Remote operations management (ROM)management of
automation assets and resources that are geographically
dispersedis one of the fastest growing segments of the
process automation business (Fig. 1). At
present, the ROM segment is plagued with a high degree of
customization, solutions that are not easily configurable, and
a break-and-fix mentality when it comes to asset
management. Beginning in 2007, the Fieldbus Foundation began a
new project that would extend the functionality and
infrastructure of FOUNDATION fieldbus to remote applications
through remote I/O and wired HART technologies. The project was expanded to include
leading industrial wireless networks such as ISA 100.11a and
WirelessHART. The overall FOUNDATION ROM specification is
nearly complete, and ready to extend capabilities to manage
data from a limitless range of devices in some of the most
Fig. 1. Devices and
New technology development: FOUNDATION
FOUNDATION for ROM allows users to implement a true
predictive and proactive maintenance strategy for remote
assets that could not be previously supported. Data from
devices on multiple networks, both wired and wireless, can be
brought into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure. The
infrastructure provides a single environment to manage diagnostic
data, alarms and alerts, data quality, control in the field
capability, and object-oriented block structure.
FOUNDATION for ROM has the potential to address many
upstream applications, such as oil fields, offshore-platform
automation, oil and gas pipelines, water-treatment centers
and distribution networks, and even original equipment
manufacturer skid-mounted applications. The upstream oil and
gas and water-treatment industries are the two fastest growing
industries in process automation, and FOUNDATION for ROM is
clearly targeted at these applications.
The Fieldbus Foundation is planning the first round of field
demonstrations of ROM technology. The ROM demo team has over 20
sponsors, and the first live demo will be at Petrobras
CENPES research facility outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in
April 2013. Several more demos are planned in Europe, the Middle East, India and Japan.
FOUNDATION for SIF
Products incorporating FOUNDATION fieldbus safety instrument
were successfully demonstrated in 2008 (Fig.
2). It has taken some time for products to be
submitted to the Foundation for testing and registration.
However, there are two pilot projects underway at two different
end-user sites. TÜV granted protocol type approval for the
Fieldbus Foundation Safety Instrumented Systems specifications
in 2006. No changes were made to the fundamental H1 protocol
for implementation in safety instrumented systems (SISs), but
additional device diagnostic functions and fault detection
capabilities were required.
Fig. 2. Probability of
failure for safety
instrumented function (SIF) in the field.
The specifications outlined by the Fieldbus Foundation
comply with the IEC 61508 standard for functional safety of
electrical/electronic/programmable safety-related systems
requirements up to, and including, safety integrity level 3
(SIL 3). TÜV protocol type approval extends FOUNDATION technology to provide a
comprehensive solution for SISs in a wide range of industrial
plant applications. The specifications enable suppliers to
build FOUNDATION devices in compliance with IEC 61508, and
these devices can be certified for use in SISs.
What are the benefits of fieldbus at the safety
system layer? Over 90% of the causes for a process
safety system failure are due to the failure of field devices.
A safety system should address total safety needs by checking
the health of the I/O, field devices and valves. The system should also
incorporate components, such as sensor validation, environmental condition monitoring
for conditions that can cause sensor degradation and
impulse-line blockage monitoring.
Common-cause failures of electronic components are
frequently due to environmental conditions. Many
electronic device failures are sourced to elevated humidity and
temperature, which should be monitored closely. Sensor
calibration is also becoming an integral part of safety
systems. FOUNDATION Fieldbus allows for remote monitoring,
diagnostics and validation.
Development Services Provider program
The Fieldbus Foundation launched the FOUNDATION Development
Services Provider (DSP) program to assist automation equipment
suppliers preparing to design and manufacture products
incorporating FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology (Fig.
3). The DSP program is intended to provide access to
qualified development services providers with the expertise to
make fieldbus solutions a reality. Qualified DSP participants
must ensure that they have the tools, training and experience
necessary to support a wide range of FOUNDATION fieldbus
development projects. Services that can be qualified in the
FOUNDATION DSP program include H1 and high-speed ethernet (HSE)
fieldbus device development services, as well as host system
Fig. 3. Logo of
Development Services Providers.
The DSP program is a resource for all companies wishing to
design, develop, manufacture or sell Foundation Fieldbus
devices. A Foundation DSP is a company or individual that has
met the Fieldbus Foundations standards for tools,
training and experience to provide services for the development
and registration of Foundation products. These individuals or
companies provide extraordinary services and solutions to their
customers and have earned the distinct honor of being a
The DSP program was created in response to a need recognized
by the Fieldbus Foundation within the global automation
industry to provide a list of competent service vendors that
can help get Foundation products to market quickly. The
foundation, which is directed by its membership, receives many
questions regarding qualified third-party services to help with
the development of Foundation devices. Because of this demand,
the Foundation DSP Program was created.
AG 181 System Engineering Guide
Perhaps the best kept secret is the AG 181
System Engineering Guide, revision 3.2. The latest version
of the AG 181 guide can be downloaded. It contains the
distilled wisdom of many of the worlds leading experts
from the engineering and construction world to end users,
systems integrators, educators and suppliers. AG 181
offers many good pointers on how to do a fieldbus project right the first time. It is
an essential part of the toolbox of any FOUNDATION Fieldbus
professional. If you already have an older version, this new
version will look more streamlined, and it contains several new
sections, along with rewrites of old sections. You can download
AG 181 from the website at www.fieldbus.org under End
User Resources/Technical References.
Aside from the FCTP certified training partner and AG
181, the Foundation also offers free end-user seminars
throughout the world every year. You can also check out the
LinkedIn Discussion area, Blog and YouTube channel. The
Foundation has recently uploaded some new videos on best
practices for fieldbus wiring and cable installation. The
Foundations goal in the coming year is to make things
easier for end users and to get the right information in the
hands of people that need it.
End of series
Part 1, November 2012. HP
Larry Obrien joined the Fieldbus
Foundation as Global Marketing Manager in April 2011.
Prior to his job at the Foundation, he was research
director for process automation at ARC Advisory Group,
where he began work in 1993. As an industry analyst and
market researcher, he covered the topics of process
fieldbus, distributed-control systems, process safety,
automation services business and intelligent field
instruments. Mr. OBrien has authored or
co-authored numerous market forecast reports,
strategic-level advisory reports and white papers for
ARC and its clients, including all the major process
automation suppliers. He holds a BA degree from the
University of Massachusetts at Lowell.