Beyond networks: Optimize information use, Fieldbus Foundation says

Fieldbus Foundation digital network technology saves on wiring, said presenters at the first in a series of North American seminars in 2008. Dave Smith, Yokogawa, was among multiple live demonstrations showing better information integration, diagnostics, along with....


Houston, TX – FOUNDATION fieldbus is scalable and offers high performance distributed control in the field. Beyond wiring savings (25-30% capital savings) and faster commissioning, it also ensures that operations are more efficient and reliable. Avoiding one plant shutdown could save more than such a systemwould cost. This is among information

Fieldbus Foundation

representatives are trying to relay in seven free seminars in North American cities.

Among demos provided in the Fieldbus Foundation one-day seminar series were Alan Dewey, Emerson Process Management , Asset Optimization Division, product marketing manager field communicators. Dewey showed how the system can tell technicians exactly what’s wrong, so the right tools and parts can be taken into the field without wasting time.

Houston was the April 10 first stop for the

2008 Fieldbus Foundation End User Seminar series

; next meeting for the Americas Seminar Road Tour, “Changing the Playing Field,” is May 8 in Cherry Hill, NJ. Vendors, with tabletop exhibits, sponsor the series so that tuition is free for attendees. Other locations are Mexico City, Mexico; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Pleasanton, CA; Savannah, GA; and Chicago, IL.
Speakers offer advice, including:
; you don’t have to start with 10,000 points. FOUNDATION fieldbus also is open and flexible so it’s easy to start with a few points on a tank farm. Put control in the host at first and then get larger benefits by putting control in the field. “Once you build a segment, it’s the same song, different verse, to add on. It’s open, scalable integration,” says Chuck Carter, principle investigator/center director,

Fieldbus Center at Lee College

. Carter teaches working professionals and college students.
about a fieldbus installation? While it’s much more than a 4-20 mA replacement, Carter encourages users to “Try before you buy.” The Fieldbus Center can set up a demonstration for a particular process environment.
; some hosts allow 16; many plants only allow 8, because that’s the way it’s always been done, Carter says, which really isn’t getting best use from system capabilities. Distance is 1,900 m maximum per segment, more with up to four repeaters. Multivariable instrument capabilities allow a wide range of measurements from one device. Registration ensures interoperability among devices and hosts. Control choices vary widely with many function blocks available, Carter says. In the case of failure, transfer of control can happen automatically. Fieldbus Foundation provides

details about how FOUNDATION fieldbus works

: How much information do you want? “Some positioners have 300 data points to provide,” Carter says. “You can drown in your data juices if you want to.” Some of his training involves helping people get the most from a data rich environment that’s deterministic without latency, with diagnostics and predictive intelligence. “Get info to persons who can take actions needed in time to make a difference.”
(EDDL) provides a common framework for advanced visualization. A picture is worth a thousand words, Carter says; EDDL saves time and reduces errors, providing graphics at a glance.
What part of any process control loop requires the most maintenance? Valves. How would a poorly performing control valve affect plant performance? Plenty. If valve doesn’t open, it could mean $275,000 per hour in lost production, a $2 million repair cost for a 30,000 hp compressor. With 12-15 days of lost production, a critical valve mishap could cost $99 million, Carter says. The price of inefficiency is huge, adds Bill Tatum Fieldbus Foundation marketing manager. Inability of control systems and operating personnel to control critical conditions costs the U.S. economy at least $20 billion a year; Tatum cites


for those totals. Conservatively, he says, 68% of new process automation projects using the IEC 61158 buses
In July 1994, a fire and explosion occurred because a control valve was closed, but the system said open. That wouldn’t happen with a Fieldbus Foundation system, Carter suggests.
. Control in the field reduces variability compared to control at the host because of faster response times, according to information provided by

SAIT Polytechnic

(Southern Alberta Institute of Technology).
, says David A. Huffman,


industrial solutions consultant, process industries division, automation technologies. Even if the display doesn’t show in the control room, operations continue in the field, avoiding a facility shutdown. In addition, the system can monitor and track device temperatures in the field, ensuring safer operations and reducing losses due to temperature-related device failure.
, says Joe Serafin,

Honeywell Process Solutions

, principle product manager, fieldbus systems & solutions Experion line of business. Host software provides easy access to all Fieldbus Foundation device functions, features, and information, easy device configuration, management and maintenance, Serafin says. It also works with devices to improve awareness and user responses to abnormal conditions, provides added value through synergies with upper-level automation components, and enables efficient and effective system engineering.
to get the plant running faster at startup and to operations and maintenance in time to act to keep it running more efficiently, Carter says, like this:
-Data to information to actions;
-Data transfer to analysis to delivery to feedback; and
-Enhanced device diagnostics to trends.
that plants will need to operate more autonomously with less human intervention, Carter says, since just one-third of the projected demand for engineers are in college now to replace pending retirements. Commissioning at the device takes 25 minutes at a device and seconds using drag-and-drop techniques. Citing information from


and Shell Global Solutions, Carter says 63% of instrument maintenance labor results in no action taken; 65% work orders generated for transmitters are unnecessary (either there’s no problem or a problem with other equipment), 75% control valves removed from process lines did not require removal; and 50% of instrumentation technician’s time is spent on paperwork.
says Dave Smith, technology manager,

Yokogowa Corporation of America

. Associated vendors all work together, driven by users’ needs, he says. Smith, who’s helped with more than a few of these systems, reminds those present: “You must walk the path to give direction.”
Other presentations provided end-user perspectives on device calibration, FOUNDATION fieldbus implementations, and project management. For the Houston seminar sponsors were: ABB, Beka Associates, Beamex, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Lee College, MooreHawke, Northwire, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, RuggedCom, Smar, TopWorx, Turck, and Yokogawa.

–  Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk
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