Fieldbus Online

Control's Resource Guide on Fieldbus

Every month, Control's editors take a specific product area, collect all the latest, significant tools we can find, and present them here to make your job easier. If you know of any tools and resources we didn't include, send them to, and we'll add them to the website.

Moore Industries International
Still wondering what all the fieldbus hype is about? Here is a basic introduction to Foundation fieldbus and Profibus. It covers how fieldbus works and shows how to connect instruments. It also discusses the differences between Profibus and Foundation fieldbus, FISCO vs. Entity intrinsically-safe fieldbus systems, installing redundant segments, and the difference between EDDL and FDT. There is also a section on justifying the expense of fieldbus. The direct link to this white paper is

"Specifying Industrial Fieldbus Networks for Automation" discusses the  choices in selecting a network technology appropriate for various specific applications, compares the technical constraints of several common fieldbuses, and discusses guidelines for selecting media and protocols. The audience should come away with a general overview of common fieldbuses available, and some knowledge of the kinds of questions to consider when choosing an architecture, a protocol and an implementation. The direct link is at

This free, downloadable, one-page chart compares Foundation fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet, AS-I, Modbus and HART for the following characteristics: intrinsic safety capability, operating voltage, maximum cable length, governing standards, communication methods and speeds, media access algorithm, maximum data size and miximum number of stations. For a direct link, go to

Emerson Process Management
"Choosing the Right Bus" is a free multi-segment tutorial from Emerson Process Management’s PlantWeb University. These courses will help you make the right choice for achieving the higher yield, better quality and lower operating costs your plant is capable of. Topics include field-level networks, understanding Ethernet, introduction to HART, introduction to Foundation fieldbus, fieldbus interoperability, intrinsic safety, network wiring options and more. The direct link is at

Profibus North America
This archive of 14 webinars covers such topics as "Industrial Ethernet: an Introduction," "Industrial Ethernet: Ethernet Network Architecture," "Industrial Ethernet: Advanced Ethernet Architecture," "Profinet—the All-Encompassing Industrial Ethernet," "Industrial Wireless Networking," "Profibus in the Process Industries, Parts 1-4," "The Rapid Way to Profinet," "Diagnostics for Profinet and other Industrial Ethernets," "Profisafe—Functional Safety over Profibus and Profinet," "Profinet Development Kits from Profi Interface Center," and "A Short Introduction to Ethernet for Control Engineers." The webinars are free, but registration is required. The direct link is located at  

B & B Electronics Manufacturing
This 21-page PDF covers FC5A Modbus communication. It includes many diagrams and instructions for system setup and numerous specific examples, including reading and writing word and bit data, using “request execution” relays, and changing the preset values of timers and counters. The direct link to the PDF is at

Samson AG
Control valve maker Samson AG offers this 40-page illustrated PDF basic introduction to Foundation fieldbus. Topics include the history and development of Foundation fieldbus, its performance features, the layered communication model, a discussion of the physical layer and the communications stack, device descriptions, and system management and communication. The direct link is at

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