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,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
Industrial wireless cyber security: More complex than black and white; IIoT at the I/O level; Process modeling; Cyber security research
Robotic advances: Software, form factors; System-based ROI; Embedded control; MES and information integration; SCADA and cyber security; Position sensor; Controller, I/O module
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle

(copy 5)