ISA 2002: Fieldbus Foundation growing by leaps and bounds

Chicago, IL--A recent study of FOUNDATION fieldbus installations by the Fieldbus Foundation (FF, Austin, TX) found there were 205,000 fieldbus devices and more than 4,000 fieldbus systems installed worldwide as of June 20, 2002.


Chicago, IL - A recent study of FOUNDATION fieldbus installations by the Fieldbus Foundation (FF, Austin, TX) found there were 205,000 fieldbus devices and more than 4,000 fieldbus systems installed worldwide as of June 20, 2002.

Richard Timoney, FF's president and ceo, added at Oct. 21 press conference at ISA 2002 that the foundation's current registered devices have reached 135 unique registered devices and 183 total devices. These include controllers, transmitters, mag meters, vortex meters, analyzers, valve positioners, data acquisition devices, barriers, terminators and power supplies. ''This represents a 31% increase since January 2002 for a total increase of 52% during the past 12 months,'' says Mr. Timoney.

Of the total installed FOUNDATION fieldbus devices and systems:

  • 19% are used in petrochemical applications

  • 11% are used in refining

  • 11% in chemical

  • 9.5% in metals and mining

  • 9% in oil and gas

  • 7% in water and wastewater

  • 7% in pulp and paper

  • 6% in utilities

  • 45% in food and beverage

  • 21.5% in other applications

''And the pulp and paper figure is about increase dramatically because a FF-member company just announced that another 3,500 FOUNDATION fieldbus-registered devices are about to be added to the Cellulosa Araucco pulp mill neat Santiago, Chile,'' says Mr. Timoney.

Mr. Timoney added that the foundation now has eight hosts that are tested and compliant with FOUNDATION fieldbus Host Interoperability Support Test (HIST), as well as four registered High-Speed Ethernet (HSE) linking devices.

In addition, FF's membership has been increasing 12% per year, and now includes almost 200 members worldwide. These consist of 39% in Europe; 37% in North America; and 24% in the Asia-Pacific region.

Also, recent technological developments, such as HSE and flexible function blocks, may soon expand the range of FOUNDATION fieldbus applications into continuous process, batch and discrete automation. In fact, if its board approves the idea, FF could shortly begin seeking to develop a test for hybrid control systems.

Finally, because FF, HART Communication Foundation, and the Profibus Trade Organization are all committed to their common Device Description (DD) technology, Mr. Timoney adds they are presently in discussions to explore logical and beneficial enhancements to DD. He says these improvements would protect the high reliability, international standard status, and investments made by manufacturers and users of this technology.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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