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FOUNDATION fieldbus device registration grows

Rising demand for FOUNDATION technology is increasing the pace of fieldbus device registration.

Hundreds of fully interoperable instruments are already registered. Products range from transmitters and meters to valve positioners, actuators, controllers, and linking devices and are available from leading automation equipment suppliers.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s interoperability test and registration procedures examine and verify all aspects of the intelligent field device. More than a paperwork exercise, the detailed and methodical registration process tests all specified device functions.

Manufacturers submit their devices for independent lab verification at the Fieldbus Foundation facility in Austin, TX. Test procedures begin with physical layer testing, which validates the electrical characteristics of the device. Because of the rigorous physical layer requirements, end users can rely on the specified network when designing FOUNDATION fieldbus segments.

In addition, FOUNDATION-compliant devices must contain registered stack software. Registered field devices communicate in a known, common, and specified manner, and adhere to the critical timing requirements of the FOUNDATION protocol.

Only devices that have met both conformance criteria are eligible for interoperability testing, which validates the implementation of the device user layer, or function block application. All aspects of the function block application are examined, including mode and status behavior, parameter conformance, alert handling, trending, simulation, and power failure recovery.

End-users who purchase fieldbus products with the Fieldbus Foundation’s official registration “checkmark” seal can be assured that different devices from different manufacturers, possibly using different physical layers or different stack configurations, will interoperate on a given FOUNDATION fieldbus segment.

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