Updated FF-SIF specification and development tools

20 December 2010

The Fieldbus Foundation has updated device development solutions for its FOUNDATION Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF) technology.

The new release includes the FF-SIF Technical Specification, FOUNDATION for SIF Interoperability Test Kit (SIF ITK), and DD Library. These solutions support development of interoperable fieldbus devices intended for use in industrial plant SIF applications.

FOUNDATION technology is said to allow process end users to realise CAPEX and OPEX benefits by extending fieldbus benefits into plant safety systems. The FF-SIF protocol was approved by TÜV Anlagentechnik GmbH to meet the requirements of IEC 61508 up to, and including, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions technology has already been specified by Shell Project & Technology and Saudi Aramco who are running FF-SIF pilot projects. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.

The Fieldbus Foundation believes that, by implementing FF-SIF, process plants can achieve enhanced diagnostics through a fully integrated asset management system. They can also minimise the need for testing final control element, allowing for early detection of dangerous device failures and reducing the incidence of spurious trips.

The latest FOUNDATION for SIF Technical Specification defines analog input (AI) blocks for fieldbus transmitters and other SIF devices. In addition, the FF-SIF Function Block Specification now addresses discrete output (DO) blocks, which is a major enhancement required for deployment of a complete fieldbus-based safety system. The updated specification package also includes the SIF Device ITK Profile, offering an easy way to map SIF field device requirements to existing SIF ITK versions.

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