ARC study shows FOUNDATION fieldbus likely to overtake Profibus

Dedham, MA—The process fieldbus market is not only narrowing to two main choices—FOUNDATION fieldbus H1/HSE or Profibus PA/DP—but FOUNDATION fieldbus is expected to overtake Profibus during the next three years, according to a new survey of 60 end-users, system integrators and OEMs by ARC Advisory Group.

By Control Engineering Staff August 4, 2003

Dedham, MA— Not only is the process fieldbus market narrowing to two main choices—F OUNDATION fieldbus H1/HSE or Profibus PA/DP—but F OUNDATION fieldbus will likely outstrip Profibus during the next three years, according to an ARC Insights report based on a survey of 60 end-users, system integrators and OEMs issued July 23 by ARC Advisory Group .

The survey found that H1 is presently installed by 45.1% of respondents and that HSE is only installed by 4.7%, while PA is now installed by 23.1% of respondents and DP is installed by 41.3%. However, the survey also found that 48.8% of respondents plan to install HSE and 31.4% plan to install H1 in the next three years, while only 15.4% plan to install Profibus PA and 26.1% plan to install DP in the next three years.

‘We’re very pleased with the results of the ARC survey,’ says Richard Timoney, president and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation , (FF, Austin, TX). ‘Without question, F OUNDATION fieldbus has become the predominant fieldbus protocol in industries, such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, refining, pulp and paper, and pharmaceuticals. The market data clearly shows rising global end user demand for F OUNDATION fieldbus, with the technology moving into the early majority phase of its acceptance.

‘A growing number of users are educated and aware of the potential to operate their plants more efficiently, effectively and profitably by deploying a F OUNDATION fieldbus-based automation infrastructure.’

Besides finding that F OUNDATION fieldbus H1 leads other technologies in the process industries, both in terms of current installations and future plans to install, ARC survey discovered that a significant number of respondents are installing small, medium and even very large fieldbus systems consisting of over 2,000 I/O points.

In addition, more than 90% of respondents already have fieldbus deployed in new installations, or will ad it as part of future plans. ARC believes that fieldbus is transitioning to mission-critical applications, and that users are specifying the technology on an enterprise-wide basis.

ARC also indicated that the value of fieldbus to existing installations or as a conventional system replacement is often underestimated. The report suggested that users consider fieldbus as a replacement for older pneumatic and single/multiloop controller-based installations.

Timoney added that ARC’s survey proves that F OUNDATION fieldbus is gaining acceptance for both retrofit and new construction projects. ‘Recent announcements concerning major fieldbus projects in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East demonstrate that end-users are now implementing the technology at new facilities,’ he says. ‘At the same time, F OUNDATION fieldbus is an ideal solution for plant modernizations, where users are seeking to transcend the limited capabilities of older, conventional control systems. The user community has recognized that F OUNDATION fieldbus is a technology with a purpose, and that purpose is to enable them to better meet their operational objectives.

‘ARC’s findings also show that there is a growing trend to implement ‘control in the field,’ which is an important differentiator between F OUNDATION fieldbus and other protocols.’

To read the full ARC Insights report, visit .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor