New I/A Series Field Device Manager Employs both Enhanced EDDL and FDT Technologies to Provide Unmatched Performance Management for FOUNDATION Fieldbus Devices

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Invensys’ recently introduced Field Device Manager for Foxboro (http://www.foxboro.com) I/A Series distributed control systems provides the industry’s first solution that takes advantage of both the latest Enhanced Electronic Device Description Language (Enhanced EDDL) and FDT technologies. This combination provides comprehensive lifecycle support to configure, calibrate, commission, diagnose, and optimize the performance of any vendors’ FOUNDATION fieldbus device.

Invensys’ recently introduced Field Device Manager for Foxboro (http://www.foxboro.com) I/A Series distributed control systems provides the industry’s first solution that takes advantage of both the latest Enhanced Electronic Device Description Language (Enhanced EDDL) and FDT technologies. This combination provides comprehensive lifecycle support to configure, calibrate, commission, diagnose, and optimize the performance of any vendors’ FOUNDATION fieldbus device.

“Users widely acknowledge that one of the main benefits of fieldbus technology – and perhaps the benefit that provides them with the most long-term value – is the capability to utilize advanced device management applications in their host systems that can interact with performance diagnostics resident in their intelligent field devices. In the past, there’s been a problem realizing this benefit when the host and field devices came from different vendors,” said Charlie Piper, fieldbus product manager at the Foxboro Automation unit of Invensys Process Systems.

“Existing Device Description technology alone was inadequate, and until recently, there were no other standards. However, new FDT Device Type Manager fieldbus technology, combined with recent EDDL enhancements, have changed the picture. FDT technology is ideal for making advanced “plug-in” applications, including highly capable valve testing plug-ins, that attach to the host’s device management software in a standard manner. And through the efforts of the multi-vendor EDDL cooperation teams, the recent EDDL enhancements address one of the key limitations of earlier device description technology by allowing the device vendor to organize the data shown on simple live data screens on the host system and provide the menus to organize the user selection of displays,” Piper said.

Significantly, the I/A Series Field Device Manager enables users to take advantage of any EDDL, Enhanced EDDL, and/or FDT host deliverables supplied by the device vendor.

In cases where the device vendor supplies only traditional device descriptions (EDDL), Field Device Manager lets the users add in additional functions, such as organizing their own live data maintenance screens and watch windows for each model of field device. The Field Device Manager also lets users set up templates for the commissioning behavior and attach supporting manuals, repair procedures, and any other Windows files they find useful in device maintenance.

If the device vendor supplies enhanced device descriptions (Enhanced EDDL), then template setup work is reduced because the device vendor has already organized many of the configuration and maintenance displays. Those displays may contain gauge style indicators, trend waveforms, and graphic images. Field Device Manager is the first host system application capable of using these enhanced device descriptions.

And in those cases where the device vendor supplies both enhanced device descriptions and an FDT Device Type Manager plug-in, users can realize maximum device management capabilities. FDT technology enables the device vendors to go beyond the capabilities of even enhanced device descriptions. With FDT, the device vendor can program a rich graphical user interface (GUI) application as a plug-in to the I/A Series Field Device Manager (or any other FDT-compliant host system engineering application). The plant maintenance staff calls up this application within Field Device Manager when they want to analyze the health and performance of a specific model of field device or run comprehensive diagnostic tests and archive the test results.

“Enhanced device descriptions and FDT Device Type Managers represent the very latest open technologies for intelligent device support. As we’ve clearly proven with our new Field Device Manager, rather than being competing technologies, these can work together synergistically to provide users with unmatched configuration, commissioning, and diagnostic support for their FF devices; support that enables users to finally realize the full and considerable benefits of open fieldbus technology,” said Ken Brown, president of Invensys Process Systems.

The I/A Series Field Device Manager helps boost engineering and maintenance productivity over the entire lifecycle of an intelligent field device. Reusable engineering is facilitated through customizable templates for each FOUNDATION fieldbus device model.

A “Commissioning Wizard” automates all the steps of device commissioning, making it easier for technicians at all skill levels to correctly replace a failed device.

Two versions of the I/A Series Field Device Manager are available:

  •     Full Control Room Edition - runs on I/A Series system workstations and communicates through the I/A Series FF interface card and Control Processors to provide full FDM functionality
  •     Instrument Workshop Edition - runs on a personal computer loaded with I/A Series FDM application software to enable FF devices to be tested off line. Devices can also be set up to integrate with an I/A Series system without requiring any I/A Series equipment

    Upcoming versions of the Invensys Field Device Manager will operate within Invensys’ InFusion enterprise control system environment to provide a unified configuration and support environment for any vendors’ FF, HART, or Profibus intelligent field devices.

About Invensys

Invensys is the world leader in industrial asset performance management. In addition to its rapidly expanding Global Solutions and Performance Management services groups, Invensys’ automation businesses includes industry-leading brands such as Foxboro, Triconex, SimSci-Esscor, Wonderware, and Avantis, whose products are installed in more than 100,000 plants across the world. These range from small hybrid and batch plants to the world’s largest upstream projects, refineries, gas plants, petrochemicals plants, power plants, and pulp and paper mills.

The Invensys Group (http://www.invensys.com) is headquartered in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, with approximately 30,000 employees working in 60 countries.

Foxboro, Invensys, I/A Series, Triconex, SimSci-Esscor, Wonderware, and Avantis are trademarks of Invensys plc, its subsidiaries, or affiliates. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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