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The fieldbus as an asset - expertblog part 2

01 December 2015

How healthy is the fieldbus? In the industry, the fieldbus is often taken for granted, just as you take the highway for granted. The health of the fieldbus is often not visualized in the Plant Asset Management (PAM) system. However, if it gets worse over time, eventual failure of the fieldbus can cause downtime just as well.

Just like field devices and actuators, it is essential to consider the fieldbus as an integral asset and to integrate it into the Plant Asset Management system. Only then it can be part of a condition-based maintenance strategy, which ultimately helps reducing unexpected downtime.
*An actuator is a device that can influence its environment, a device that takes action, such as a valve.

How can diagnostic information from the fieldbus be integrated into a Plant Asset Management system?
A field device has a very comprehensive range of diagnostic information, with which the health of the device can be visualised. For the fieldbus, diagnostic information is also available, for example information about supply voltage and -current, signal levels and distortion, but also about communication and configuration errors. This diagnostic information cannot be integrated into the Plant Asset Management system without the use of specific diagnostic equipment.

For PROFIBUS, diagnostic equipment is available that is capable of disclosing diagnostic information about the physical layer, the communication layer or a combination of these layers via FDT / DTM technology. This enables this information to be made available to any FDT / DTM-based Plant Asset Management system.
PROCENTEC’s ComBricks is a component that can do this. With a certified CommDTM, ComBricks offers not only the possibility to be used as a gateway between PROFIBUS and Ethernet, but also as a provider of fieldbus diagnostic information for a Plant Asset Management system.

Our vision for the future
The fieldbus as asset is a vision with which PROCENTEC no longer takes the fieldbus - the modern highway of automation - for granted, but considers it as an independent asset with its own diagnostic information that can be visualized in a Plant Asset Management System in accordance with NAMUR NE107.

We would gladly think along with you about how you can integrate the fieldbus - in all possible topologies - into your condition-based maintenance strategy for a stable and continuous production process.

About Niels Donkers
I'm Niels Donkers, hardware developer at PROCENTEC, a company that focusses all its services and products on industrial data communication. I combine my field experience with an electrical engineering background, and through innovative and customer-oriented thinking my goal is to always find the right solution. A solution that also fits within the industry-accepted standards and concepts, such as Plant Asset Management.