Attributes of FF configuration software

By Jonas Berge, Smar Singapore Pte Ltd June 1, 1999

Smar (Houston, Tex., Sertaozinho, Brazil) offers Syscon System302 software to configure FOUNDATION fieldbus networks. (For more information on this topic, also see Control Engineering June `99 article, ‘Software Tools Can Ease Network Setup and Use.’ )

Syscon System302 software graphically builds and manages plant control strategies. Syscon also performs calibration and diagnostics. The software uses Microsoft Windows technologies such as OPC (OLE for Process Control), OLE, DCOM and ActiveX to integrate with other applications. It:

Uses wizards and online help;

Allows off-line or online work;

Allows 32-character names for device and block tags, control modules, areas and process cells, etc.;

Manages the increased information availability in the FOUNDATION Fieldbus system by browsing, or viewing hierarchically per the ISA S88 standard. Networking allows a user to view and modify field-device information online from one location;

Navigates from a networking or a control strategy point-of-view;

Speeds commissioning through automatic detection and address assignment and tools for identification and trouble shooting;

Does online continuous diagnostics and operational statistics;

Provides a ‘live” list overview of network status;

Incorporates all essential instrument utilities, so users only need learn and use one tool for diagnostics and configuration of all Fieldbus Foundation devices, from any manufacturer;

Simulates I/O values and status in the function blocks to safely test system response;

Runs on the same workstation as the operator interface, at the same time;

Performs calibration and review calibration status in transducer blocks;

Checks overall status, identification and revisions in resource blocks; a wizard for device firmware upgrade brings the user through the procedure a step at a time, reducing risk of error and eliminating time-consuming referrals to the manual;

Filters function block parameters to see subset of interest, such as tuning;

Has a simple and flexible licensing scheme based on the number of function block tags required, without a hardkey; and

Automates documentation.

Jonas Berge, Smar Singapore Pte Ltd., 315 Outram Road #04-05 Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074; E-mail:; .