Fieldbus linking devices for plant-wide process control
New Foundation Fieldbus Linking Devices strengthen Rockwell Automation communication portfolio for plantwide process control.
Two new linking devices from Rockwell Automation provide PlantPAx process automation system users with connectivity to Foundation Fieldbus devices. The Allen-Bradley 1788-EN2FFR and 1788-CN2FFR linking devices provide a direct link from EtherNet/IP or ControlNet networks to the Foundation Fieldbus H1 device-level network, making the integration of Foundation Fieldbus devices intuitive and seamless, the company said.
"The Foundation Fieldbus standard is a popular choice among many process industry companies because of the wiring, commissioning and support savings a digital network offers,” explained Graham Proctor, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “With these linking devices, PlantPAx system users can access data for improved diagnostics, troubleshooting, maintenance and uptime.”
The 1788-EN2FFR and 1788-CN2FFR linking devices offer simplified setup into RSLogix 5000 software from Rockwell Automation, thanks to an Add-On-Profile (AOP) and auto-configure tool. The auto-configure tool helps save hours of setup time by applying the most frequently used configuration, while the AOP provides a graphical environment for more detailed field device configuration. In addition, the AOP provides built-in diagnostics, including information on network voltages and currents, internal temperature, and device status, which also can be viewed directly from the on-device display, simplifying troubleshooting for plant operators. A built-in webserver also provides remote access to network and field device data.
Both devices support up to 16 field devices on a single H1 segment and feature multiple redundancy configurations, including redundant linking devices, H1 media, ControlNet media, and EtherNet/IP Device-Level Ring. No external software or user licenses are required for operation, and each device features a built-in power conditioner, which minimizes the equipment’s installed footprint.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.