First Registered Hosts with Fieldbus Foundation Host Profile “61b” Named

June 1, 2011
Fieldbus Foundation says Emerson and General Electric hosts passed tests for support of the new mandatory host profile for field diagnostics.

In April, the Fieldbus Foundation announced it had registered the first two Foundation fieldbus hosts incorporating new, mandatory host profile “61b.”  Fieldbus hosts supplied by Emerson Process Management (DeltaV Digital Automation System, with AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager) and GE Energy (GE ControlST) passed tests verifying their support for NAMUR NE107 field diagnostics, which is now required as part of the second phase of host testing and registration.

In the Foundation fieldbus automation infrastructure, hosts can include configuration tools, recording devices, alarm display panels, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), or a combination of functionality.  Host profiles are key to fieldbus system interoperability, as they define required features for different classes of tested and registered hosts. Host profiles include: Class 61 – integrated host, Class 62 – visitor host, Class 63 – bench host non-commissioned device, and Class 64 – bench host commissioned off-line device.

A profile specification enhances the organization, integration and presentation of device diagnostics within fieldbus systems. The Foundation fieldbus diagnostic profile includes a standard and open interface for reporting all device alarm conditions, and provides a means of categorizing alert conditions by severity.  For more information about registered Foundation fieldbus hosts, visit

The following Foundation fieldbus host features go from "optional" to "mandatory" with the new host profile 61b:

  •     Block instantiation– Allows full utilization of fieldbus devices supporting instantiable function blocks. Primarily intended for control in the field (CIF).
  •     Multiple capability levels – For devices where certain blocks/features are optional (licensed), the standard or higher capability level can be set in the tag placeholder during system configuration to prevent unsupported blocks from being used in the control strategy. This prevents surprises during commissioning. It also makes device replacement easier.
  •     Enhanced function blocks – Allows full utilization of enhanced blocks (standard blocks with additional parameters).
  •     Profiled custom function blocks– Allows full utilization of non-standard blocks.
  •     Configuration of scheduled control function locks – Allows developers to build CIF control strategies.
  •     DD V5.1 device-level access (enhanced electronic device description language [EDDL] with cross-block) – Makes fieldbus devices easier to use by enabling a dashboard with all diagnostics on the same page, and all setup on one page, regardless of which block it is in.

According to Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation director of fieldbus products, “support for device-level menus, one of the additional features mandated by host profile 61b, will make it easier for users to configure and maintain fieldbus devices.  In addition, registered hosts must now demonstrate the ability to configure field diagnostics in devices.”

Emerson’s chief technology officer, Peter Zornio, commented, “A best-in-class Foundation fieldbus solution is a key part of Emerson’s I/O on Demand offering to our customers, allowing them to choose the best I/O solution for each of their applications.  In fact, five out of ten of our largest DeltaV systems on order right now are using Foundation fieldbus technology.”

For more information about registered Foundation fieldbus hosts, visit:

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