokolov" (Roman Cerny, HEXION Specialty Chemicals, A.S.)
  • "FOUNDATION Fieldbus project" (Citterico Fabio, Pepperl+Fuchs Elcon)
  • "Applying FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology at yield calculator devices" (Belasa Levente, Yokogawa Hungária Kft)

Other sessions addressed key aspects of process control (past, present, and future), process control systems and applications, industrial communications, and hazardous area applications. End-users and industry experts spoke.

Attendees were also able to visit exhibition and poster presentations and participate in several social events that presented opportunities for discussion and the sharing of application experiences. Marc Van Pelt, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee, said, "The success of this year's DCS event and the record level of attendees is a clear indication of the high levels of project activity within the Eastern Europe area. I'm delighted that members of the Fieldbus Foundation and end users in the area were able to participate significantly in the conference program and share their knowledge and experiences with other users and potential users of the FOUNDATION technology."

For more information about Fieldbus Foundation events, visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

STC Brielle to conduct Mid-East Fieldbus training

STC Brielle, Netherlands, a Fieldbus Foundation-certified fieldbus training center, will conduct a three-day FOUNDATION training course for Shell PDO in Oman, and a subsequent three-day course prior to the Multaqa End User Council in Bahrain.

The Shell PDO course will consist of a one-day FOUNDATION technology course followed by a two-day fieldbus "hands-on" session. Dedicated Honeywell training will be included. The course will train engineers and maintenance personnel to use FOUNDATION technology. Attendees will experience implementing devices in a H1 network and using different bus monitors and physical layer diagnostic tools.

The Bahrain course provides an overview of FOUNDATION technology, fieldbus "hands-on" instruction, and a tutorial in fieldbus engineering and design. The course will take place just before the third annual Fieldbus Foundation End User Council-Middle East: Multaqa 2006, which will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bahrain, Dec. 12-13.

The "hands-on" course will offer training in physical layer practical skills, such as wiring an H1 network that includes a representative selection of physical layer components from different vendors. In addition, a range of member companies' field devices will be connected on one side of a purpose-built portable training unit. Diagnostic tools from three vendors will also be used. On the other side of the training unit, a second segment will be used to implement devices in a system with Link Master capabilities to use the "control in the field" option of FOUNDATION technology, build control strategies, and replace devices.

The third part of the training will cover fieldbus engineering and design practices. Concepts such as non-IS, IS, FISCO, FNICO, and Ex-e/Ex-i will be addressed, and include segment calculation to promote an understanding of the various software calculation tools.

Click here for more information about the Bahrain training course and the Multaqa 2006 FF-EUCME End User Council meeting.

DD services kit version 5.0.6 released

Device Description (DD) Services Kit Version 5.0.6 is now available. The development tool includes upgrades and improvements to make it easier for host applications to access FOUNDATION device information and work with DDs more efficiently.

DD Services frees hosts from the burden of decoding DD binary files. It operates much like a query server for a database management system. The host application constructs a request to access specific information about a device, and DD Services extracts the information from the DD binary file. The host application is relieved of having to know the format of the DD binary file and of searching the file for the information it needs.

DD Services also saves application development time. The DD Services interface functions provide the information necessary to perform common application tasks, such as displaying and editing variables, which users would otherwise have to develop.

Put your FOUNDATION development project on the "Fast Track" by obtaining DD Services Kit Version 5.0.6. For more information, contact the Fieldbus Foundation by phone at 1-512-794-8890 or email at

Industry leaders support wireless study

The Fieldbus Foundation is planning a concept study addressing the use of wireless communications in the FOUNDATION technology environment. Launched in August 2006, the project is supported by many automation industry leading equipment suppliers.

The intent of the study is to develop:

  • Use cases and requirements for device wireless communication in monitoring, control, and safety applications that is interoperable using function blocks and Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL). Use cases and requirements for host wireless applications such as handheld configuration and maintenance devices may also be developed.
  • An implementation plan with solutions to the use cases and requirements for employing wireless communications stacks developed in accordance with ISA SP100 and future IEC work. The solutions must include requirements for device interoperability and network configuration.
  • Profile specifications, including validation.
  • Device interoperability test and registration procedures.

Project participants include: Adaptive Instruments/Accutech, Advanced Process Automation, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys Process Systems, Ise-Magtech, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. STAHL, Saudi Aramco, Shell Global Solutions, Shenyang Zhongka Microcyber Co. Ltd., Smar, Softing AG, TopWorx, Turck, and Westlock Controls.

Visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website for updates on the wireless program.

New Fieldbus MAU replaces discontinued chip

AMIS-49200 Fieldbus Media Attachment Unit (MAU) is now available from AMI Semiconductor, a manufacturer of integrated mixed-signal and structured digital products, the Fieldbus Foundation has announced. The new device can be used as a near pin-for-pin replacement for the discontinued Yokogawa SAA22Q transceiver.

The AMIS-49200 Fieldbus MAU provides a physical interface between bus wiring and actual measurement devices in industrial process automation applications. The unit meets the specifications of the IEC-61158-2, H1 (ISA-SP50.02-1992), and EN 50170 physical layer standard, including the FOUNDATION fieldbus™ H1 protocol. It is intended for use with Type 111 and Type 112 H1 devices according to FOUNDATION fieldbus Specification FF-816 (31.25 kbit/s Physical Layer Profile).

Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation's product manager-fieldbus products, called the AMIS-49200 an easy, cost-effective replacement for fieldbus product developers currently employing the discontinued Yokogawa chip. "We are pleased that AMI Semiconductor has released a state-of-the-art MAU specifically designed for the growing fieldbus market," said Mitschke. "The AMIS-49200 has the same footprint and power consumption as the Yokogawa IC, and is the only direct replacement for this device currently available."

The AMIS-49200 is the latest addition to AMI Semiconductor's line of advanced industrial automation transceivers. It operates in environments from -40 to 85 °C. Features include: 44-pin plastic LQFP, low current consumption (600 µA typical), standard MDS/MAU interface, 31.25 kbit/s voltage mode, dual voltage regulators (3 and 6.2 V), and voltage level monitoring. Although not an exact replacement for the Yokogawa chip, the AMIS-49200 Fieldbus MAU provides an avenue for developers to follow in building their FOUNDATION fieldbus products. The product costs $9.38 per 1000 units.

For more information, click here to visit the AMIS Web site or the Fieldbus Foundation Web site.

Emerson automates UK coal-fired power station

FOUNDATION-based Rosemount® temperature transmitters and interface units from Emerson Process Management have been selected to transmit data from more than 500 temperature monitoring points on a boiler and turbine system at Drax Power Station, said to be the largest, cleanest, and most efficient coal-fired power station in the United Kingdom.

Drax Power and Capula, the contractor undertaking the refurbishment, selected the equipment following presentations about and demonstrations of interfacing the Rosemount 3420 fieldbus interface module to their Schneider PLC host system. The Drax Power Station uses six steam boilers to generate up to 4,000 MW. At current output levels, Drax supplies enough power to meet 7% of UK demand. Pulverized coal is the primary fuel, but Drax Power has also developed the capability to burn alternative fuels such as biomass to blend and burn with the coal. The temperature sensors—mainly thermocouples used for monitoring the boiler tubes, superheater, and re-heater, as well as turbine and generator temperatures in high-density arrangements—detect any irregularities or "hot spots."

While providing Drax Power with a neat and accurate system, the Rosemount 3420 has added capabilities that will allow further investigation of any unusual heat patterns during tests of alternative fuels and firing systems. It will also reduce the complexity and time needed for the rewiring task on the current retrofit. Once installed, the FOUNDATION segments around the boiler will allow the addition of further test equipment or other sensors for plant condition monitoring, with relatively simple configuration to transmit the data back to the supervisory systems with no extra wiring.

For more information about PlantWeb, click here to visit the Emerson Process Management Website.

R. Stahl 'Fieldbus Wizard' calculates FOUNDATION segments

Fieldbus Wizard from R. Stahl is a powerful, convenient engineering tool that enables the calculation of FOUNDATION segments at the click of a button. The product joins the company's ISbus line for FOUNDATION H1 installations, which includes field device couplers, fieldbus power supplies, and products for Zone 1, Zone 2, and Div. 2 environments.

Fieldbus barriers are a well-accepted and advantageous technology for designing larger fieldbus segments in hazardous areas. However, the engineering work to optimize cable lengths and achieve the maximum number of participants often is not easy. However, using the Fieldbus Wizard, the user can select the required field device coupler and fieldbus power supply and define the parameters for cables, host, and field devices. Then, the tool automatically checks segments (even under short-circuit conditions) and determines if they have too many—or too few—terminations. Projects can be stored on disk and printed for documentation.

The Fieldbus Wizard is free. Click here to download the tool from the R. Stahl fieldbus products home page.

Softing upgrades linking device firmware

Softing has upgraded its FG-100 H1/HSE linking device. This latest firmware version, V1.50, enhances the diagnostic capabilities of the linking device. The company says it is boosting this high performance device in anticipation of increased need for additional diagnostic information.

The device provides transparent access to field devices connected to H1 networks from supervisory control systems and management systems connected to High Speed Ethernet (HSE). The FG-100 H1/HSE represents a highly compact gateway between four FOUNDATION H1 networks and HSE. For each H1 channel, the linking device can be configured to take on the role of link master and/or time manager.

The registered product complies with Class 42c of the Fieldbus Foundation's HSE profile specification, thereby eliminating the need to configure field devices locally and allowing a user to perform all configuration settings through HSE. The integrated Web-server provides HTML pages that display diagnostic information and enable a user to field-upgrade the FG-100 H1/HSE firmware.

For more information, click here to visit the Softing Website.

Or contact: Softing North America Inc., 29 Water St., Suite 301, Newburyport, MA 01950; Tel: 978-499-9650; Fax: 978-499-9654; e-mail:

Softing HSE device stack supports critical uses

Softing has added a high-performance High Speed Ethernet (HSE) device stack to its fieldbus product portfolio.

In addition to its high performance HSE client/server stack, the company now offers a complete system for HSE devices. The highly portable protocol stack enables devices to take advantage of the underlying HSE layer for data exchange within mission-critical applications.

The HSE device stack integrates tightly with the underlying IP stack provided by the operating system of the user's choice. In addition to FOUNDATION-specific services, the HSE device's stack provides system and management services.

Because the application layer of an HSE device is identical to that of traditional H1 devices, a conventional function block shell is used to integrate standard FOUNDATION blocks. The following off-the-shelf function blocks are available:

  • Analog input/output
  • Discrete input/output
  • PID control
  • Multiple analog input/output
  • Multiple discrete input/output
  • Integrator
  • Input selector
  • Signal characterizer
  • Arithmetic block

Softing is a leader in providing key technology components to more than 50% of all companies offering FOUNDATION devices. For more information, click here to visit the Softing Website.

Or contact Softing North America Inc., 29 Water St., Suite 301, Newburyport, MA 01950; Tel: 978-499-9650; Fax: 978-499-9654; e-mail:


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