How to Select the Right Network

Gathering Data from Everywhere

By Larry O'Brien

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First Live Demonstration at Petrobras Cenpes

The Fieldbus Foundation conducted the first live demonstration of Foundation for ROM at the Petrobras research and development facility, Cenpes, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Petrobras is interested in specifying Foundation for ROM technology for the ambitious projects it's undertaking in the upstream and downstream hydrocarbon industry. The company has a record-setting $224 billion capital-spending plan through 2015, with most of the investments targeted at the upstream sector in the highly publicized Pre-Salt area of the Santos Basin.

During the press day event, a series of tests were performed with a Foundation for ROM system that was installed on a distillation process pilot plant to evaluate the use of fieldbus-based ROM devices with wireless protocols for remote applications.

Miguel Borges, who is employed at the Cenpes facility, believes Foundation for ROM can be an enabling technology for remote applications on Petrobras' offshore platforms.

"The Fieldbus Foundation's ROM solution is attractive to us, since we want to gain access to diagnostic information from devices installed at our remote sites," says Borges. "Petrobras is committed to investing in this type of technology, and is seeking the most effective solutions available in the marketplace."

Running on one of many of the Cenpes pilot plants, the Petrobras field demonstration offered a look at the full functionality of Foundation for ROM, including wireless device integration, remote I/O integration and wireless backhaul capabilities. This demonstration is the first step in showing the capabilities of Foundation for ROM before it's specified for commercial projects.

The project was completed through a cooperative effort between Petrobras and local Brazilian automation suppliers sponsoring the ROM initiative.

The Cenpes installation is an excellent example of the value of installing Foundation for ROM and Foundation fieldbus in an existing plant. The existing distillation column already has many analog and HART field devices installed. Petrobras was able to install a number of additional measuring points with a very small hardware footprint through a combination of Foundation fieldbus H1 and wireless devices. The installation includes three types of Foundation for ROM devices—wireless gateways, process controllers connected to Foundation fieldbus H1 devices, and conventional remote I/O.

The functional demonstration included accessing device diagnostics in wireless devices, including device status. Integration of video was demonstrated through observation of a control valve to determine if the valve was open or closed. A temperature sensor for a HART temperature transmitter was also pulled in to show how the diagnostic alert would be visible in the same context as a Foundation fieldbus H1 device.

Next year marks our live demo at the Reliance Jamnagar refinery, which is the largest, single-site refinery in the world, as well as three other live demos planned at end user sites in Japan, Europe and the Middle East. We look forward to testing and registering our first wave of ROM devices soon as well.

If you're interested in the Foundation ROM program, please email me at larry.obrien@fieldbus.org.

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