Fieldbus Foundation releases final device coupler test specification

Austin, Texas -- The Fieldbus Foundation today announced the release of the final Foundation Device Coupler Test Specification (FF-846 FS 1.0). This specification is designed for coupler manufacturers to perform a standard set of tests against their implementation. The test cases were developed by a team of volunteers comprised of current members of the foundation that manufacture coupler products, as well as end users interested in the availability of registered couplers.

The Foundation Device Coupler Test Specification includes criteria from IEC 61158-2:2003 and additional functional tests such as input impedance, short-circuit reaction time and bus voltage consumption.

The Fieldbus Foundation's manager-fieldbus products, Stephen Mitschke, said, "The foundation is one of the only automation industry organizations with a host and device registration program requiring mandatory testing of critical elements of its technology.This effort now encompasses Foundation fieldbus host systems and field devices, as well as physical layer components such as power supplies and device couplers."

He continued, "The Fieldbus Foundation is committed to developing more test processes for devices and components. The device coupler specification builds upon the existing power supply specification and registration procedure, and is intended to provide even greater robustness in Foundation fieldbus systems. The resulting registered products will be tested to perform optimally with registered power supplies and conditioners, as well as registered H1 cable."

Mitschke indicated that the scope of the device coupler test specification includes wiring blocks and couplers that may support short circuit protection. He noted that the foundation has an active working group developing Phase Two of the test specification, to be released during 2009, that supports couplers with electrical isolation.

A copy of the Foundation Device Coupler Test Specification is available to Fieldbus Foundation members on Fieldbus Forums (http://forums.fieldbus.org) under "Member Forums - New Specification Forum."

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