Endress+Hauser’s Open Integration Partner Program strives to mitigate risks when commissioning customer plant by ensuring that operators can easily integrate their devices and components into automation systems. To date eight companies are in the program: AUMA Riester, HIMA Paul Hildebrandt, Honeywell Process Solutions, Mitsubishi Electric, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, R. STAHL and Schneider Electric. These are now joined by Phoenix Contact and Flowserve.
Although today’s communication components (HART, PROFIBUS, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, EtherNet/IP or PROFINET) are rigorously tested, there are still countless ways in which they can be combined and there is a residual risk that minor issues may appear when they are installed on site. “With the Open Integration Partner Program, we mitigate that risk”, says Peter Rippen, Director Strategic Alliances, at Endress+Hauser. “Users can benefit enormously from combining best of breed automation components to an optimal solution for their application.”
The program partners go well beyond traditional testing methodologies by verifying the functionality of specific system architectures in a laboratory environment. “We ensure quick commissioning and start up and save customers resources, time and thus money,” explains Peter Rippen. “Everybody benefits, our customers as well as the automation suppliers as it is so much more efficient to discover any issues to be jointly solved before the equipment is being installed and commissioned in the customer’s plant.”
Reference topologies are the key
The partner program does this by defining reference topologies – exact combinations of automation products that are to be found in a particular industrial application or are favored by a specific customer. The selected components then are installed in a control cabinet and the resulting system is commissioned and tested. All steps are thoroughly documented and any issues can be quickly solved by the partners involved.
After a successful test, the reference topology is published as a joint recommendation, giving customers concrete and successfully validated suggestions for automating their plant. To date four reference topologies have been published with several others in the pipeline.
Strong new partners on board
The two new partners bring with them differing automation know-how and broaden the product and solution ranges covered by the Open Integration Partner Program. “Phoenix Contact is an important partner in many projects and their system products are favored by a number of important customers,” explains Joerg Reinkensmeier, Marketing Manager Open Integration, at Endress+Hauser.
“Flowserve also operates worldwide and their valves and pumps are often to be found working alongside Endress+Hauser measuring instruments.” A stronger partnership brings benefits to all parties, but customers in particular can now expect many more validated reference topologies that pave the way to quick and easy system integration.