Communications & Networks
Fieldbus Foundation releases SIF interoperability test kit
December 31, 2012 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The Fieldbus Foundation has released the latest version of its FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) Interoperability Test Kit (ITK).
This test solution has been updated with new test cases to verify the functionality of H1 (31.25 bit/s) fieldbus devices based on the current FOUNDATION for SIF technical specifications, including the newly introduced H1 dual-mode device capability employing powerful field diagnostics.
FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is designed for troubleshooting and debugging fieldbus instruments, and provides all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer’s complete device interoperability as specified by the Fieldbus Foundation’s official registration testing procedure. By using the test kit, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for registration.
Fieldbus Foundation director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke said, “The updated FOUNDATION for SIF ITK verifies advanced functionality such as the new dual-mode H1 device capability allowing automation suppliers to bring new safety products to market without having to design two entirely different devices. Developers can implement H1 instruments with SIF features activated or de-activated. More importantly, this means that plants will only have to stock one type of instrument that can be used as either a process device or a safety device.”
According to Mitschke, multiple FOUNDATION for SIF pilot projects are underway at locations around the world with different end users. Saudi Aramco has successfully launched two pilot projects and is preparing to install working systems within operating oil and gas facilities. After these smaller pilot projects are complete, the company plans expanded deployment of FOUNDATION for SIF technology in order to exploit its benefits on larger, mega-scale projects. In addition, Shell Project & Technology has specified FOUNDATION for SIF for use on the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) project in the Netherlands. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.
The FOUNDATION for SIF ITK includes a host of test cases verifying the functionality of a fieldbus device and its conformance with the FOUNDATION fieldbus function block and transducer block specifications. It also incorporates a DD “Super Viewer” allowing examination and verification of a device’s DD, and a conformance test procedure for the Physical Layer. Device developers can “walk” their DD, execute methods, and render visualization elements supported by DD 5.1 technology. The interoperability test suite can be paired with an ITK automation tool designed to eliminate several manual intervention steps required when performing pre-registration testing of fieldbus devices. The tool improves ITK schedule efficiency and provides a direct reduction in the person-hours needed to complete the testing phase. It is available with a maintenance agreement to keep the test suite software up to date with the latest enhancements.
FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is available to current users with maintenance agreements, as well as for new purchases. For more information, please visit the Tools page of the Fieldbus Foundation Website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.