Fieldbus Foundation software tool simplifies planning, validation and documentation of segments

12 September 2012

The Fieldbus Foundation has updated its DesignMATE software tool – a software download that allows plant automation professionals to audit segment layouts. The updates cover DesignMATE’s library of registered devices, and revised terminology used within the software to align with current FOUNDATION fieldbus installations.

DesignMATE is able to automatically audit segment layouts for conformance with the FOUNDATION physical layer specification, which is based on the international IEC 61158-2 (Type 1) standard. End-users can feel confident their fieldbus infrastructure will work with desired parameters such as cable length, number and type of installed devices, and selected power supplies.

The software provides a graphical user interface and mouse support, enabling fieldbus segment design ‘on the fly’ with drag & drop capabilities. The tool displays fieldbus segments in the form of an exportable image of a stylised topology. Users are able to analyse and check key physical layer parameters, such as supply voltage, load conditions at all terminals of power supply, fieldbus couplers and field instruments. An error log indicates deviations from the FOUNDATION specification in clear text visuals for immediate remedy by the user.

DesignMATE is equipped with libraries for all components in the typical FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, including power supplies, fieldbus couplers for both safe and hazardous plant areas, and field instruments. Fieldbus devices from a wide range of automation equipment manufacturers are available in the software, along with an easy-to-use device editor for creation of custom instrument libraries.

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