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Fieldbus Foundation issues transducer block specification for wired and wireless HART devices

04 October 2011

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced that it has issued a FOUNDATION Wireless and Remote I/O (WIO) preliminary specification addressing fieldbus transducer blocks for wired HART and WirelessHART devices, together with updates to the WIO System Architecture and WIO Data Structures related to the transducer block specification.

Part of the FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management solution implementing wireless and remote I/O, the new technical specification defines a fieldbus transducer block used to represent HART devices within FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management devices. Both wired HART and WirelessHART devices can be represented in this block. In addition, the specification describes the expected method for HART configuration tools and asset-managing hosts to access HART devices using the native HART command protocol transported through the FOUNDATION High Speed Ethernet (HSE) network. The specification also defines structures to identify and maintain HART device status in wired multi-drop networks as well as in WirelessHART mesh networks connected to FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management devices.

Commenting on the announcement, The Fieldbus Foundation's director of technology development, Dave Glanzer, said: "The new transducer block specification will benefit end users who need to be able to interface HART and WirelessHART devices to FOUNDATION fieldbus to improve their integration with a control system, or with FOUNDATION devices. They may also require a networked method for an asset-managing host to access a large set of HART and WirelessHART devices for HART configuration and maintenance purposes."
Within the FOUNDATION architecture, H1 and HSE provide a distributed function block capability with HSE serving as a larger pipeline offering increased speed and throughput. The WIO development expands these capabilities by establishing open, non-proprietary specifications for a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network integrating various wireless FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management devices with interfaces to wireless field device networks.

HSE offers a way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analogue field I/O from modular devices back to the control room using a high-speed HSE connection. Employing HSE devices functioning like a smart remote terminal unit (RTU), the technology brings all forms of conventional I/O into the native fieldbus environment easily. This solution makes discrete-in, discrete-out, analogue-in, analogue-out and H1 fieldbus available over a common Ethernet network. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within a FOUNDATION control system infrastructure.


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