As previously announced, the boards of directors for the Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation have approved the merger of our two organizations — ushering in a new era in industrial automation. The new combined organization, known as the FieldComm Group, will be dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in the world of process control.
Both suppliers and end users of control and instrumentation technology will benefit from this merger, which will ensure investments in both HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus-based communication technologies for process automation will be protected. The FOUNDATION fieldbus and HART specifications will continue to exist and develop individually. Each protocol will retain its own brand name, trademarks, patents, and copyrights.
The mission of the FieldComm Group is to develop, manage, and promote global standards for integrating devices into automation-system architectures. This initiative will provide benefits such as increased efficiencies in resource utilization, procedure consistency, and member service and support improvements.
This final issue of Fieldbus Flash provides an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable achievements of the Fieldbus Foundation over its 20-year history. From its inception, our not-for-profit organization has represented the interests of process automation suppliers and end users, and taken a leadership role in the development of fieldbus digital communications and integrated system architecture based on regional and international standards.
The Fieldbus Foundation’s non-proprietary technology, developed specifically to meet the needs of the process industries, is a worldwide standard available to multiple suppliers and open to innovation.
The success of FOUNDATION technology over the past two decades can be attributed to its numerous advantages:
- With the FOUNDATION solution, end users gain the power to implement tightly integrated digital control based on unified system architecture and a high-speed backbone for plant operations. This, in turn, removes constraints on device and subsystem interoperability.
- FOUNDATION fieldbus also enables better operations and maintenance through expanded access to diagnostics and other digital device information, as well as lower engineering and installation costs and optional device-based control.
- The ongoing FOUNDATION fieldbus Usability Initiative promises to make our technology easier to use than traditional 4-20 mA. The usability improvements will enhance the fieldbus end user experience by simplifying device replacement through pre-defined device templates and enabling process value (PV) interchangeability.
- Today, FOUNDATION fieldbus is recognized as the technology-of-choice for demanding industrial automation applications around the globe. The list of major companies implementing our technology continues to grow.
The success of FOUNDATION fieldbus is just beginning. Indeed, the outlook for adoption of this groundbreaking technology as guided by the FieldComm Group is brighter than ever.