Automation

Fieldbus Foundation announces first registered devices implementing advanced field diagnostics

December 8, 2010
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New diagnostics technology will optimize plant asset management programs.


The Fieldbus Foundation has registered the first FOUNDATION fieldbus devices incorporating advanced field diagnostics technology. The new registration requirements help standardize how fieldbus devices communicate their diagnostic data to the host and asset management tools within a plant automation system.

Advancements in field diagnostics support a structured approach to asset management, which simplifies plant operators’ tasks and increases their confidence in using equipment diagnostics and asset software. This initiative will enable improved process performance, greater reliability, increased uptime and lower operating costs.

Yokogawa (field indicator) and FCI-Fluid Components International (thermal mass flowmeter) are the first FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device suppliers to pass the field diagnostics registration process.

The Fieldbus Foundation developed a profile specification enhancing the organization and integration of device diagnostics within FOUNDATION fieldbus systems. The new 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 addition, it provides recommended corrective actions and detailed help, as well as an indication of the overall health of the device.

The FOUNDATION fieldbus Diagnostics Profile Specification (FF-912) was defined to allow any Electronic Device Description (EDD)-based system to access and configure the diagnostics in fieldbus devices. The field diagnostics profile makes no changes to the existing FOUNDATION fieldbus stack specifications. However, the profile does introduce a new field diagnostic alert type. System updates will provide more extensive integration capabilities (such as Wizards for configuration) that will enhance diagnostics performance.

Rather than introduce significant changes to the current FOUNDATION protocol, the new diagnostic profile specification builds upon the existing diagnostic capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus equipment and, at the same time, adds a greater degree of organization so field instruments can represent their diagnostics in a more consistent way.

Yokogawa’s registered field indicator offers not only the standard functions of a field indicator, but also PID function block, link master and software download capabilities.

Fluid Components International’s registered thermal mass gas flowmeter is industrial process and plant-grade suitable for all air and gas flow measurement applications. It provides direct gas mass flow measurements, including flow rate, totalized flow and temperature; specialized versions also include pressure measurement.  

A complete list of registered FOUNDATION fieldbus products is available on the Fieldbus Foundation’s website at www.fieldbus.org.

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