EC: Intelligent Marshalling for Foxboro I/A Series DCS

Network integration – I/O systems: Intelligent marshalling from Invensys Operations Management uses new remotely programmable Universal Fieldbus Modules to cut I/O operational and maintenance complexity and expenses. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.


Intelligent Marshalling for Foxboro I/A Series DCS. Intelligent marshalling from Invensys Operations Management uses new remotely programmable Universal Fieldbus Modules to cut I/O operational and maintenance complexity and expenses. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.The new intelligent marshalling solution from Invensys Operations Management can eliminate rewiring and even eliminate the need for marshalling cabinets entirely. The solution uses the new Foxboro Universal Fieldbus Module (FBM) 247, which fits into the standard base plate of the company’s I/A Series DCS and is software programmable to manage most standard I/O combinations. Working from a networked I/A Series workstation, a process engineer can configure modules for operation with HART, analog inputs, analog outputs, digital inputs, digital outputs, or combinations. Intelligent marshalling has many benefits. It lowers equipment costs by reducing cabinet footprint requirements and improving I/O density. It also provides major savings in inventory. Rather than maintaining a spares inventory accommodating various combinations, plants need only reserve a relatively small number of FBM 247 modules, ready to configure. Minimizing spares inventory is especially valuable in DCS installations that have fixed requirements for maintaining spares. Such requirements, for example, are often defined by I/O type and call for keeping a minimum percentage of each I/O type on hand.

Because Invensys’ intelligent marshalling module is a universal device, a single I/O point within one module can deliver any required combination and thus replace what might otherwise be a costly inventory of spares. Some situations even require hot spares to be stored and maintained on-site, which can be costly, especially where remote cabinets have been deployed. Intelligent marshalling replaces multiple types of I/O modules for hot spares with a single universal module configurable to manage numerous I/O signal paths. Besides spares, a major cost impact for the market is field labor cost reduction. Configurability via software allows an I/O point to be modified from an engineering workstation on a secure network. Changing an I/O point no longer requires installing a new module, opening a cabinet, deploying a local laptop computer, or incurring other typical on-site costs.

Invensys Operations Management

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