Fieldbus Foundation announces first registered hosts incorporating host profile “61b”

Emerson and General Electric hosts pass tests for support of NAMUR NE107 field diagnostics. Link to end-user comments about the importance of this host profile requirement.


The Fieldbus Foundation has registered the first two FOUNDATION fieldbus hosts incorporating new, mandatory host profile “61b.” [For an end-user perspective on the importance of this host profile development, see, Ask Control Engineering: Fieldbus Foundation now certifies hosts?] Fieldbus hosts supplied by Emerson Process Management (DeltaV Digital Automation System, with AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager) and GE Energy (GE ControlST) passed tests verifying their support for NAMUR NE107 field diagnostics, which is now required as part of the second phase of host testing and registration.

In the FOUNDATION fieldbus automation infrastructure, hosts can include configuration tools, recording devices, alarm display panels, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), or a combination of functionality. Host profiles are key to fieldbus system interoperability, defining required features for different classes of tested and registered hosts. They include: Class 61 – Integrated Host, Class 62 – Visitor Host, Class 63 – Bench Host Non-Commissioned Device, and Class 64 – Bench Host Commissioned Off-Line Device.

The following host features have gone from "optional" to "mandatory" with the host profile 61b:

  • Block Instantiation – Allows full utilization of fieldbus devices supporting instantiable function blocks. Primarily intended for control in the field (CIF).
  • Multiple Capability Levels – For devices where certain blocks/features are optional (licensed), the standard or higher capability level can be set in the tag placeholder during system configuration to prevent unsupported blocks from being used in the control strategy. This prevents surprises during commissioning. It also makes device replacement easier.
  • Enhanced Function Blocks – Allows full utilization of enhanced blocks (standard blocks with additional parameters).
  • Profiled Custom Function Blocks – Allows full utilization of non-standard blocks.
  • Configuration of Scheduled Control Function Blocks – Allows developers to build CIF control strategies.
  • DD V5.1 Device-Level Access (enhanced Electronic Device Description Language with cross-block) – Makes fieldbus devices easier to use by enabling a dashboard with all diagnostics on the same page, and all setup on one page, regardless of which block it is in.

According to Fieldbus Foundation Director, Fieldbus Products, Stephen Mitschke, the registration of hosts supporting host profile 61b will improve the user experience at sites employing FOUNDATION fieldbus-based control systems. “Support for device-level menus, one of the additional features mandated by host profile 61b, will make it easier for users to configure and maintain fieldbus devices,” said Mitschke. “In addition, registered hosts must now demonstrate the ability to configure field diagnostics in devices. An enhanced, structured view of diagnostics according to NE107 contributes to effective asset management.”

Emerson’s chief technology officer, Peter Zornio, commented, “With this registration, Emerson reaffirms its leadership in FOUNDATION fieldbus technology, and will drive further growth. A best-in-class FOUNDATION fieldbus solution is a key part of Emerson’s I/O on Demand offering to our customers, allowing them to choose the best I/O solution for each of their applications. In fact, five out of ten of our largest DeltaV systems on order right now are using FOUNDATION fieldbus technology.”

Using the power of FOUNDATION fieldbus, and considering the NE107 recommendations for field diagnostics, the Fieldbus Foundation developed a profile specification enhancing the organization, integration and presentation of device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. The FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostic profile includes a standard and open interface for reporting all device alarm conditions, and provides a means of categorizing alert conditions by severity. The technology facilitates routing of alerts to appropriate consoles based on user-selectable severity categories. In other words, it sends the right information to the right person at the right time without flooding the operator with alarms that are irrelevant to his duties. Furthermore, it provides recommended corrective actions and detailed help, as well as an indication of the overall health of the device.

For more information about registered FOUNDATION fieldbus hosts, please visit

Fieldbus Foundation

Visit the Control Engineering Process Control Channel.

- Edited by Gust Gianos, Control Engineering,

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