FOUNDATION fieldbus H1, HSE, flexible FBs integrate butanediol plant

Lima, OH—The Fieldbus Foundation (FF) and International Specialty Products (ISP) demonstrated the full implementation of FF’s open, integrated FOUNDATION fieldbus architecture on May 19 at ISP’s 1, 4-butanediol (BDO) plant.



John Rezabek, lead controls engineer at ISP’s Lima facility, shows how FOUNDATION fieldbus H1, high-speed Ethernet, and flexible function blocks improved filter operations on the facility's vapor system.

Lima, OH— The Fieldbus Foundation (FF) and International Specialty Products (ISP) demonstrated the full implementation of FF’s open, integrated FOUNDATION fieldbus architecture on May 19 at ISP’s 1, 4-butanediol (BDO) plant. The event showed how FOUNDATION fieldbus H1, High-Speed Ethernet (HSE) and Flexible Function Block (FFB) technology, integrated with OPC, forms an open, interoperable plant infrastructure to improve process performance and deliver operating and capital savings in new and renovated applications.

FOUNDATION fieldbus was developed as an open environment to integrate multiple systems, subsystems, applications and devices. FF says this allows end-users to choose automation solutions that work together seamlessly regardless of their supplier.

Last week’s BDO technology demonstration in Lima was a joint project initiated by BP Amoco Chemical Co., an indirect subsidiary of BP plc, and the foundation. ISP, through one of its subsidiaries, acquired BP’s BDO operations in March 2005. The Lima plant has an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons of BDO, which is a key building block for specialty chemicals products used in pharmaceutical, personal care, food, beverage, coatings, oil field and other applications. ISP produces more than 400 specialty chemicals and performance-enhancing products.

FF members participating in the demonstration project included ABB, Emerson Process Management, Fieldbus Center at Lee College, Hawke, Hirschmann, Honeywell, Invensys, MTL/Relcom, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rockwell Automation, Smar, Softing, StoneL, TopWorx, Turck, Yamatake, Yokogawa, and Westlock.

John Rezabek, lead controls engineer at ISP’s Lima facility, reports that the FOUNDATION fieldbus demonstration project provided valuable, real-world experience for end-users seeking to replace proprietary control systems with an open, interoperable fieldbus architecture to help enable robust, reliable control at the field level. 'Having implemented the demonstration project in a mission-critical part of an operating process, we feel confident that we’ve passed a milestone in the development of fieldbus HSE and truly distributed control,” says Rezabek. “The distinct advantages of implementing H1 and HSE in lieu of proprietary networks will become increasingly apparent, as our leading suppliers develop products to make this technology accessible to their customers everywhere.'

Richard Timoney, FF’s president and CEO, acknowledged the contributions of all demonstration project participants. “Thanks to the efforts of leading automation equipment suppliers and end-users, the future of true plantwide distributed control is here today,” he adds. “As seen in the BDO demo application, industrial manufacturers can eliminate the constraints of proprietary legacy systems, and realize the benefits of a modern, open, fieldbus-based control environment.”

Developed for FOUNDATION fieldbus HSE (100 Mbps) technology program, but also compatible with H1 (31.25 kbps) fieldbus systems, FFBs are a key component of the FOUNDATION architecture for plantwide information integration. FFBs, which are application-specific, bring the full instrumentation integration part of the fieldbus solution into play. They reside at the fieldbus user layer along with standard function blocks, and enable control strategies, such as supervisory data acquisition, batch control, programmable logic controller (PLC) sequencing, coordinated drive control and input/output (I/O) interfacing, including gateways to other plant device networks.

Using FFBs enhances the ability to move control functionality to the field-level. For example, with FFBs running in an HSE linking device, one physical device can support batch and logic control. With this approach, users can often eliminate the need for proprietary unit controllers. Unlike other solutions requiring a master-slave link, this technology places process node aware logic local to the optimized task.

Two types of FFBs, pre-configured and fully configured versions, are now available. The foundation released specifications for the pre-configured FFBs in March 2000. Specifications for fully configured FFBs were released in September 2001 after field tests were completed at Lee College’s Fieldbus Center in Baytown, TX.

Pre-configured FFBs have a predefined number/type of I/O parameters like standard function blocks, but the algorithm is configurable. Since the I/O is predefined, the electronic device description (EDD) is also predefined. The initial FFBs of this type, multiple input/output (MIO) blocks, have eight analog or discrete parameters per block: MAI, MAO, MDI, MDO. MIO blocks are used for remote I/O interfacing and simple gateway applications.

Fully configured FFBs are used for more complex applications; they allow both the number/type of I/O parameters and the algorithm to be configured. In this case, the EDD is generated “on the fly” by the configuration tool. FFBs are created using programming tools based on standards such as IEC 61131-3. Once created, FFBs are instantiated and connected to other blocks just like standard function blocks.

For the live demonstration application in Lima, a FOUNDATION fieldbus system consisting of H1 field devices and HSE linking devices was installed on a vapor system. The fieldbus controls actuated a series of butterfly valves used on the process. The demo highlighted FFB implementation of host-resident logic using discrete and analog field devices residing on H1, the co-existence of diverse control systems from various manufacturers using HSE, and the interoperability of alternate HSE linking devices and associated controllers. In addition, the demo showed the suitability of existing FOUNDATION fieldbus devices for high-speed batching and sequencing of discrete systems, as well as the use of FFBs in discrete and hybrid applications.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor