May 2007
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."

Featured This Month...

In This Issue...

Fieldbus Foundation praises ECT/FDT joint effort

Success at Interkama delights Fieldbus Foundation

Expanded SIF demonstration includes multiple end users

Fieldbus Foundation forms Brazilian marketing committee

Updated H1 interoperability test kit 5.0.1 now available

On the road: Seminar tour continues in Calgary, Alberta

Milestone event: First fieldbus educational seminar in Brazil set

July developer training courses scheduled for Austin, TX

Seminar success: Dutch marketing committee events well received

ABB Automation World 2007 attendance exceeds projections

STC Netherlands' training plant nears completion

Emerson provides digital automation for Qatargas LNG facilities

DuPont names Rockwell Automation global alliance supplier

MooreHawke fault-tolerant system maintains communications

MTL-Relcom adds features to handheld fieldbus tester

RuggedCom has what you need for DCS, Ethernet networks

Fieldbus Foundation praises ECT/FDT joint effort

The agreement by the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) and FDT Group to combine efforts and work towards a single, unified solution for device integration that is compatible with both technologies has garnered praise from the Fieldbus Foundation. The historic automation industry agreement, announced by ECT and FDT representatives in Hanover, Germany at Interkama 2007 last month, lays the groundwork for developing a common device integration technology that will benefit instrumentation end users and manufacturers.

Under the agreement, the FDT Group will join the ECT as its newest member. The two organizations will work to finalize the solution and achieve a common framework that meets the requirements of all. Future technology developments will use a subset of the OPC Unified Architecture (UA) within a client-server architecture. In addition, the groups have agreed to consolidate the advantages of EDDL and FDT technologies.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney described the agreement as "a very positive step forward for the automation community in general, and end users in particular." He said, "On behalf of the Fieldbus Foundation, I applaud the dedicated work of the ECT and FTD Group to arrive at a consensus approach serving the needs of the entire industry. Their cooperation will satisfy the market's demand for a device integration solution supported by a majority of the world's leading control and instrumentation suppliers."

ECT Chairman and Fieldbus Foundation board member Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller added, "This agreement, once brought into reality, is a major step forward for device integration in several areas. It eliminates double efforts for customers and vendors, and preserves backward compatibility and operating system independence. It is based on the upcoming OPC UA technology, providing EDDL-based integration with the possibility for integrating software applications for highly complex requirements. Our agreement is more than a compromise, it is the natural technical evolution based on the most up-to-date, open, and flexible technologies. The ECT welcomes the FDT Group as a new member to shape the future."

Flavio Tolfo, managing director of the FDT Group, also welcomed the agreement. "This new cooperation follows our targets of openness and freedom of choice for the benefit of end users and is strongly supported by our members," said Tolfo. "After much discussion, we reached a commitment to work together and protect the investment of each technology for the benefit of end users. The FDT Group is looking forward to bringing to bear its broad experience of integrating software applications in conjunction with device descriptions by joining the EDDL Cooperation Team to solve end user needs."

Click here for more news about this topic.

Success at Interkama delights Fieldbus Foundation

Efforts of its booth at the Interkama 2007 International Trade Fair were a solid success, the Fieldbus Foundation announced today, expressing delight with the results of the exhibit in Hannover, Germany in April. Coordinated by the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee, the 300 sq m booth in hall 7, stand A10, was based on the theme: "Changing the Playing Field." It demonstrated the scope of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology in process and hybrid applications that makes it one of the most advanced and scalable process automation infrastructures available today.

Some 25 Fieldbus Foundation member companies representing leading automation equipment providers participated in this year's booth. Purpose built kiosks of registered devices, host systems, tools, and services demonstrated key fieldbus applications and FOUNDATION technology solutions. Experts on hand gave visiting end users, integrators, contractors, and engineers a broad depth of information. Live demonstrations of Fieldbus Foundation development initiatives included High Speed Ethernet (HSE) technology and electronic device description language (EDDL) integration. The forthcoming FOUNDATION fieldbus safety instrumented functions (FF-SIF) was explained in detail.

In an unexpected highlight, the Prime Minister of the Flemish Government, Yves Leterme, and his television camera crew, visited the Fieldbus Foundation booth during his tour of the fair.

The Fieldbus Foundation also briefed the German trade press at the booth on Tuesday afternoon, April 17. In the reception that followed, Dr. Gunther Kegel, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council (EAC) and member of the Fieldbus Foundation Board of Directors, updated several aspects of FOUNDATION technology and its impact in the EMEA region. He also presented the findings of a recent market study by the ARC Advisory Group on the market adoption of fieldbus protocols, and an update of the Fieldbus Foundation's involvement with the EDDL cooperation team (ECT).

Earlier that day, the ECT and FDT Group announced an agreement to combine efforts and work towards a single, unified solution for device integration compatible with both technologies. Under the agreement, the FDT Group will join the ECT. Current members include the Fieldbus Foundation, the HART Communication Foundation, the Profibus Nutzer Organisation (PNO), and OPC. More from the press briefing is available on the Fieldbus Foundation Website. Another article elsewhere in this newsletter provides more details about the agreement.

A panel discussion, also on Tuesday, focused on "New Cooperation in Industrial Communication." The panel included representatives from all parties associated with the ECT/FDT agreement, including: Rich Timoney (Fieldbus Foundation); Martin Zielinski (ECT); Tom Burke (OPC); Ron Helson (HART Communication Foundation); Edgar Küster (PNO); Flavio Tolfo (FDT Group); Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller (ECT); and Achim Laubenstein (FDT Group). The panel discussed issues and fielded technical questions from more than 60 attendees. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Bender (ITM-Technical University of Munich) moderated.

Marc Van Pelt, vice president, Fieldbus Foundation—EMEA Operations, welcomed the ECT/FDT announcement. "This agreement is a major step forward towards satisfying the market needs for a device integration solution that is supported by the majority of the world's leading control and instrumentation suppliers—and in the context of today's modern automated enterprise"

He added, "To make this announcement at the beginning of Interkama week was perfect timing. Interested parties have had several opportunities to address their queries to the senior representatives from the participating organizations at events including panel discussions, press briefings, and forums."

The Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council (EAC) held its annual meeting during the show on Tuesday. The EMEA EAC, comprised of senior executives from EMEA's leading control and instrumentation companies, was established in 2005 in response to the growing demand for FOUNDATION technology in the Europe, Middle East and Africa industrial markets. The advisory council promotes the adoption of FOUNDATION technology by automation equipment suppliers and end users in these regions.

Participating members at Interkama 2007 included: ABB, BIS Prozesstechnik, Bürkert, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus International, Hans Turck, Honeywell, Invensys, Leoni Kerpen, Krohne, Magnetrol, Masoneilan, MTL Instruments, Northwire, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. Stahl, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Samson, Softing, Topworx, Wika, and Yokogawa.

At a résumé meeting on Thursday, April 19, the Fieldbus Foundation German Marketing Committee agreed to participate in Interkama 2008. Because of growing interest in FOUNDATION technology and the increasing number of participating Fieldbus Foundation member companies, the committee expects more than 30 participants to display FOUNDATION fieldbus solutions at next year's booth.

For more information, email, or visit the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

Expanded SIF demonstration includes multiple end users

Fieldbus Foundation's FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) demonstration project now includes multiple end user locations around the world. Field demonstrations of the technology are planned at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; and Chevron, Richmond, California, USA.

No changes to the existing FOUNDATION protocol were required to add the SIF protocol extensions. Its industry-proven distributed function blocks and open communications protocol are said to make it an ideal infrastructure for advancing standards-based Safety Instrumented Functions. The Fieldbus Foundation has developed specifications for safety instrumented functions in cooperation with leading automation end users, controls manufacturers, and safety experts. The field demonstrations will promote adoption of FOUNDATION SIF technology in the process industries. The project also includes development of SIF best practices and guidelines, training, and interoperability test tools for manufactures and end users.

Companies participating in the demonstration working group include: ABB, BIFFI, BP, Chevron, Dresser-Masonelian, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus Diagnostics, HIMA, Honeywell, Invensys, Magnetrol, Metso Automation, Moore Industries, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Risknowlogy B.V., Saudi Aramco, Siemens, Shell Global Solutions, Smar, Softing, TopWorx, TÜV Rheinland, TÜV SÜD, Westlock Controls, and Yokogawa.

"Our SIF project continues to gain momentum as leading automation equipment suppliers and end users lend their support to developing FOUNDATION solutions for standards-based safety instrumented functions," said David A. Glanzer, Fieldbus Foundation director of technology development. "We are pleased that a growing number of major users have agreed to take part in our technology demonstration."

He continued, "The Fieldbus Foundation undertook this project at the urging of its end users. Users are realizing significant operating benefits in their non-safety systems through their use of the technology. By extending FOUNDATION technology into Safety Instrumented Functions, they see the opportunity for the additional economic benefits of its native predictive diagnostics."

The Fieldbus Foundation's SIF protocol meets IEC 61508 standard requirements for functional safety of electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic safety-related systems up to and including Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3. In addition, end users can build systems according to the IEC 61511 standard covering SIF functional safety in the process industries (IEC 61511 is available as ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 standard).

The Fieldbus Foundation worked closely with TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH, Automation, Software, and Information Technology, a global, independent, and accredited testing agency, to achieve Protocol Type Approval for its SIF specifications. With TÜV Protocol Type Approval, FOUNDATION technology has been extended to provide a comprehensive solution for safety instrumented functions.

Future information about the SIF project will be available on the Fieldbus Foundation Website.

Fieldbus Foundation forms Brazilian marketing committee

The Fieldbus Foundation today announced the establishment of a Brazilian marketing committee. The organization, made up of representatives of leading process automation companies, will promote adoption of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology by the Brazilian industry. The committee will organize a wide range of fieldbus-related activities, including training seminars, trade show displays, and end user demonstrations.

Fieldbus Foundation marketing manager Bill Tatum welcomed the establishment of the new marketing committee. "FOUNDATION fieldbus has gained strong acceptance in Brazil, and is a leading plant automation technology for both greenfield and brownfield projects," he said. "We appreciate the support of our marketing committee members in promoting the FOUNDATION solution to all sectors of Brazilian industry."

The Brazilian Marketing Committee will sponsor a fieldbus educational seminar on July 12, 2007, at the Renaissance Hotel in São Paulo. The first instructional event of its kind held in Brazil, the seminar will offer a wealth of information describing how FOUNDATION technology is "Changing the Playing Field" in industrial automation.

Oriented towards end users and engineering firms, the one-day seminar will cover all aspects of FOUNDATION automation infrastructure management. The seminar content will be presented in the local language. Attendees will also receive a CD with all the presentation materials, technical guides, and workshop handouts.

In addition to a technical program, the São Paulo seminar will include tabletop displays of the latest FOUNDATION fieldbus products and solutions. Exhibitors include: ABB, Emerson Process Management, Fieldbus Center at Lee College, Honeywell, MooreHawke, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Turck, R. Stahl, Rockwell, Smar, Tri-State University and Yokogawa.

For more information about the upcoming seminar in Sao Paulo, Brazil, click here. Also read another article about the seminar elsewhere in this newsletter.

Updated H1 interoperability test kit 5.0.1 now available

Fieldbus Foundation has made a maintenance update to its powerful FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 (31.25 kbit/s) Interoperability Test Kit (ITK). The H1 ITK Version 5.0.1 improves usability with the ITK Automation Toolkit when "manual intervention" tests are run sequentially, and corrects minor communication bugs.

ITK Version 5.0.1 is designed for testing FOUNDATION fieldbus devices employing current Device Description (DD) files. The test kit verifies the functionality of an H1 device and its conformity with the FOUNDATION fieldbus Function Block and Transducer Block specifications. This tool for troubleshooting and debugging devices includes all hardware and software to ensure complete device interoperability as specified by the foundation's official registration testing procedure. Using the H1 ITK 5.0.1, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the Fieldbus Foundation before submitting their device for test and registration.

The interoperability test suite has been enhanced with an ITK Automation Tool to eliminate several manual intervention steps when performing pre-registration testing. The tool improves ITK schedule efficiency and directly reduces the hours needed to complete the testing phase.

Click here to review frequently asked questions about the ITK.

To order the ITK or ITK Automation Toolkit, contact Fieldbus Foundation Member Services by phone at 512-794-8890, Ext. 21, or by email at

Companies with active ITK maintenance agreements will automatically receive the update.

On the road: Seminar tour continues in Calgary, Alberta

The seminar road tour moves north to Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a one-day instructional event scheduled for June 21, 2007. The seminar is intended for end users and engineering firms and describes how FOUNDATION technology is "Changing the Playing Field" for industrial automation.

Morning seminar workshop presentations and demonstrations focus on the FOUNDATION automation infrastructure: open scalable integration, process integrity, and business intelligence. The afternoon session will feature local end users presenting case studies about their experiences with the technology.

Be sure to sign up to attend! Click here to register.

Click here for more information on upcoming seminars.

Milestone event: First fieldbus educational seminar in Brazil set

The first fieldbus educational seminar to be held in Brazil has been scheduled for July 12, 2007, at the Renaissance Hotel in São Paulo. The seminar will offer a wealth of information about how FOUNDATION technology is "Changing the Playing Field" in industrial automation.

Oriented toward end users and engineering firms, the one-day event will cover all aspects of FOUNDATION automation infrastructure management. Each core technology area will be discussed in detail in roughly hour-long sessions. These include: Open Scalable Integration, Process Integrity, and Business Intelligence. Local end users will present case studies about their fieldbus applications in the afternoon. All seminar content will be presented in the local language.

Attendees will receive a CD of presentation materials, technical guides, and workshop handouts. Speakers include:

  • Bill Tatum, marketing manager, Fieldbus Foundation
  • Claudio Fayad, Fieldbus Foundation Brazilian marketing committee
  • Pedro Vieira, instrumentation and electrical maintenance senior engineer, Deten
  • Carlos Henrique W. Moura, technical consultant/production and exploration, Petrobras
  • Ronaldo Ribeiro, Cenibra

Fieldbus Foundation marketing manager Bill Tatum called the educational seminar "a milestone event" for Brazil's end user community. "We are pleased to offer this comprehensive, vendor-neutral technology instruction to users in the region," he said. "Typically, companies receiving rapid payback from fieldbus projects are the ones devoting time up front to attend training courses."

Tatum continued, "Our 2007 seminar program has been fine-tuned to help attendees understand the real advantages of the Fieldbus Foundation's technology. The seminar curriculum now focuses on three key subjects. The first area is open, scalable integration. The next module, focusing on process integrity, talks about distributing control to field devices, function blocks, and asynchronous communications. We then go into business intelligence, including advanced diagnostics, asset management, and OpEx savings with fieldbus.

The São Paulo seminar will also include tabletop displays of the latest FOUNDATION fieldbus products and solutions. Exhibitors will include: Turck, ABB, Yokogawa, Emerson, Honeywell, P+F, Smar, MooreHawke, R. Stahl, Rockwell, MTL, Fieldbus Center at Lee College, and Tri-State University.

Click here for more information or to register for the seminar.

July developer training courses scheduled for Austin, TX

Fieldbus Foundation will host two developer training courses in July in Austin, TX. Introduction to and Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION fieldbus are basic courses that all engineers developing fieldbus equipment should attend. Sign up, attend training, and speed your development process.

Space is limited! Register today!

The schedule includes:

Course Location Date Early registration deadline
(15% discount)
Final registration
Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus Austin, TX, USA July 17, 2007 May 21, 2007 June 25, 2007
Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION Fieldbus Austin, TX, USA July 18-20, 2007 May 21, 2007 June 25, 2007

Course Descriptions:

Introduction to FOUNDATION Fieldbus
This one-day, vendor-neutral course is designed for developers, end users, marketing professionals, applications engineers, system integrators, and others interested in obtaining a fundamental knowledge of FOUNDATION technology. Students will become familiar with the basic concepts and new terminology related to the FOUNDATION integrated architecture. The technology introduces new terminology with which control personnel must be confident if they intend to be successful. Students will learn key strategies for wiring and installing a fieldbus network. Special emphasis will be placed on design issues such as power requirements, device types, and topologies.

Click here for more information.

Advanced Principles of FOUNDATION Fieldbus
This three-day, vendor-neutral course is designed for manufacturers and developers of FOUNDATION hardware and software. It is intended for development engineers, test engineers, and those who wish to understand the detailed, inner workings of a FOUNDATION device. The course covers major tools used by fieldbus device developers. Students will learn bus monitor basics and apply this tool in interactive exercises demonstrating fieldbus communications and the use of filters for network troubleshooting.

Click here for more information.

Register now for a developer training course.

Review all course agendas and other course dates.

Seminar success: Dutch marketing committee events well received

The series of afternoon FOUNDATION fieldbus seminars, conducted by Fieldbus Foundation Nederland, the Fieldbus Foundation's Dutch National Marketing Committee, have been labeled a success! The events took place April 18 at Hotel van der Valk, Stein; April 24 at Hotel van der Valk, Assen; and April 25 at Hotel Carlton Oasis, Spijkenisse.

To minimize the impact on the delegates' busy daily schedules, the Dutch marketing group decided to hold the seminars at convenient venues across the region near the end of the work day and include breaks for refreshments and a light meal. The formula proved popular and each event attracted some 35 attendees, including end users, contractors, and engineers considering the implementation of FOUNDATION technology. The seminars were free and included all refreshments. Presentation materials were provided on a memory stick.

The seminar program started with an overview of FOUNDATION technology, the Fieldbus Foundation organization, its Website, and training opportunities. The second part of the program considered the technical aspects of FOUNDATION fieldbus and how the technology addresses and relates to Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF), OPC applications, High Speed Ethernet (HSE), Field Device Tool/Device Type Management (FDT/DTM), Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), HART, and diagnostics in field instruments.

The third session took the adoption of FOUNDATION technology further and demonstrated CAPEX and OPEX savings achievable through the implementation of fieldbus, and the benefits of improved diagnostics and integration with the plant enterprise. The evening concluded with discussions that gave attendees the opportunity to question the presenters—all experts in FOUNDATION technology and its implementation.

Marc Van Pelt, vice-president, Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, commented, "We're delighted that the events drew such a responsive audience. The Dutch group was determined to reach as many interested parties as possible with a number of key topics, but they still successfully allowed for individuals to take away specific, tailored information through the availability of discussions."

For more information about the activities of the FFNL marketing committee, email: or telephone +31 (079) 353 13 49.

For more information about the EMEA End User Council, e-mail:

To learn about other seminars in the EMEA region, visit the EMEA Events page.

ABB Automation World 2007 attendance exceeds projections

ABB's Automation World 2007 Users Conference and Exhibition drew more participants than expected, attracting a record 2,500 attendees. The three-day event, held in Orlando, FL, March 20-22, 2007, focused on "Collaborating for Results" and featured a variety of technical workshops—many hosted by customers, independent industry experts, and technology partners—demonstrating how ABB products, systems, solutions, and expertise help all industries achieve measurable process and bottom line improvements.

The 40,000 sq ft exhibition hall housed hands-on demonstrations and displays of ABB automation products and systems that help customers improve productivity, profitability, and energy efficiency. Several technology areas, including the Wireless Pavilion, showcased the broad range of ABB offerings and discussed the practical applications of, and potential cost savings from, strategic implementation of these technologies.

ABB Automation World 2008 will return to the Hilton Americas in Houston, TX, April 29-May 1, 2008, bringing a cross-section of ABB customers, channel partners, and employees together under the same roof.

Further information will be available on the ABB Website.

STC Netherlands' training plant nears completion

STC Brielle's fieldbus training plant in Brielle, The Netherlands, is nearing completion. A grand opening, with a majority of units commissioned, is scheduled for October 2007.

The facility will consist of nine operating process units on a pilot scale. The main control technology at the site is FOUNDATION fieldbus, and each unit will have its own multi-vendor host system and instruments. Involved in the project are 170 organizations, from end users, EPC contractors, and suppliers to government agencies and media.

STC Brielle recently conducted FOUNDATION fieldbus Engineering & Design courses at Shell PDO (Oman) in Bahrain (Middle East EUC and at contractor sites in Holland. The company also is offering training at its Brielle facility and will launch a certified FOUNDATION fieldbus training program in Switzerland and Brielle using Fieldbus Foundation demo kits with multi-vendor devices. Courses will be provided for certified installers, control professionals, and maintenance personnel.

Click here for more information on the training plant.

Emerson provides digital automation for Qatargas LNG facilities

Qatargas Operating Company Ltd. and Emerson Process Management have initiated a long-term alliance naming Emerson the preferred supplier of digital automation solutions and Qatargas a preferred customer for the company's LNG facilities.

The Qatargas-Emerson alliance will continue to improve and sustain operational excellence for Qatargas, building on the strength of the companies' previous collaboration to automate six multi-billion dollar world-class facilities in Ras Laffan over the past four years.

As automation supplier on existing and future Qatargas projects, Emerson will engineer, project manage, install, commission, and provide long-term support on the automation solutions for the oil, gas, and petrochemical facilities in Qatar. Emerson will install its PlantWeb digital plant architecture with FOUNDATION fieldbus communications, integrate third-party equipment, and provide information technology services.

Visit the PlantWeb Website for more information.

DuPont names Rockwell Automation global alliance supplier

DuPont recently selected Rockwell Automation as a Global Alliance Supplier of PLC discrete and process systems. The two companies have shared an alliance involving Rockwell's PLC-based control systems for the last 15 years. This move expands the relationship to leverage Rockwell's process system capability for use in applications where the functionality of DCS and PLC technology overlaps.

Using Six Sigma, a DuPont Process Control Sourcing Strategy team evaluated potential suppliers on the basis of a five-year life-cycle model that included cost, migration, support and services, technology, security, engineering tools, and safety systems.

"Although Rockwell Automation has been a long-term supplier to DuPont in the process control area, the team approached this evaluation process very seriously," said Dennis Inverso, DuPont PLC Technology team leader. "Rockwell Automation's responses exceeded our team's expectation. It is clear that Rockwell Automation has a credible offering for the process space where DCS and PLC functionality overlap."

The decision to include Rockwell's solution for process control provides DuPont with another component of Rockwell's Integrated Architecture solution, complementing the installed base of Rockwell Automation products currently installed in DuPont sites.

For more information on the DuPont and Rockwell Automation alliance, click here to visit the Rockwell Automation Website.

MooreHawke fault-tolerant system maintains communications

The Trunksafe Fault-Tolerant Fieldbus System from MooreHawke (a division of Moore Industries-International Inc.) provides a cost-effective, yet highly reliable, strategy to maintain FOUNDATION fieldbus communications between DCS and field devices without interruption in the event of any single point failure (such as an open- or short-circuit).

Delivering a complete fault-tolerant fieldbus physical layer, Trunksafe consists of two redundant fieldbus dc power conditioners and a specially engineered device coupler that together provide a secure fieldbus physical layer. The Trunksafe solution maintains all process and diagnostic communications without interruption, even if the network cable is broken or shorted. It is compatible with FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 networks and devices without hardware or software changes. Advanced physical layer diagnostics monitor and report open- and short-circuits, dc power status, and segment noise.

Trunksafe is the latest addition to the MooreHawke line of fieldbus interface solutions, which includes Trunksafe Fieldbus device couplers and power supplies designed for general purpose, non-incendive (Class 1, Division 1), Zone 1, and Zone 2 areas; and the Route-Master Fieldbus System for intrinsically-safe applications.

MooreHawke products are supported through the Moore Industries worldwide network of Interface Solution Centers. For more information, visit the MooreHawke Website.

MTL-Relcom adds features to handheld fieldbus tester

Enhancements to MTL-Relcom's FBT-6 handheld fieldbus tester make it easier to store and analyze segment data and to take measurements in flammable atmospheres.

An established benchmark tool for commissioning and fault-finding with FOUNDATION fieldbus systems, the FBT-6 enables users to capture parameters indicating network health for later upload to a Microsoft Excel worksheet/report in the maintenance workshop or control room. New features include color-coding cells in the report to show good/bad status for relevant parameters, configurable alarm levels, and fields for formal sign-off of each report. Fieldbus events are also date and time stamped, where published by the host segment. Naming each of the eight reports stored in the FBT-6 is now possible, as is the ability to clear the device's memory of all previous values. Clearer on-screen instructions provide easier navigation through the Save Report function.

New ATEX and North American approvals permit the FBT-6 to be connected to FISCO and "Entity" intrinsically safe fieldbus networks in Zone 0/1 and Division 1 hazardous areas, and to Ex n or non-incendive segments in Zone 2 or Division 2.

For more details, email Roger Highton at or visit the MTL-Relcom Website.

RuggedCom has what you need for DCS, Ethernet networksc

You just bought a brand new Ethernet-based DCS and you're looking at the network requirements. It's time to take stock of what is needed: environmental, shock and vibration, protection of power and data ports from voltage bursts and surges, size of the space to install switches, more. Don't short your DCS to save a few extra dollars on the network by using Ethernet products that are not industrial. A single outage could have more than paid for the difference in cost of an industrial Ethernet network.

The D in DCS means Distributed. Why use a distributed control system with a centralized Ethernet Network and home running all the cables? This increases installation costs and the risk of outages from faulty or damaged cables. Users should distribute their network the same way they would distribute their control system, saving on cabling costs. Putting Ethernet switches local to the system locations and providing redundancy between the switches enables the system to survive cabling issues without disrupting the process. Fewer long-run cables are required and the local connections, for the most part, are strictly patch cables that are inexpensive to install.

You can't turn off a refinery or an electrical substation. These continuous processes don't tolerate issues well. It pays to use the proper products.

For more information, go to RuggedCom's Website.


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