Fieldbus interoperability test kit finalized

Latest test kit ITK 6.0 has been updated to test for new, required field diagnostics capabilities.


The Fieldbus Foundation has announced the final release of its H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.0. This powerful tool, which tests the functionality of a fieldbus device and its conformity with the Foundation function block and transducer block specifications, is available to members holding an active maintenance agreement.

The H1 ITK 6.0 has been updated to test for new, required field diagnostics capabilities, which standardize how all fieldbus devices communicate their diagnostic data to the process control and asset management systems—regardless of the vendor. The test kit also employs an all-new user interface, which the group says is far more intuitive.

All ITK 6.0 devices now support the latest advancements in field diagnostics per the NAMUR NE107 recommendation, which build upon the existing diagnostic capabilities of Foundation fieldbus equipment, and at the same time, add a greater degree of organization so field instruments can represent their diagnostics in a more consistent way.

For example, employing field diagnostics capabilities, non-critical diagnostics can be routed to a maintenance station for future work while critical diagnostics can be routed to operations with specific recommendations on how to resolve an instrumentation issue. This and other advanced features are configurable to provide flexibility in user applications.

Last year, the Device ITK Profile Final Specification (FS 1.0) was released to provide a way of mapping field device requirements to the foundation's latest ITK versions. This specification, which is the basis for the current updates, helps fieldbus device suppliers identify minimum required features for their products, and at the same time, allows existing equipment manufacturers to identify the latest requirements.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s ITK 6.0 test kit verifies the functionality of an H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device and its conformity with the Foundation fieldbus Function Block and Transducer Block specifications. The test kit includes all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer’s complete device interoperability as specified by the foundation’s official registration testing procedure. By using the test kit, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the Fieldbus Foundation before submitting their device for official registration.

Edited by Peter Welander,

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