The Fieldbus Foundation announced that its FOUNDATION High Speed Ethernet Remote I/O (HSE-RIO) preliminary specification is now available to its membership for review. Part of the foundation’s Wireless and Remote I/O initiative, this specification defines the first in a series of interoperable gateways (a smart RTU) to bring control I/O (both analog and discrete) back to plant automation systems over an international standard, high-speed network.

Within the FOUNDATION automation architecture, H1 (31.25 kbit/s) and HSE (100 Mbit/s) provide a distributed function block capability with HSE serving as a larger pipeline offering increased speed and throughput. The WIO development expands these capabilities by establishing open, non-proprietary specifications for a wired HSE backhaul network, a wireless HSE backhaul integrating various wireless gateways, and an interface to wireless field device networks. HSE-RIO technology provides an efficient way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O from modular devices back to the control room using a high-speed HSE connection. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within a FOUNDATION control system infrastructure.

According to Fieldbus Foundation Director of Technology Development, Dave Glanzer, HSE-RIO will provide significant operational and business benefits to automation end users. “Device networks offer communication capabilities, but do not provide a complete automation infrastructure. FOUNDATION technology delivers process integrity, business intelligence, and open scalable integration in a managed environment, making it a true system infrastructure,” said Glanzer. “End-users will realize CAPEX and OPEX benefits from suppliers incorporating remote I/O technology.”

Glanzer indicated the WIO solution employing HSE-RIO allows industrial plants to access high data requirement devices directly in the fieldbus host system using HSE. Employing gateways functioning much like a smart remote terminal unit (RTU), it brings all forms of conventional I/O into the native fieldbus environment easily. This solution makes discrete-in, discrete-out, analog-in, analog-out and FOUNDATION H1 available over a common Ethernet network.

The Fieldbus Foundation’s WIO project promises to advance utilization of an open, interoperable fieldbus automation infrastructure incorporating both HSE and industrial wireless applications. In addition to the HSE-RIO development team, the Fieldbus Foundation/ISA Cooperation (FIC) team is preparing specifications for the wireless HSE backhaul to the HSE-RIO gateway. The Wireless Sensor Interface Team is developing specifications for interface of wireless sensor networks to the gateway. The wireless backhaul and wireless sensor interface specifications are now in development.

Fieldbus Foundation WIO/FIC working group members include: ABB, APAT, Apprion, Azbil-Yamatake, Belden, Boeing, BP, Byres Security Inc., Chevron, Cisco, EF Johnson, Emerson Process Management, ExxonMobil, Flexworks Solutions International, GE, Geode Network Technologies, Herman Storey Consulting, Hodson Consulting, Honeywell, MACT USA, MTL, National Instruments, Nivis, OMNEX Control Systems, OPUS Consulting, Pepperl+Fuchs, R. STAHL, RuggedCom, Saudi Aramco, Sense-Comm Technology LLC, Shell Global Solutions, Smar, Softing, Turck, Wi-Fi Sensors and Yokogawa.