Fieldbus Foundation: Safety Instrumented Functions final specification, development tools

Fieldbus Foundation announced new device development solutions for its Foundation for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) technology and related tools.


Austin, TX – Fieldbus Foundation announced new device development tools for technology. The release includes the Foundation for SIF final Technical Specification package, SIF Interoperability Test Kit (ITK), and an updated DD Library with SIF function blocks to support development of interoperable SIF devices for use in of industrial plant SIF applications. For related details, see Fieldbus Foundation demonstrates safety protocol , and hear the

Foundation fieldbus is a platform for advancing standards-based SIFs. The technology provides CAPEX and OPEX benefits by extending fieldbus benefits ion plant safety systems. The SIF protocol is approved by TÜV Anlagentechnik GmbH to meet requirements of IEC 61508 up to, and including, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.
Last May Fieldbus Foundation conducted a user demonstration of its Foundation for SIF solution at Shell Global Solutions technology center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to evaluate Foundation fieldbus-enabled safety valves with Partial Stroke Testing (PST) capability, and pressure, level, temperature, and diagnostic devices. It evaluated system integration capabilities with asset management and Basic Process Control System (BPCS) platforms.
Audun Gjerde of Shell Global Solutions, who conducted the demo, said, "By implementing Foundation for SIF, Shell expects enhanced diagnostics through a fully integrated asset management system. We also anticipate less testing of final elements, thanks to smart testing and diagnostics, as well as online testing and partial stroke testing. This will result in early detection of dangerous device failures-and fewer spurious trips."
A new white paper from ARC Advisory Group, Foundation Fieldbus Safety Instrumented Functions Forge the Future of Process Safety, describes the technology. It is available on the Website.
Plant safety systems can now employ the same diagnostic capabilities offered by Foundation fieldbus technology. The diagnostics are key to improved process reliability and robustness, plus increased uptime and fewer spurious alarms.
Fieldbus Foundation product manager-fieldbus products Stephen Mitschke said, “Leading automation equipment suppliers are designing a variety of devices to meet the growing market demand for fieldbus-based SIFs. Our developer resources ensure the interoperability of fieldbus equipment in modern safety systems. Certifying agencies such as TUV then provide certification for use of the equipment in Safety Instrumented Systems."
The new technical specification defines analog input (AI) blocks for fieldbus transmitters and other SIF devices. Updates will include digital output (DO) blocks. Within Foundation technology, function blocks contain information needed for online control. Device Description (DD) and Capability Files (CF) provide information for configuration and display. By using the test kit, developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for registration.
The Foundation for SIF ITK includes test cases verifying functionality of a device and conformance with the Foundation fieldbus function block and transducer block specifications. A DD Super Viewer allows examination and verification of a device DD and a conformance test procedure for the Physical Layer. The Super Viewer supports validation of existing DDs and the new DD 5.1 format. Developers can walk their DD, execute methods, and render visualization elements supported by DD 5.1 technology.
The interoperability test suite can be paired with an ITK automation tool to eliminate several manual intervention steps when performing pre-registration testing. It is available with a maintenance agreement to keep the test suite software up to date.
The Foundation DD Library (Version 3.4) has been updated to include standard Device Description Language (DDL) code for SIF blocks. With the DD subscription service, device developers have access to a template DDL.
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