Fieldbus Foundation: Segment Design Tool For Foundation Fieldbus

Aug. 24, 2012
Free tool simplifies planning, validation and documentation of Foundation H1 segments.

The Fieldbus Foundation has updated its DesignMate software tool, a software download that allows plant automation professionals to audit segment layouts. The updates cover DesignMate's library of registered devices, and revised terminology used within the software to align with current Foundation fieldbus installations. The DesignMate software automatically audits segment layouts for conformance with the Foundation physical layer specification, which is based on the international IEC 61158-2 (Type 1) standard. This allows end users to feel confident that their fieldbus infrastructure will work with desired parameters such as cable length, number and type of installed devices, and selected power supplies.

The DesignMate software provides an intuitive graphical user interface and mouse support, enabling fieldbus segment design "on the fly" with drag & drop capabilities. The tool displays fieldbus segments in the form of an exportable image of a stylized topology. A printable report in Rich Text Format (.rtf) is also available. Users can analyze and check key physical layer parameters, such as supply voltage, load conditions at all terminals of power supply, fieldbus couplers and field instruments. An error log indicates deviations from the Foundation specification in clear text visuals for immediate remedy by the user.

DesignMate is equipped with libraries for all components in the typical Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, including power supplies, fieldbus couplers for both safe and hazardous plant areas, and field instruments. Fieldbus devices from a wide range of automation equipment manufacturers are available in the software, along with an easy-to-use device editor for creation of custom instrument libraries.

To download a free copy of DesignMate, please visit the Fieldbus Foundation website's Technical Reference page. Technical support for DesignMate is available on Fieldbus Forums.