For the past year there has been a lot of discussion in the automation community about the ongoing merger talks between Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation. Seems everyone had a differing opinion about how this would all go down, but no one involved in the process would speak on record saying anything beyond the published announcements about the discussions.
Today, official word came from both groups about the finalization of the merger. According to the release, members of both the HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation approved the merger proposed by their respective boards through a voting process that concluded on August 30. The new corporation, called FieldComm Group, will be led by a board of directors composed of representatives of the collective companies from the current boards of each foundation.
Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller has been elected as the inaugural chairman of the board. Kumpfmueller, who has served as chairman of the FDI LLC board and as CEO of Sensors and Communication at Siemens, will lead the direction of the FieldComm Group and oversee the addition of FDI LLC in mid-2015.
Ted Masters has been appointed by the board as president and CEO of FieldComm Group. He currently serves in the same capacity with the HART Communication Foundation. "The creation of FieldComm Group is an unprecedented opportunity to build upon existing technologies and develop a single future vision toward harmonization of standards for the process automation industry worldwide," Masters says.
During the transition and integration of the two organizations, Richard J. Timoney, who was president and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation, will serve as executive vice president of FieldComm Group. "The joining of Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation will realize the automation industry's goal of a single, unified body to support advanced digital technology," adds Timoney.
FieldComm Group will consolidate offices in Austin, Texas, and function as a single entity beginning January 1, 2015. Until that time, the HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation will continue to operate independently.