Fieldbus and Ethernet courses available

Baytown, TX and Newburyport, MA—A couple of learning opportunities are available for industrial networks, one for fieldbus and another for industrial Ethernet.


Baytown, TX and Newburyport, MA —A couple of learning opportunities are available for industrial networks, one for fieldbus and another for industrial Ethernet.

The Fieldbus Center at Lee College, a National Science Foundation recognized and funded institution, has announced “Course 101: Introduction to Fieldbus” on Oct. 27, 2007, a one-day, Fieldbus Foundation-certified training course intended for managers, supervisors, and engineers interested in a fundamental knowledge of fieldbus design, management, and capabilities. Students will become familiar with basic concepts and new terminology related to the Foundation fieldbus automation infrastructure. Key strategies for wiring and installing fieldbus networks will be covered. Emphasis will be given to design issues such as power requirements, device types, and topologies. Function blocks and applications characterizing a Foundation device will be reviewed. The differences between block types and key components of the standard function blocks will be addressed. Other reviewed concepts include mode and status, linkages, alarming, and trending. The importance of the Device Description accompanying every registered Foundation device will be discussed.

Another educational opportunity is available through Ethernet Direct in the form of a reference library of information specifically targeted to industrial Ethernet. It provides easy online access to:

  • Ethernet terms and how they relate to industrial applications

  • Network architectures and recommendations

  • Industrial Ethernet software tools and their value

  • Understanding the proper use of virtual local area networks (VLANs)

  • Filtering and how it could affect multi-cast traffic

  • Common issues that are occurring on the plant floor

  • Important organizations and their functions

More than 100 diagrams and expert comments are included in the training platform. For individuals just beginning to learn about Ethernet, as well as for experienced network professionals trying to understand subtle differences when applying technology to real-time control applications, the site provides a range of information. The library will add more detailed help pages and references as it grows. Questions and suggestions to identify additional topics are welcome. Sections to be added include EtherNet/IP, PROFInet, Foundation Fieldbus HSE, and Modbus TCP. A “Security on the Plant” will be added to cover issues relating to attacks and planning defense.

—Edited by Barb Axelson , contributing editor
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