Enhanced Foundation Fieldbus Interoperability

I saw the news from the Fieldbus Foundation of automation systems or “hosts” being registered incorporating the Host Profile “61b”. It is described:

In the Foundation fieldbus automation infrastructure, hosts can include configuration tools, recording devices, alarm display panels, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), or a combination of functionality. Host profiles are key to fieldbus system interoperability, defining required features for different classes of tested and registered hosts. They include: Class 61 – Integrated Host, Class 62 – Visitor Host, Class 63 – Bench Host Non-Commissioned Device, and Class 64 – Bench Host Commissioned Off-Line Device.

I turned to Emerson’s Randy Balentine, a member of the DeltaV marketing team, to ask what this means for process manufacturers. Randy responded [hyperlinks added]:

The biggest enhancement is that all hosts and devices must support Device-Level Access. This functionality provides instrumentation device developers with the opportunity to create device description (DD) screens that have all the necessary information for troubleshooting or completing a task on the same screen regardless of where the data resides in the device. This development really facilitates a task-based or human-centered design (HCD) focus when designing the DD screens.

Another big improvement is support for Enhanced Function Blocks. Until now, the only support automation suppliers had for function blocks that have additional, manufacturer-specific parameters (beyond those in the standard block definition) was through the “hard-coded” enhanced Rosemount function blocks that were in our Emerson family of devices. Now, the DeltaV system and other 61B-registered systems will support these additional function block parameters from any device manufacturer that includes them. There is no longer a need for hard-coded blocks.

Finally, with the help of AMS Device Manager, we support the display of FF-912 Field Diagnostics (NE 107) signals from any device providing these signals. In summary, this functionality provides PlantWeb Alerts for all Emerson and other automation supplier devices. The consistency of diagnostic information presentation to the user will allow greater ease of use and the standardization of troubleshooting and maintenance work practices by process manufacturers.

I look at the specifics of NE 107, and found this information in a Foundation fieldbus article, Fieldbus Diagnostics: Latest Advancements Optimize Plant Asset Management:

NE107 proposes diagnostic signals/categories be identified as follows:

Maintenance Required: Although the device is still able to provide a valid output signal, it is about to lose functionality or capability due to some external operational condition. Maintenance can be needed shortterm or mid-term.

Failure: The instrument provides a non-valid output signal due to a malfunction at the device level.

Check Function: The device is temporarily non-valid due to some type of maintenance activity.

Of Specification: The device operates out of the specified measurement range. Diagnostics indicate a drift in the measurement, internal problems in the device, or the consequence of some process influence (i.e., cavitations, empty pipe, etc.).

The advancement of the Foundation fieldbus standard encourages greater ease of use and more predictive warnings of abnormal conditions for plant operators and maintenance technicians.

Leave a Reply