FieldComm Group delivers value of Fieldbus & HART Technologies | Automation.com

FieldComm Group delivers value of Fieldbus & HART Technologies

February 132015
FieldComm Group delivers value of Fieldbus & HART Technologies

By Bill Lydon, Editor

The FieldComm Group was formed and became operational on January 1, 2015, by combining all assets of the former Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation. The new group will further intelligent device technologies and their adoption.  Ted Masters, President and CEO provided insights into the value of the new organization.

Masters said the mission of the organization is to develop, manage and promote global standards for integrating digital devices into automation system architectures. In addition, the mission will protect the process-automation investments users have made in HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication technologies.  Prior to the formation of the FieldComm Group, the Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation had a 20 year history of cooperation and successfully lead the adoption of these technologies in the process automation market. They complement each other in many ways. For example, the two worked together to develop common international standards, such as Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) specifications and Field Device Integration (FDI) technology.  The organization members are a balance of device, systems and interface suppliers.

Masters emphasized, “The organization is dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their real-time integration in the world of process automation.” Both organizations will continue their stewardship and ongoing responsibility to protect the investments end users have made in applying HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication technologies. Combining the organizations offers significant opportunities for harmonizing the procedures and efforts supporting the two protocols, as well as simplifying each technology’s implementation.  This goal is to broaden adoption by delivering more value from the data these protocols enable through member solutions to improve the performance of their operation.

The new organization will continue development, support, and promotion of the two existing protocols (HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus), and will direct the development, incorporation, and implementation of new and overlapping technologies. Thus, the new organization is intended to serve as the home for FDI, which has been developed to create a single integration standard for the industry across all process automation protocols. The organization’s new structure will enable the critical mass and process improvement to better support development, technical support, registration, and testing for FF, HART and FDI technologies in the future.

The establishment of the FieldComm Group allows digital open standards to better collaborate on new and existing technologies and to increase adoption of digital field devices in the total device market. An important activity towards achieving these goals is the development of a technology roadmap to align with market needs and technologies. This activity will be coordinated and accomplished by a Strategic Technical Committee.  In addition, an end user council will provide guidance and direction for the group to stay close to process and plant application changing needs, and ensure alignment of all activities are in the best interests of the process automation industry.

Furthermore, the combination of the two organizations will improve the ability to provide consistent products and services to its industry partners. By joining together, there is also an opportunity to align marketing strategies around the value of data that each technology provides and work with members to ensure the best fit for the user to capture this value.

Masters believes the new organization represents an opportunity to create a “Cultural Revolution” by collaborating with other global standards organization for the common cause of serving the process automation market and making it easier for end users to gain access and integrate valuable data in their plants. Currently, Masters believes the FieldComm Group can be a catalyst to facilitate this collaboration through working groups which are aligned around initiatives to serve this goal. For example, FieldComm Group has a relationship in place with Profibus based upon the development of FDI. They look forward to working with their industry peers around the globe to achieve simplicity, interoperability and usability, and enhance the value of automation.

For more information, visit www.fieldcommgroup.org or contact Talon Petty at [email protected].org.

Thoughts & Observations

By working together to further cohesive standards, FieldComm Group exemplifies leadership and commitment to improving the industry.

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