The Fieldbus Foundation has released the FOUNDATION fieldbus Flow Transducer Block Final Specification (FF-908 FS 1.0), which includes a standardised flow transducer block with a high-performance totaliser function.
This specification will enable greater consistency in fieldbus device setup, configuration and maintenance, and make it easier for end users to utilise instruments from a wide range of automation equipment suppliers.
The block structure is one of the primary advantages and differentiators of FOUNDATION technology. Transducer blocks are an integral part of FOUNDATION technology, providing diagnostic and maintenance data such as calibration dates.
They also provide information regarding the measurement principle used, such as a Coriolis flowmeter or a differential pressure transmitter. The transducer block provides a link between the local input/output blocks required to read sensors and command output hardware from the function blocks.
The Fieldbus Foundation’s Flow Transducer Block Specification includes standard definitions for the following flow transducer blocks:
* Standard flow with calibration for basic device access
* Standard flow with calibration for complex device access
* Common practice parameters for extended functionality
Additionally, the specification provides a schematic of blocks, parameter access, and details for handling status of input parameters.
When used in conjunction with a flow transducer block, the new totaliser function block supports the time-critical procedure of totaling different inputs in order to compute flow.
According to Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke, finalisation of the Flow Transducer Block Specification ensures greater predictability in fieldbus implementation, while reducing integration risks and simplifying device replacements.
"Our development of FOUNDATION fieldbus is focused on providing an end user experience that is both secure and consistent," said Mitschke. "We are also continuing to strengthen the interoperability of our technology across multiple suppliers and control system platforms."
The Fieldbus Foundation has also announced updates to its other transducer block profiles, including temperature and pressure transducer block profiles.
Additionally, the FOUNDATION fieldbus Device Description (DD) Library has been updated to integrate these new transducer block capabilities. The DD Library includes standardised source code for all FOUNDATION fieldbus blocks and parameters, making it easy for developers to build DDs for fieldbus instrumentation.
Member companies with active maintenance agreements for these products can obtain the updates free of charge from the Fieldbus Forums.