Foxboro Incorporates Ultra-High-Availability “Mesh” Network Technology Into I/A Series System | Automation.com

Foxboro Incorporates Ultra-High-Availability “Mesh” Network Technology Into I/A Series System

Advanced COTS networking in Invensys’ flagship system can be configured to withstand multiple points of failure without loss of communications

FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS – September 22, 2003 – Foxboro Automation Systems, a unit of Invensys, has introduced new, “mesh” network technology for Invensys’ flagship automation platform – the I/A Series system. The new technology incorporates commercial off the shelf (COTS) Ethernet switches, ports, and fiber optic media in advanced meshed configurations that provide multiple communications paths between network stations. The new technology can be utilized to configure ultra-high-availability, high-performance (100Mbps/1Gbps), Switched Ethernet process control networks and field networks for new I/A Series systems. The technology can also be used to efficiently extend existing I/A Series systems.

“With its advanced redundant/fault-tolerant configuration and no single point of functional failure, the Ethernet-based I/A Series “Nodebus” established a clear standard for process control network availability when Foxboro first introduced the system more than 15 years ago,” said Steve Young, vice president of Foxboro Automation Systems. “Today, the widespread use of intelligent, fieldbus-based devices, plus the increasing information requirements of today’s plants, place even greater demands on process control networks. With our new mesh network technology for the I/A Series system, we once again raise the bar for process control network availability and performance. Unlike conventional redundant networks, our new mesh networks can be configured to maintain nonstop communications even when faced with multiple points of failure, such as the simultaneous loss of a communications port and a wire break. To the best of our knowledge, this capability is unprecedented in the process control industry.”

Upon rapid detection of one or more network faults, the advanced diagnostics automatically reconfigure the communications path to maintain system communications. “In effect, the network is smart enough to heal itself,” said Young.

The new mesh technology can be utilized to configure plantwide process control networks as well as to provide a secure, high-performance link between I/A Series Control Processors and their associated Fieldbus (I/O) Modules. Where appropriate, I/A Series workstations, control processors, device integrators, and fieldbus modules can all be placed on a common mesh network.

For more information, readers should contact their local Invensys representative, call the Invensys Customer Satisfaction Center toll-free at 1-866-746-6477 (508-549-2424 outside of the US or Canada), or visit www.foxboro.com.

About the I/A Series System

Thanks to continuous innovation and a firm commitment to preserving customers’ investment in hardware, software, training, and intellectual property, I/A Series systems and customer applications implemented more than a decade ago are just as viable today as when they were first installed. With thousands of I/A Series systems installed in plants around the world – from small, highly regulated batch plants to the world’s largest power plants, pulp and paper mills, refineries, and petrochemical complexes – the I/A Series system is clearly the most proven, reliable, and extensible continuously supported control system available.

The next generation of I/A Series A2 (“ArchestrA ready”) systems will enable I/A Series users to continue to leverage the latest open technologies into the foreseeable future to continuously improve the performance of their plants. For more information on ArchestrA, please visit www.archestra.biz.


About Invensys

Invensys is a global leader in production technology. The group helps customers improve productivity, performance and profitability using innovative services and technologies and a deep understanding of their industries and applications.

Invensys Production Management works closely with customers to increase performance of production assets, maximize return on investment in production and data management technologies and remove cost and cash from the supply chain. The division includes APV, Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware. These businesses address process and batch industries - including oil and gas, chemicals, power and utilities, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and personal health care, and mineral processing - plus the discrete and hybrid manufacturing sectors.

Invensys operates in more than 60 countries, with its headquarters in London. For more information, visit www.invensys.com .

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