Rosemount Makes Patent Available to Foundation Fieldbus and HART

It always takes a little self-sacrifice and long-term vision to reach the promised land or invest in a worthwhile future.To help the process industry achieve its long-sought goal of an open, interoperable communication standard, Rosemount Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.) announced Jan. 9 that it's making available to FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART Communication Foundation members a five-year, ro...

02/01/1998


It always takes a little self-sacrifice and long-term vision to reach the promised land or invest in a worthwhile future.

To help the process industry achieve its long-sought goal of an open, interoperable communication standard, Rosemount Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.) announced Jan. 9 that it's making available to FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART Communication Foundation members a five-year, royalty-free license under its "Warrior" patent for embedding control functionality into field-mounted devices on two-wire process control loops.

This access to U.S. Patent No. 5,485,400 will not only support members' efforts to manufacture and sell FOUNDATION Fieldbus-compatible or HART-compatible, "smart," field-mounted transmitters or controllers, but will also enhance and expand adoption of the underlying FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART technology.

The royalty-free license's five-year timeframe was adopted so Rosemount can enforce its patent if FOUNDATION Fieldbus doesn't become the all-industry standard. However, though Rosemount will decide whether to extend this new Warrior license before the five years run out, participating licensees will be able to continue selling FOUNDATION Fieldbus- and HART-compliant products they introduced during the five years for the life of the Warrior patent.

"We believe that FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART are the world's best hope for an open, interoperable, globally supported fieldbus, and so we felt it would be better to channel use of this patent in the direction of FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART-compatible technology," says John Berra, president of Fisher-Rosemount and chair of the Fieldbus Foundation (both of Austin, Tex.).

Named for its developer, Jay Warrior, the patent basically consists of Rosemount's method for embedding software in hardware, including the control algorithms in its field devices. Rosemount officials say that today these algorithms are used almost universally in distributed control systems and control rooms worldwide. Fieldbus and digital communications allow the movement of process control functionality directly into smart, field-mounted transmitters and controllers that receive power and communications over a two-wire process control loop. This places the intelligence closer to the spot where manufacturing actions occur.

Besides differentiating FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART from other protocols, access to the Warrior patent is likely to give the two foundations' protocols some added teeth when competing with other fieldbus protocols. To accomplish this, however, Rosemount plans to enforce the patent against manufacturers or sellers of infringing products that aren't FOUNDATION Fieldbus- or HART-compatible. The company also plans to donate up to 50% of any royalties received as a result of this enforcement to the Fieldbus Foundation.

"This is another demonstration of Rosemount's leadership and commitment to open, interoperable communication protocols, which are universally desired by our customers," says Edward Monser, Rosemount's president.

John Pittman, president of the Fieldbus Foundation, adds that Rosemount's action is a significant step toward achieving a single, interoperable fieldbus standard. "Users have been seeking this for the last 15 years," says Pittman. "Rosemount's license program can only enhance the adoption of FOUNDATION Fieldbus as that standard. We encourage every Fieldbus

Foundation and HART Communication Foundation member to license its patents to fellow members where appropriate."

From an international perspective, Mr. Berra adds that permission to use the patent is also important because FOUNDATION Fieldbus implements recent ISA and IEC standards for the process industry. "We think the other protocols aren't consistent with the IEC's worldwide standardization effort, and so allowing access to the patent only for FOUNDATION Fieldbus-compliant products supports the worldwide standardization effort."





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
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.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

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

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.