Reviewed resource: Fieldbus Foundation also provides comparison

Profibus spoke first, now Fielbus Foundation replys in the process fieldbus competition.

03/05/2008


Last month we offered a paper produced by Siemens comparing Profibus PA and Foundation Fieldbus . Call me naïve, but I was surprised at how controversial that proved to be. This month, FF gets its turn.

Rich Timony, president and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation, has written a paper entitled, “Choosing the Right Technology for a Digital Automation Architecture.” (You may need to register for our Resource Center to download the paper.) This work is rather longer than the one from Profibus and goes into greater detail on a wider variety of topics. It covers some of the same ground in that it also makes one of the same key differentiations we discussed last month: FF’s ability to perform PID control at the device level vs. Profibus’ suite of networks and its ability to integrate more types of devices across those platforms.

Timony cites more statistics of market share, revenues, and even historical precedents to assert some dominance over Profibus PA. There are also discussions of operational issues, such as adding devices to a hot segment and device addressing, that are identified as functional advantages.

Just as the Profibus paper says that FF is more expensive due to those control functions, Timony says Profibus has its own cost downsides. The paper warns, “Profibus PA requires a gateway to Profibus DP before it can be brought into a control system. This increases cost, reduces performance, and adds failure points to the solution. It also increases engineering time, drawing complexity, and configuration effort.”

For those trying to make an informed and rational decision whether to adopt fieldbus architecture for process instrumentation, the value proposition may still be difficult to see. A company has to decide what it expects to gain from adopting fieldbus networking for process applications. Ultimately the choice typically boils down to a mix of the following:

  • Lower wiring costs;

  • Improved ability to use diagnostics for asset management;

  • Ability to move control functions down to individual devices; and,

  • Improved maintenance and troubleshooting functions.

Some of these are available by other means (e.g., diagnostics capabilities with HART ) and others cannot be realized in a retrofit situation (e.g., lower wiring costs) so the picture is not always completely clear. If you find yourself in that evaluation phase, this paper is worth reading ( as is the one from Profibus ). Also watch for a larger article, “Fieldbus: Growing Globally” in the March issue of Control Engineering .

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Process & Advanced Control Monthly
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of free eNewsletters .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me