Chemical and other process industry end users seeking solutions to their operational challenges gained valuable insights at ACHEMA 2015, the global forum held every three years in Frankfurt, Germany. This important industry event attracts over 170,000 attendees from more than 100 countries across the globe and serves as a venue for demonstrating new innovations in the field of plant automation.
ACHEMA 2015 was an ideal location for taking a closer look at enabling technologies such as FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus, HART®, HART-IP™ and WirelessHART®, as well as the recently announced Field Device Integration (FDI®) standard. A visit to the ACHEMA "Field Communication Lounge" revealed the FieldComm Group's grand scale (330 sq. ft.) Technology Wall. This multi-vendor display included more than 40 leading suppliers and over 70 devices in a live technology demonstration. The interactive exhibit showed how digital integration enables industrial firms to use actionable intelligence to enhance decision-making, and thus achieve significant operational and business benefits.
Ted Masters, FieldComm Group president and CEO, said, "At ACHEMA 2015, we introduced the theme of CONNECT+INTEGRATE=VALUE. Our Technology Wall demonstrated the multiple ways automation end users can connect to valuable information in intelligent field devices—regardless of protocol—by using FDI to integrate the information in a control system, asset management application or ERP system; then visualize and evaluate the data; and ultimately take action based on the information to prevent shutdowns, lower operating costs, reduce maintenance expenses, and become more predictive in how plants are run."
According to Masters, the Technology Wall provided an unprecedented view of connectivity, including multiple suppliers' products and multiple device types. It helped attendees understand how crucial data can be integrated via Ethernet, wireless and other standard methods in their tools and applications. The demonstration also utilized the first commercially available FDI host, providing clear evidence of multi-protocol FDI support. This standard promises significant cost savings for device manufacturers due to unification of device integration into a single standard—not to mention a protected lifecycle for end users.
Participating in the Technology Wall was a "who's-who" of leading control system and instrumentation suppliers. For example, Siemens' wireless business development manager, Kurt Polzer, noted how FieldComm Group provides a unified, backward-compatible technology to describe and manage the multitude of intelligent field devices in a typical process plant. "The digital intelligence in field devices is robust and yet under-utilized in most real-time automation applications," Polzer said. "At ACHEMA, FieldComm Group demonstrated solutions that help systems and software convert data into actionable intelligence and capture value by improved operation. Modern process control systems like Siemens’ Simatic PCS 7 integrate HART and redundant FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication, but they also offer the ability to integrate legacy systems via an additional communication infrastructure."
Ignace Verhamme, EMEA leader customer marketing for Honeywell Process Solutions, stated, "FieldComm Group's Technology Wall offered a clear vision for addressing integration issues. FDI provides a single technology for the management of information that comes from intelligent devices across all areas of the plant. Full support of FDI will make it easier for end users, regardless of which protocols their installations are based upon."
The complete list of Technology Wall participants included: ABB, Badger Meter Europe, Beamex, Eaton, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Fieldbus International, Fisher Controls, Fluke, Heinrichs Messtechnik, Honeywell, ifak System GmbH, KROHNE, MACTek, Marlew S.A., Meggitt Sensing Systems, MESCO Engineering, Microcyber, National Instruments, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, ProComSol, R. Stahl, Riken Keiki Company, Rockwell Automation, SAMSON AG, Siemens, Softing, Turck and Yokogawa Electric.
For more information, please visit www.fieldcommgroup.org.