More from Our Man in Yokohama

Here's the latest from Fieldbus Foundation 2009, courtesy of John Rezabek, who's attending it live and in person.

YOKOHAMA, Japan, March 4,-2009--Hosting over 200 attendees at the end user seminars and General Assembly, Fieldbus Foundation president Rich Timoney says the organization is financially sound and well-positioned to weather the current financial downturn, buoyed by fourth-quarter sales of its new SIF (Safety Instrumented Function) test kit. “End users should be encouraged that the SIF ITK (Interoperability Test Kit) sales are strong, evidence that supplier companies are working toward delivering long-awaited Foundation-certified products for safety.”

Foundation Fieldbus 2009
Following the successful demonstration of the new SIF offering at selected sites by BP, Chevron, Saudi Aramco and Shell Global Solutions, these pioneering end users continue work on live prototypes and formulation of best practices for addition to the AG-181 system engineering guidelines.

Also released in late 2008 was version 5.1 of the standard field device Interoperability Test Kit (ITK 5.1). The newest version includes provisions for field diagnostics, role-based diagnostics according to the guidelines of NAMUR NE-107. Says Timoney, “NE-107 Field Diagnostics are about getting the right information to the right person at the right time.” Users who have been awaiting this development now have a basis for including it in their specs. The requirements for NE-107 diagnostics will become mandatory in ITK 6, as will the “Registered Host” test by the third quarter of 2010.

Announcement of the first successful “registered hosts,” replacing the old “complaint host” or HIST test, is anticipated soon, with one host having already passed. The new test promises to be much more valuable to end users trying to determine which hosts support the functionality they need.
FDI (Field Device Integration), the technology to allow integration of FDT-DTM (Field Device Tool/ Device Type Manager) features with EDDL, completed draft functional specifications, having been agreed to by all the participants of the EDDL cooperation team. Final specifications are expected in a year (1Q 2010) and product manager Stephen Mitschke of Fieldbus Foundation predicts users will have a usable, uniform product in the foreseeable future. Support for FDI will be added to the “Registered Host” test, but will be optional for devices.

Work is also progressing on the “HSE Wireless Backhaul Network” for WirelessHART, Wired HART, conventional IO and ISA100 wireless. Demonstration projects are projected to occur by the third quarter of 2010 for phases 1 and 2, which cover the wireless and conventional HART protocols and conventional I/O integration.

Three students were chosen to receive the James O. Gray Fieldbus Foundation Educational Scholarship. This year’s winners are Huo Quan Hui, pursuing an electrical and electronic engineering degree from Singapore Polytechnic; Lynden Lepage, seeking a degree in industrial instrumentation engineering at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Bernadette Coates, who recently received an instrumentation technician certificate from Lee College in Baytown, Texas, U.S.A.