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Fieldbus, mainstream and unstoppable

Fieldbus Foundation’s market leadership will increase at a double-digit growth rate, according to predictions by ARC Advisory Group.

The Foundation’s President, Rich Timoney, notes other achievements in 2007 reported by ARC: tens of thousands of FOUNDATION-compliant control systems, and over a million field devices, are now in service around the world; and the technology is now “mainstream,” holding a 68% market share in the process industries.

“The coming year will see progress on many key projects benefiting the automation industry,” said Timoney, “For example, the FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) development, which has achieved TÜV type approval, will help meet the growing worldwide demand for commercial, standards-based safety instrumentation incorporating FOUNDATION fieldbus. Our SIF working group will conduct a series of technology demonstrations at end-user sites around the world, including Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; and Chevron, Houston, Texas, USA.

“The Fieldbus Foundation has joined the HART Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. (PNO) in launching a cooperative initiative to develop a specification for a common interface to a wireless gateway. The intent of this collaboration is to facilitate full, scalable integration of both wired and wireless technology in industrial automation.

“In addition, we will accelerate our work defining the structure for interfacing remote I/O over our High Speed Ethernet (HSE) control backbone. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within the FOUNDATION system solution.

“The foundation’s board of directors has also mandated rigorous host testing, which will strengthen fieldbus interoperability and system integration. Under our new host registration program, hosts successfully completing the test requirements will be authorized to bear the official FOUNDATION product registration symbol.

“I would like to thank the member companies and the hundreds of end users who dedicate their time and efforts to further the growth and adoption of the technology. All in all, 2008 looks bright, and busy, for those of us involved with FOUNDATION technology,” concluded Timoney.

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