Fieldbus unveils updated test kits

22 September 2009

The Fieldbus Foundation has updated its H1 and HSE conformance and interoperability test kits for use by plant automation equipment suppliers. The updated test kits include the H1 Interoperability Test Kit (H1-ITK) 5.2.0 and High Speed Ethernet Conformance Test Kit (HSE-CTK) 2.0.1.

Hardware and software tools, provided by The Foundation, are designed to ensure a manufacturer’s device conforms to the current Foundation fieldbus specifications and registration guidelines.

Stephen Mitschke, manager of fieldbus products at the Fieldbus Foundation, claims the release of updated device testing tools demonstrates the foundation's commitment to continuous improvement for the benefit of the fieldbus community. "We have worked with and listened to suppliers and end-users and responded with additional testing solutions that support the interoperability of registered Foundation fieldbus devices," he said. "These testing tools enable developers and users to have the highest level of confidence that best-in-class fieldbus devices can be chosen for specific control applications."

The H1-ITK verifies the functionality of an H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device and its conformity with the Foundation fieldbus Function Block and Transducer Block specifications. The tool is designed for troubleshooting and debugging devices, the test kit helps manufacturers verify device interoperability as specified by the foundation's registration testing procedure.

By using the H1-ITK, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the Fieldbus Foundation before submitting their device for official registration.

The H1-ITK has been updated with positioner transducer block test cases to support the Foundation fieldbus Positioner Transducer Block Final Specification (FF-906), and also includes miscellaneous product improvements and enhancements. The new Positioner Transducer Block Specification is a key resource supporting the organisation and integration of advanced device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. The specification provides standard definitions for positioner transducer blocks, including an analogue positioner for basic and complex device access, a discrete positioner for basic and complex device access, and a combination analogue/discrete positioner for basic and complex device access. It also includes new parameter structure definitions for better data organisation with fieldbus devices, including partial/full stroke test (PST/FST) of valves. The document conveniently groups parameters in function-based categories and offers a variety of helpful diagrams.

The HSE-CTK is a complete package that allows end-users to ensure a manufacturer's device communication "stack" conforms to HSE registration testing and registration guidelines. In order for a device to pass interoperability testing, it must contain a foundation-registered communication stack that has passed conformance tests. Developers can use the kit to verify the correct communication behaviour of an HSE stack as defined in the Foundation HSE specifications.

The updated HSE-CTK includes a host of miscellaneous product improvements and enhancements.

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