Installing Foundation Fieldbus (BrownFields) Advantages/Disadvantages

Hi guys, i am a graduate engineer in the mining sector in western Australia. I have been given the task of looking at the benefits of
installing (brownfields) foundation fieldbus. We are currently upgrading the DCS - TDC3000 to experion. I am aware of the wiring costs savings, diagnostics capabilities but can u please give me guidelines to evaluate foundation fieldbus on an existing plant.
Also if some of you have foundation fieldbus installed, can you please give some limitation of the product (beside technical limitation mentioned in brochures).
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Watch out for ABs FF master - it is a relabelled NI FF master. We found it out the hard way - periodically wipes the firmware (of all things!) of the said master. After warranty claims started to kick in Rockwell tried to pass the buck and point fingers at NI. Sorry, if it has an AB badge on it then I want service from Rockwell.
Furthermore, your network physically has to be above board. No cheapie connectors and cabling. Also budget (and obtain) FF fault finding tools from Day One. Get your people trained on it asap.
Regarding payback and comparisons you have to look more at issues like reduced installation & commissioning durations and reduction of maintenance staff. Downside is that you need highly skilled maintenance technicians. Another downside of brownfields is that you have to commission it section by section - and that means the software bits as well.
Also make sure that your FF master can enforce your chosen failsafe mode should the PLC (controller) fail. The rebadged AB FF master couldn't handle it so a parallel AS-i bus was installed to enforce a failsafe condition on all the control valves. What a cock-up.
Hope this helps.
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Thanks Pete, thanks for your tips we are going to install experion. so the ff gear will be honeywell. I am still looking in to this though. We are going to trial it in a small section of the plant.
So you are suggesting that it does reduce commissioning time and less maintenance required? what are some of the positive and negative points after installing FF (assuming that u had hard wired signals in yr previous installation)?
TA Jack

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FF only has the installation benefit if they installation is spead out. The saving is less dramatic in compact areas. One section of my plant has four segments in a 40' x 100' area. Although it is still better than a 3" conduit.
Commissioning FF is similar to HART but a whole lot faster with more diagnostics, is somone bothers to connect all of that info to programming in your system.
On 9 Jan 2004 18:26:30 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@notme.com (Jack) wrote:

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This is one of the unpublished costs of implementing any of the control busses. No one is going to "bother" to connect any of the bus device data to the control system unless they're paid to do so. I've seen control module templates that lack even basic diagnostic info, either because the system integrator didn't know any better, or false economy on the client's part.
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hmmm the more i look in to FF, the less i like it. It seems that its not really an open system.
Has any one successfully implemented FF with various instrumentation vendors? if you have, can you please specify the FF system and vendors. I have been told that some of the diagnostics/configuration information may not be retrieved if u have various instrumentation vendors. for example, if have delta V, then u must but Rosemount instruments to get maximum benefits.
TA Jack
snipped-for-privacy@notme.com (Jack) wrote in message

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It is very open. I have done a test setup with at least a half dozen vendors all interconnected. I believe the host system was NI. I don't remember all the names of the components. It simply wasn't relevant ... they all worked.
It is possible that each vendor has his own 'special' little features in addition to the official FF set. Ignore them.
For information try:
http://www.ianmag.com/fieldbus/htmlnewsletter/2002/fieldbus6_02.htm
Walter.

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Walter,
were you able to read diagnostic information/ read+write configuration data apart from status and PV,SP?
From what i hear, the diagnostic info and config data can only be accessed by buying FF manufacturer's instruments. For example, if u have a honeywell FF, u can only get the daignostics/config info from a honeywell instrument.
Jack

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Yes. There is a lot of uninformed or malicious bad mouthing going on. The parameters in FF are predefined by the IEC and ISA. Any certified devices, and there are many, follows the spec EXACTLY. I would suggest you send an e-mail to SAIT. The guys there are fully conversant in all aspects. Once you find the right guy, phone him. They know too much to put it in e-mails. I also highly recommend their training courses. They have an ISA agreement not only to teach the courses but to establish the curriculum for all such courses world wide.
In brief, each device has a Device Descriptor file which you get from the vendor. That is all that is needed to open all communications. One word of caution: down loading the DD file is sometimes risky. The reason is that they tend to make only the most recent rev. available and you may have a older rev. device. Make ABSOLUTELY certain that the correct DD file is included with the backing of every device shipped.
Host systems that today are fully compliant are Honeywell CM200, Fisher Delta V, and NI. There may be others but Foxboro is not one of them. They fake the interface and only partially accomplish it. What you need is a certified host system. This certification has only recently been available. SAIT knows. The vendors are not always to be trusted and one liar spoils the reputation of the rest. Maybe that's the plan.
Walter.

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