Wizards Use FDT Technology to Bring FOUNDATION™ fieldbus Systems Back Online Quickly and Reliably

Jan. 9, 2014
Foxboro EvoTM Maintenance Software makes upgrades far easier

The Foxboro Evo Process Automation System offers the first device interchange capability, making it easier to upgrade systems by using patented cloning tools that are specifically targeted to deal with similar, yet different device block parameter sets for Foundation Fieldbus systems.

For various reasons in an operational process plant, it sometimes becomes necessary to replace an existing field device with a new device.  Regardless of why you’re changing the device or a subset of devices; you need to be able to do it quickly. Maintenance Engineers often run into issues with replacement devices with upgraded firmware and devices that have been revised. 

Foundation Fieldbus systems also offer specific challenges whereas multi-vendor devices are interoperable.  However, Foundation Fieldbus devices are not by nature interchangeable. The available set of blocks, of block types, of block profiles, or parameter structures will differ between devices, and even between revisions of the same device.  Therefore, changing to a different device normally requires expert skills in manually building new device templates, configuring each device and each tag instance and its associated resource block, transducer blocks, and function blocks. It may also require altering the control loop strategy diagrams containing those blocks so they point to the correct block in the correct device tag.  This process can be very time consuming, making process equipment temporarily unavailable and ultimately extending downtime.

Foxboro Evo’s Maintenance software utilizes wizards to upgrade the database for selected instances using a rule set to configure the parameters.  The wizards use FDT Technology to take the Foundation Fieldbus DD files, create a universal DTM, then compare the new and old devices and their parameter settings.

This makes the replacement process semi-automatic in nature and in the case where the devices are quite different, the templates and instances will have defaults appropriate to the new device type. If the DD defaults are not the optimum setting for the new device type, either the value must be changed and locked in the cloned template, or edited on all individual instances after instance upgrade.  The Foxboro Evo Maintenance software reduces the replacement time significantly, though the degree of human intervention and engineering effort will depend on the degree of similarity between the original and new device.  After the cloned template is created you can simply select the device instance or instances to be interchanged and then initiate the device upgrade process.

Foxboro Evo Maintenance software makes all those updates semi-automatic, saving time and eliminating the risk of potential human errors. Foxboro Evo Maintenance software simplifies the device replacement to a point where a “non-FF Expert” can sensibly upgrade the block with the correct DD file, make the necessary edits and bring the new device online quickly and reliably for maximum uptime.

For more information, please visit, www.foxboro.com/foxboroevo/Maintain

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