Fieldbus Foundation Adds Modbus to Remote Solution

Oct. 4, 2013
Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM) is integrating Modbus specifications into the single, standard data management environment.

It is becoming increasingly practical and necessary to monitor assets within process industries remotely. Signals from tank farms, well heads and other remote locations have typically been cost-prohibitive to monitor and control, but that is changing in large part because of wireless technologies. Remote technologies make monitoring both easier and safer.

The Fieldbus Foundation is developing technical specifications for the integration of Modbus-based devices into its Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology. Integration of these wired and wireless instruments will help enable an overall remote operations solution in a wide range of industrial automation applications.

Foundation for ROM already integrates remote I/O, ISA100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART and Foundation fieldbus H1 protocols into a single, standard data management environment. It extends the capabilities of Foundation fieldbus to wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world's harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even OEM skids.

The Fieldbus Foundation has completed the technical specifications for the remote I/O, wired HART, WirelessHART and wireless ISA100.11a interfaces, successfully showing the capabilities at a live end user demonstration at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in April.

The foundation will now develop specifications for Modbus integration into Foundation for ROM. Modbus devices such as well head flow meters and submersible pump controllers need to be integrated as part of the overall solution in some applications.

The Modbus integration team, including end user and supplier engineers, kicked off in May at a meeting hosted by Shell Global Solutions in Amsterdam. The team completed the use cases in August and finished its review at a meeting in September hosted by MTL in Luton, UK. The team is now proceeding with requirements and specification development.

“We have a great team working on the Modbus integration,” said David Glanzer, director of technology development for the Fieldbus Foundation. “They have made exceptional progress on the use case development.” Todd Shadle of Phoenix Contact, technical team leader, added, “All of the team members are fully engaged and are eager to complete the specification.”

Whether operating on a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network, Foundation for ROM enables automation end users to bring device data into the Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.

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