Network diagnostics: New system troubleshoots FOUNDATION fieldbus

By Control Engineering Staff June 7, 2007

Plymouth, MN —The new Turck Diagnostic Power Conditioner system (DPC) for FOUNDATION fieldbus offers a means to easily troubleshoot the H1 physical layer, separate from instrumentation diagnostics. It’s the first product to be Fieldbus Foundation certified for HSE (High Speed Ethernet), Turck says, and it can feed network information via Ethernet into asset management systems. The information provided by the DPC system helps users commission and maintain a FOUNDATION fieldbus system.

In the May 30 product debut at Turck USA facilities near Minneapolis, MN, James Masterson, vice president, process automation markets, said, the new product “presents information to solve problem, not just data to discern the problem.”

To do that, the DPC monitors FOUNDATION fieldbus physical layer components to detect anomalies and long term subtle changes that can occur, but may go unnoticed, as the system changes. The notion of diagnostics for fieldbus may seem somewhat redundant, since FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 provides diagnostics for attached instrumentation. Separate from H1 segment instrumentation data, the DPC provides network physical layer values, parameters, and diagnostic information for display via a DTM (device type manager) that can be integrated in any FDT (field device tool) application or accessed via a FOUNDATION fieldbus device descriptor.

The new Turck Diagnostic Power Conditioner system (DPC) for FOUNDATION fieldbus will make that network easier to setup, use, troubleshoot, and maintain.

A DPC system can supply up to 16 segments, each with up to 800 mA of output current and 30 V dc output voltage, maximizing the availability to individual segments. The DPC also features galvanic isolation between the diagnostics bus, H1 segment output and bulk power, allowing a clean signal without feedback from the FOUNDATION fieldbus device to the higher level asset management system. The system can be connected easily via standard Ethernet components, allowing an existing Ethernet structure to be used for segment diagnostics resulting in the length of the system and number of the HSE field devices to be virtually unlimited.

The system is easy to install, configure, and implement, according to Randy Durick, business development manager, process automation products for Turck. Diagnostic capabilities are invaluable for commissioning, monitoring, predictive maintenance and troubleshooting FOUNDATION fieldbus systems, he says, all of which can be done remotely without affecting the H1 segment. This provides huge advantages, Durick says, for hands-off automation segments in remote locations.

A same-day product introduction from Turck was the BL ident RFID system and free online simulation software. “ RFID: Turck offers online multi-parameter simulator / selection tool ”

Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief

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