The importance of interoperability testing, registration

The Fieldbus Foundation is one of the only automation industry organizations with a registration program requiring mandatory testing of critical elements of its technology.

08/22/2011


The Fieldbus Foundation is one of the only automation industry organizations with a registration program requiring mandatory testing of critical elements of its technology. Today, our testing and registration effort encompasses Foundation Fieldbus host systems and field devices, as well as physical layer components such as power supplies and device couplers. 

One of the founding principles of the Fieldbus Foundation is the support of interoperability – the ability to operate multiple devices from multiple manufacturers, in the same system, without loss of functionality. The testing and registration process at the Foundation is the key to interoperability. With Foundation Fieldbus, interoperability is made possible by the fact that devices and software must conform to the same standard.

Host registration provides an extra measure of confidence that fieldbus systems incorporate the robust functionality of Foundation technology and are able to function as part of an open, interoperable control system. The host has been of particular concern in the past because it is the key element at the system level and can determine the success or failure of a fieldbus project. If your host is not registered and tested, you are taking some unnecessary chances and have no way of knowing if your host will work with a wide range of H1 and HSE devices from different suppliers. 

Testing and registration requires good stewardship, especially when the specification continues to evolve like Foundation Fieldbus does. A good example of this is the addition of the NAMUR NE-107 recommendations for device diagnostics. Fieldbus Foundation and NAMUR, an international user association for automation technology in process industries, collaborated on enhancements to Foundation technology, which improved its usability. A key objective of this work was to unify the integration of fieldbus self-monitoring data and ensure the availability of valuable diagnostic information to process plant operators, engineers and technicians.

According to the NAMUR NE107 recommendation, Self-Monitoring and Diagnosis of Field Devices, fieldbus diagnostic results should be reliable and viewed in the context of a given application. The document recommends categorizing internal diagnostics into four standard status signals. (See diagram.) It also stipulates configuration should be free, as reactions to a fault in the device may be very different depending on the user's requirements. According to NE107, plant operators should only see status signals, with detailed information viewable by device specialists. This facilitates information in context, provided to the right people at the right time, in the right format. 

Using the NE107 recommendations for field diagnostics, the Fieldbus Foundation developed a profile specification enhancing the organization, integration, and presentation of device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. The diagnostic profile includes a standard and open interface for reporting all device alarm conditions, and provides a means of categorizing alert conditions by severity. The technology facilitates routing of alerts to appropriate consoles based on user-selectable severity categories. In other words, it sends the right information to the right person at the right time without flooding the operator with alarms that are irrelevant to his duties. It also provides recommended corrective actions and detailed help, as well as an indication of the overall health of the device. 

The Foundation continues to evolve our specification as new technologies come along and there are new opportunities to improve on the specification. Testing and registration will continue to evolve along with the specification to ensure that end users can achieve full functionality and interoperability that is the promise of Foundation technology.

Read Larry's blog at http://foundationfieldbus.blogspot.com



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...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
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
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

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