Configuring Foundation Fieldbus Devices via USB PC Connection

by | Dec 12, 2011 | Asset Management

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

A person in the DeltaV LinkedIn group, in a thread, AMS Device Manager and Foundation Fieldbus converters, asks:

I am looking for cost-effective solution for our customer. He needs calibrate FF devices in laboratory ( read data from device ) and he already has AMS DM application. During calibration procedure he needs to work / connect only one FF device ( not whole segment ). Have you solved anybody similar solution in the past? I hope there is possible to use any variant of FF modem ( like HART modem ), but I have a problem to find supplier. I have used google and result was ABB device LD800HSE, but this solution is for coupling several links to one HSE interface ( I think this solution should be expensive ).

On the other side I need solution which is functional ( anybody use it and it works:-) ).

Thanks for information.

Several of the thread responders point to solutions from National Instruments, Softing, and Relcom. Emerson’s Jonas Berge joined the discussion by highlighting a presentation given by Emerson’s Alan Dewey at this past Emerson Exchange conference in Nashville.

Al’s presentation, A Quick and Easy Way to Connect to FOUNDATION fieldbus using Emerson’s USB Fieldbus Interface, describes a means to connect a standard PC or laptop to a Foundation fieldbus segment. He noted that this solution is not intended to be used as a permanent fieldbus Host system.

In the presentation, Al shares some of the capabilities:

  • Fully compliant with Foundation fieldbus specifications
  • PC joins fieldbus segment as visitor
  • Two power modes available—USB powered (to 85mA) and connect with already powered segment
  • Maximum current draw—12mA
  • CE and UL/CSA approvals

This USB interface is currently in beta test and expected to be released in the spring of 2012. It is supported with AMS Device Manager version 11.5 and later. The PC appears under the FF HSE [high-speed Ethernet] branch in the device explorer tree. With the AMS Device Manager HSE license, up to four USB fieldbus interfaces are supported at a time.

Al shared a few things that could be done with Foundation fieldbus instruments through this USB segment connection and included utility program—set power mode, show devices connected to the segment, set device tag, set device address, commission/decommission device, and change device from link master to basic.

Here’s an example screen from Al’s presentation showing how to commission a Foundation fieldbus device from the utility program display:

Here is Al’s complete Emerson Exchange presentation:
[slideshare id=10577539&doc=a-quick-and-easy-way-to-connect-to-foundation-fieldbus-using-emerson-usb-fieldbus-interface-111213093227-phpapp01]

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