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Project Gemstone makes fieldbus experience easier and more application-centered

09 July 2013

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced a new technology development initiative - Project Gemstone – which is designed to make the digital fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analogue control systems in every way – from device setup to device replacement and daily maintenance practices.

Encompassing a range of Foundation fieldbus development efforts, Project Gemstone covers many of the initiatives the Fieldbus Foundation is already working on today. This includes Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM), Field Device Integration (FDI) Cooperation, and ISA108 intelligent device management.

Fieldbus Foundation president and CEO, Rich Timoney, said:, “Our goal has always been to listen to the industrial marketplace and provide a managed infrastructure for process automation that allows end-users to focus on their processes and their plants, not the technology tying everything together behind the scenes. For this reason, we have undertaken a number of key projects centered on making fieldbus automation solutions more user-friendly and compatible with other technologies.”

According to Timoney, today’s control technology should be easy to use and interoperable, and allow results to be achieved quickly, but end users need the right work processes to guide them in its successful application. Plant engineers, for example, want to be able to combine devices from different networks and manage them effectively, with minimal effort.

“Experienced automation professionals in the process industries have taught us a lot about the implementation of fieldbus and how to make it better,” said Timoney. “As an end-user-driven organisation, we are taking all of this feedback from our dedicated end user customers, suppliers and engineering partners and driving it into a continuous improvement process to make the technology easier to use in a wide range of applications.”

Project Gemstone will drive an innovation strategy enabling plant owners to focus more on what technology can do for them and their business, versus how they manage the technology itself. The project’s focus on standards-based solutions will also make it easier for automation suppliers to develop new fieldbus-based products and applications. In addition, the Fieldbus Foundation’s testing and registration process is designed to ensure FOUNDATION fieldbus devices, systems and components all work together as they should.



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