New alliance #2: GE Fanuc selects Softing to provide fieldbus connectivity


GE Fanuc Automation announced that it has entered into an agreement with Softing North America to provide FOUNDATION Fieldbus connectivity to the upcoming release of GE Fanuc’s new Proficy Process Systems control platform. This provides capability to use FOUNDATION Fieldbus’ diagnostic utilities and cost saving wiring topologies as plants upgrade and add to instrumentation deployments.

Proficy Process Systems is GE Fanuc’s control system designed for process and hybrid manufacturing applications including life sciences, food & beverage, consumer packaged goods, ethanol, oil & gas, electric power, and water & wastewater. “GE Fanuc is providing our customers with the freedom to implement a system that meets their needs today, and expand to meet their needs tomorrow,” says Steve Ryan, GE Fanuc director of process solutions. “We are doing that by delivering a contemporary solution based on many of our well-proven technologies, along with technologies from other industry-leading technology partners like Softing. One of the key ways we are providing freedom to our customers is to allow them to choose the fieldbus technologies they need for their applications. Softing is recognized as an industry expert in FOUNDATION Fieldbus communications, and will provide our customers with the capability to choose that as a fieldbus technology for their system.”

Softing has been in the fieldbus business since its early days more than 25 years ago, according to Wolfgang Langer, North American director of marketing. “During this time, we acquired the technical expertise that enables us to actively shape open technology standards and to be at the cutting edge of progress for the benefit of our customers,” he says. “We are proud of the fact that GE Fanuc relies on our expertise in FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology to network their automation systems.”

This is the first partnership to provide fieldbus connectivity for Proficy Process Systems, but GE Fanuc anticipates there will be others coming to support other fieldbus architectures.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, , Control Engineering Weekly News

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