New Foundation Fieldbus white paper

Larry O’Brien, ARC’s research director, process automation, is the author of a new white paper entitled “Foundation Fieldbus Safety Instrumented Functions Forge the Future of Process Safety,” which is available for download from the Fieldbus Foundation’s site at www.fieldbus.org. In it O’Brien argues that successful beta testing of Foundation SIF, together with last May’s live demonstration of the technology at Shell Global Solutions in Amsterdam, presage big changes in the way automation end users approach Safety Instrumented System (SIS) implementations in process plants. Foundation fieldbus, with its industry-proven distributed function blocks and open communications protocol, is, he suggests, an ideal platform for advancing standards-based solutions for plant SIFs, enabling end users to realize significant reductions in their total cost of ownership. “It is very clear that end users want this technology and are striving to include FF-SIF systems in their project specifications,” he says. “Many major end users will probably be specifying FF-SIF systems for their new projects starting in 2011.”

The paper reviews SIF product registration, conformance to standards, diagnostics functions and benefits. “The protocol has already received TÜV approval, and suppliers are going to start submitting their products for TÜV approval over the next year. This means that we should see actual products that are certified by TÜV available commercially some time in 2010.”

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