Portable Fieldbus Segment Commissioning

Oct. 10, 2008
Advanced Diagnostic Module (ADM) Commissioning Kit
Any time a way is found to simplify the establishment, testing or repair of a fieldbus network, it’s a cause for celebration. Pepperl+Fuchs’ Advanced Diagnostic Module (ADM) Commissioning Kit is the latest reason for a party. “There’s nothing like it on the market today,” says Kristen Barbour, P+F’s FieldConnex product manager.  ADM is a complete diagnostics package in a rugged, portable case that enables users to commission, troubleshoot and validate a fieldbus segment, even without a control system. All kit components come prewired, and there’s no need to wire anything internally in the fieldbox.

DIN-rail secured and packed inside a rugged Pelican case, ADM can be used in Zone 2 areas. “All the connections are on the outside of the case, so you don’t even have to open it to use it. You just hook it up and it’s good to go,” says Barbour.

However, the beauty of the system is that it allows commissioning of fieldbus segments without connection to the control system.

“Many times, control equipment isn’t installed at the same time as the fieldbus segments,” explains Barbour. “There’s no way to know if the physical layer and fieldbus devices have been installed correctly. With the ADM kit, you don’t need the control room. You can power the segment, and look at all the aspects of the installation through the diagnostic module. You can actually commission the segments without connecting to the control room. You can validate that the system is working prior to the control system being powered up.”

ADM also is useful in older plants, explains Barbour. “You can use it either in the control room or out in the field,” she says. “Without the kit, the technician would have to take a bunch of handheld tools with him—a voltage meter, an ohm meter, etc. Now all the diagnostics and troubleshooting are automated.”

Intelligent software, which contains knowledge of the physical layer from the control system down to the device, identifies problems with the segment. “This takes away the need to have a fieldbus specialist on site during installation,” adds Barbour.

The standard kit includes a Pepperl+Fuchs Mobile ADM, a 120-V mA power supply, a 25-V fieldbus power supply, a 120-V ac power cable, a USB cable and a fieldbus device cable with clip-on leads.

The kit is available with a National Instruments PCMCIA H1 interface card so users can verify segments prior to the host/control system installation. For users who already have a Mobile ADM, a basic kit is also available with just power supplies and cables.

Mobile ADM eliminates repetitive tasks and automatically generates network documentation for each segment and device, and enables maintenance personnel to pinpoint fault locations from the control room. Comprehensive measurements are transmitted in real time to the maintenance station and can be easily viewed by an OPC software client.

The P+F Mobile ADM is a comprehensive physical layer measurement tool for Foundation Fieldbus H1 and Profibus PA installations. It provides the exact segment and individual device data needed for analysis of the fieldbus physical layer, and intermittent segment malfunctions can be traced without the need for a permanent connection.

Ryan Kelly, instrument and controls engineer at Chevron in Houston, says of the ADM, “Both kits worked perfectly, and the cases were well-suited for taking out onto the platform amongst all the dirt, dust and dripping water. An extremely useful feature is the ability to power the kit from either 120-240 Vac or 24 Vdc.”

For more information, call 330-486-0002 or go to