Digital networks aid global integration, asset optimization

Digital network users in Singapore showed Dec. 4 how to troubleshoot and change setpoints for process equipment in Texas during the Fieldbus Foundation's (FF, Austin, Tex.) Press Day 2001 at the pilot plant at Lee College's Center for Digital and Fieldbus Education. The event used a live Internet/video link between Lee College and Singapore Polytechnic to demonstrate...

01/01/2002


Digital network users in Singapore showed Dec. 4 how to troubleshoot and change setpoints for process equipment in Texas during the Fieldbus Foundation's (FF, Austin, Tex.) Press Day 2001 at the pilot plant at Lee College's Center for Digital and Fieldbus Education. The event used a live Internet/video link between Lee College and Singapore Polytechnic to demonstrate integration and global connectivity via a FOUNDATION fieldbus-based industrial network. The gathering was held a day before FF's North American End-User Council meeting.

The foundation stressed that digital networks can help businesses improve asset optimization. Moving away from proprietary automation systems and networks to a single, open and integrated fieldbus architecture helps plant optimization by integrating sensors, devices, subsystems, data servers and application software packages, suggests Richard Timoney, FF's president and ceo. " FOUNDATION fieldbus' High-Speed Ethernet's (HSE) backbone allows data to be transmitted via the Internet to remote locations where operators can view the process directly from their web browsers. Control information can also be retrieved from the network and supplied to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management systems," says Mr. Timoney.

Lee College's pilot plant facility shows FF H1 fieldbus instrumentation, HSE/H1 linking devices, and recently developed HSE field devices, as well as HART, and soon-to-be-installed Profibus PA. David Glanzer, FF's director of technology development, also discussed at Press Day 2001 how FF's Flexible Function Blocks on H1 protocol (for discrete I/O) allow programming in IEC 61131 languages, and the structure of FF's HSE (for PLCs and beyond).

Representatives from Lee College, Singapore Polytechnic, ExxonMobil and Shell also praised participating industries, end-users and equipment manufacturers for supporting the college's under-construction technology center. The project has secured $4.1 million in more-than matching funds along with its initial $1.8-million National Science Foundation grant and many hours of voluntary help on site.

For more on industrial networks, visit Control Engineering Online at www.controleng.com ; use its search functions; subscribe to e-newsletters; see technology webcasts; and reference Fieldbus Foundation at www.fieldbus.org , Lee College at www.lee.edu , and Singapore Polytechnic www.sp.edu.sg .





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