Fieldbus safety functions now updated

Fieldbus Foundation updates SIF specification and releases development tools.

12/27/2010


The Fieldbus Foundation has announced that updated device development solutions for its Foundation Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF) technology are now available. The new release includes the FF-SIF Technical Specification, Foundation for SIF Interoperability Test Kit (SIF ITK), and DD Library. These solutions support development of interoperable fieldbus devices intended for use in industrial plant SIF applications.

Foundation fieldbus has been widely deployed in critical process industries. Its distributed function blocks and open communications provide an excellent platform for advancing standards-based SIFs. The foundation says that this technology enables process end users to realize significant CAPEX and OPEX benefits by extending fieldbus benefits into plant safety systems. The FF-SIF protocol was approved by TÜV Anlagentechnik GmbH to meet the requirements of IEC 61508 up to, and including, SIL 3.

FF-SIF technology is now being specified for projects worldwide, with leading process industry companies such as Shell Project & Technology and Saudi Aramco already running pilot projects. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.

The foundation says that by implementing FF-SIF, process plants can achieve enhanced diagnostics through a fully integrated asset management system. They can also minimize the need for testing final control elements. This allows for early detection of dangerous device failures and reduces the incidence of spurious trips.

The latest Foundation for SIF Technical Specification defines analog input (AI) blocks for fieldbus transmitters and other SIF devices. In addition, the specification now addresses discrete output (DO) blocks, which is a major enhancement required for deployment of a complete fieldbus-based safety system. The updated specification package also includes the SIF Device ITK Profile, offering an easy way to map SIF field device requirements to existing SIF ITK versions.

Within Foundation technology, function blocks contain the information needed for online control functions. Device description (DD) and capability files (CF) provide additional information required for configuration and display purposes.

The updated FF SIF ITK Version 1.1 includes a new, intuitive user interface, as well as additional test cases for testing SIF DO blocks and a variety of updates to existing test cases. The test kit is an excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging devices, and provides all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer's complete device interoperability as specified by the Fieldbus Foundation's official registration testing procedure. By using the test kit, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for registration.

The test kit includes a host of test cases verifying the functionality of a fieldbus device and its conformance with the Foundation fieldbus function block and transducer block specifications. It also incorporates a DD "Super Viewer" allowing examination and verification of a device's DD, and a conformance test procedure for the physical layer. The viewer supports validation of existing DDs and the new DD 5.1 format. Device developers can walk their DD, execute methods, and render visualization elements supported by the new DD 5.1 technology.

The interoperability test suite can be paired with an ITK automation tool designed to eliminate several manual intervention steps required when performing pre-registration testing of fieldbus devices. The tool improves ITK schedule efficiency and provides a direct reduction in the person-hours needed to complete the testing phase. The SIF ITK is available with a maintenance agreement to keep the test suite software up to date with the latest enhancements.

The DD Library includes standard Device Description Language (DDL) code for SIF blocks. With this DD subscription service, device developers have access to a template DDL making it easier and less time-consuming to develop DDs to the Foundation fieldbus specification.

For more information, visit the Fieldbus Foundation's specification page.

www.fieldbus.org

Edited by Peter Welander, pwelander@cfemedia.com

Visit the Control Engineering Process Control Channel.

Visit the Control Engineering System Integration Channel.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.