Our Man in Yokohama

John Rezabek, Control's fieldbus columnist is in Yokohama, Japan, attending the Fieldbus Foundation 2009 conference. He's reporting back for us. His first report follows: 

Yokohama, Japan, March 4, 2009-- “Do more with less people, Change Information to Knowledge” were the main themes from the keynote address of Mr. Hideaki Miura, Senior Executive Officer and General Manager of JGC Corporation, headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. Since pilot plant experiments in 1998 and 2003, JGC has done numerous large installations involving the installation and commissioning of over 40,000 Foundation fieldbus devices.

Citing Capex savings through reduced cabling and marshalling, rapid commissioning and lessened CPU load by migrating simple PID functions in field devices, and OPEX savings through proactive maintenance with predictive alarms, improved up-time of basic control schemes, remote validation and maintenance and stable process operation, Mr. Miura sees Foundation technology as essential to achieving the “Plant of the Future.” After employing optimum expenditure of capital, the highly reliable and automated plant of the future will have self-learning, low maintenance, and fewer people needed to keep it running optimally.

JGC is looking forward to developments in FF technology, especially to exploit field-proven FF-SIS, redundancy options in segment wiring, simple and easier parameter setting, lower power consumption instruments, “online update,” higher segment performance (more devices on the segment), and interoperability of PAM (plant asset management) packages.

JGC uses “InTools™” for segment design, validating devices per segment, cable length, capacitance, voltage drop and correct terminators. 3-D models are used to check spur lengths, trunk lengths and junction box locations.

JGC is a major engineering, procurement and construction firm employing 4500 people in Japan and another 4500 in 33 international offices in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. With expertise in petrochemicals, refining, gas-to-liquids, LNG, gasification, and carbon capture and storage, their experience spans 20,000 plants in 70 countries.