Fieldbus Foundation Launches Project Gemstone

AUSTIN, Texas – The Fieldbus Foundation has announced a new technology development initiative—Project Gemstone—intended to make the digital fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analog control systems all the way from device setup to replacement and daily maintenance practices.

Project Gemstone covers many of the initiatives the Fieldbus Foundation is already working on, including Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM), Field Device Integration (FDI) Cooperation and ISA108 intelligent device management.

Foundation for ROM technology allows users to integrate WirelessHART, wired HART, ISA 100.11a devices, remote I/O and Modbus communication into the Foundation fieldbus managed infrastructure. FDI is working towards a single device integration package that will provide all the benefits of Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and FDT/DTM technology. The ISA108 standards effort is defining recommended work processes for intelligent device management, regardless of communication protocol. The Foundation's new usability team is also focusing on how to make fieldbus devices easier to specify, set up, configure and maintain.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney says, "Our goal at the Fieldbus Foundation has always been to listen to the industrial marketplace and provide a managed infrastructure for process automation that allows end users to focus on their processes and their plants, not the technology tying everything together behind the scenes. For this reason, we have undertaken a number of key projects centered on making fieldbus automation solutions more user-friendly and compatible with other technologies."

According to Timony, Project Gemstone will drive an innovation strategy enabling plant owners to focus more on what technology can do for them and their business instead of how they manage the technology itself. The project's focus on standards-based solutions will also make it easier for automation suppliers to develop new fieldbus-based products and applications.

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