The Fieldbus Foundation released an updated version of its FOUNDATION fieldbus technical specification. The latest specification includes guidance supporting the development of fieldbus devices and host systems that employ advanced field diagnostics per the NAMUR NE107 recommendation, as well as support for the upcoming H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.0.

The latest FOUNDATION fieldbus specification is designed to meet growing industry demand for, and adoption of, NE107 field diagnostics. It also defines the minimum requirements for testing of hosts employing FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs). FF-SIF is designed to enable process end-users to realize significant reductions in their total cost of ownership by extending fieldbus benefits into plant safety systems.

Updates to the CFF Specification (FF-103) and Function Block Specification (FF-890, FF-891 and FF-892) reflect changes implemented in the soon-to-be-released Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.0. This includes support for required field diagnostics capabilities, which standardize how all fieldbus devices communicate their diagnostic data to process control and asset management systems. The test kit will also employ an all-new, intuitive user interface. Additional ITK 6.0 features will include support for testing Custom Profiled Function Blocks, software components built with VC9, and compatibility with the USB interface hardware available from National Instruments.

Updates to the Host Profile Specification (FF-569), which include new FF-SIF host test requirements, as well as “B” host profile support for all newly registered fieldbus hosts. Host features that have gone from “optional” to “mandatory” with the new “B” host profiles include: Configuration and Access to Field Diagnostics, Block Instantiation, Multiple Capability Levels, Enhanced Function Blocks, Profiled Custom Function Blocks, Configuration of Scheduled Control Function Blocks, and DD v5.1 Device-level Access. Support for NE107 field diagnostics is required as part of the second phase of host testing and registration.

Update of the FOUNDATION fieldbus AG-181 System Engineering Guidelines to Version 3.1, which provides the definition of the design, specification, installation, configuration, and commissioning for a FOUNDATION fieldbus-based control systems.

Fieldbus Foundation members purchasing or renewing a specification maintenance agreement will be able to download a complete copy of the FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and HSE Specifications, including all updates to these specifications from the Fieldbus Forums.

For more information about FOUNDATION fieldbus specifications and maintenance agreement options, visit www.fieldbus.org.