Design tool for fieldbus segments updated

Fieldbus Foundation releases new version of DesignMate to simplify planning, validation, and documentation of H1 segments.


The Fieldbus Foundation has announced updates to its DesignMate software tool, a free download that allows plant automation professionals to audit segment layouts. The updates cover the library of registered devices, and revised terminology used within the software to align with current Foundation fieldbus installations.

The user-friendly DesignMate automatically audits segment layouts for conformance with the FF physical layer specification, which is based on the international IEC 61158-2 (Type 1) standard. End-users can feel confident their fieldbus infrastructure will work with desired parameters such as cable length, number and type of installed devices, and selected power supplies.

The software provides an intuitive graphical user interface and mouse support, enabling fieldbus segment design on the fly with drag and drop capabilities. The tool displays fieldbus segments in the form of an exportable image of a stylized topology. A printable report in Rich Text Format (.rtf) is also available. Users can analyze and check key physical layer parameters, such as supply voltage, load conditions at all terminals of power supply, fieldbus couplers, and field instruments. An error log indicates deviations from the specification in clear text visuals for immediate remedy.

The program is equipped with libraries for all components in the typical Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, including power supplies, fieldbus couplers for both safe and hazardous plant areas, and field instruments. Fieldbus devices from a wide range of automation equipment manufacturers are available in the software, along with an easy-to-use device editor for creation of custom instrument libraries.

To download a free copy of DesignMate, visit the Fieldbus Foundation website's Technical Reference page. Technical support is available on Fieldbus Forums. You’ll find information about other Foundation fieldbus technology solutions at the foundation's technical reference page. A short how-to video for the tool is available through the Fieldbus Foundation's YouTube channel.

Edited by Peter Welander,

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