Fieldbus Foundation announces first educational institutions offering certified training
STC Brielle (Netherlands) and Fieldbus Center at Lee College complete rigorous certification process from Fieldbus Foundation. The three levels are...
Austin, TX – The Fieldbus Foundation has announced that STC Brielle and the Fieldbus Center at Lee College are the first educational institutions worldwide to offer fieldbus training courses certified under its Foundation Certified Training Program (FCTP). This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students.
Fieldbus Center at Lee College helps students of all ages know the bus at www.knowthebus.org .
The FCTP is intended to raise the visibility and prestige of institutions offering fieldbus training to a new and exclusive level. Educational facilities successfully completing a multi-stage process can issue certificates showing course accreditation by the Fieldbus Foundation. They also gain recognition from the foundation on its website.
The program currently offers three levels of certification for student participants. More may be added in the future if stakeholders see growing needs. The current certifications include:
1) Foundation Certified Professional —recognizing engineers, engineering technologists, system integrators, technologists, main instrumentation controls contractors, main automation contractors (MAC), engineering procurement and construction (EPC) professionals, contract administrators, certified fieldbus instructors, programmers, commissioning specialists, designers, and system analysts.
2) Foundation Certified Support Specialist —recognizing individuals such as salespeople, end user management, estimators, operations staff, QC specialists, and reliability analysts who are generalists able to communicate intelligently about the technology, but do not have the depth of knowledge required for other certificates.
3) Foundation Certified Technical Specialist —recognizing individuals such as maintenance technicians, network technicians, contract service specialists, maintenance and contract maintenance supervisors, control automation instructors, and in-house trainers who have demonstrated competence to install, maintain, repair/replace and troubleshoot fieldbus systems.
Thanks to the FCTP, end-user students gain access to highly skilled employees possessing a strong knowledge of FOUNDATION technology principles; a consistent understanding of fieldbus fundamentals, regardless of geographical location; and a proven ability to implement fieldbus-based control systems.ing automation professionals completing certified courses can expand their job skills and employment value within their companies.
“Due to the growing Foundation technology market, there was a strong demand within process industry companies, including the control engineers, plant operators, and instrumentation technicians they employ, for a uniform, global fieldbus training curriculum and standardized certification process,” says Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation’s product director. “With the establishment of the FCTP, we have developed formalized procedures to meet different certification standards. Regardless of where certified fieldbus training courses are conducted, students will encounter a consistent level of knowledge and curriculum requirements.”
Located in Brielle, Netherlands, close to the Rotterdam-Europoort industrial areas, STC Brielle has established a unique training center for process control and automation. The combination of complex simulation facilities and hands-on training gives students a chance to enhance their theoretical knowledge and gain user experience by working on real fieldbus equipment and configurations. Gertjan Siemons, industrial automation instructor for STC Brielle, says, “Certification is important for STC because we are recognized by the foundation as a high quality training center. This gives our customers a guarantee that the content of our courses, the materials used, and the knowledge of our trainers are up to date. For most of our customers, it is essential to be certified because of the value in their professional environment.”
Lee College, located in Baytown, TX, is a leading educational center for emerging technologies in the field of industrial automation. The facilities include a multi-million dollar pilot plant and several state-of-the-art micro plants that allow students to build fieldbus segments, configure devices and develop control strategies.very student's training and development goals. Clients from the processing, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, power, manufacturing, and related industries who take our courses are assured they will receive up to date, consistent, and fully applicable training.”
For educational institutions, there are rigorous procedures for gaining certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers are required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with fieldbus technology. They are also audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits, device replacements, menus and screen designs of different software packages, and scheduling and function block assignments enabling configuration.
In addition, certified instructors are audited to see if they have achieved specified training goals. Instructors must demonstrate expertise in areas such as HMI (human-machine interface) tools, fieldbus troubleshooting, simple device configuration, and device deployment and functionality across a fieldbus network.
-Peter Welander, process industries editor
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