Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Ask an Expert! Fieldbus - Episode 1

Posted by Aaron Severa on Fri, Feb 21, 2014

Your fieldbus technology questions answered...

What’s important to you and your operation? Is it a reduction in costs, easy maintenance, or simply just working within the confines of your aging infrastructure? If you answered yes to any of these questions, fieldbus technology might be something you should consider.

Fieldbus technology questions?If you are already using fieldbus and you have some questions of your own, then you might find some of the answers in our video below.  

The fact is, countless operations rely on fieldbus technology as a communication link among measurement and control devices. It’s these communications that keep your operation up and running. So whether you are faced with an aging infrastructure, outdated technology, or inefficient maintenance practices, this is one way to reduce costs, downtime, and overall maintenance.

So join us in this episode of Ask an Expert as we answer your fieldbus questions!


Hi, this is Andy LaMar with Pepperl+Fuchs, and this is our latest installment of Ask an Expert, where we sit down with a product expert and answer questions from customers like you. Today's product expert is Aaron Severa. Aaron is our Product Manager for Remote I/O and Bus Systems. Aaron, thank you for joining us, and let's get started with today's questions.

Andy: Alright, our first question is: "I am looking for information regarding FOUNDATION fieldbus protocol, power supplies, hubs, and testing equipment. Could you tell me what you have available for use in one system that has two field devices and another system that has four field devices? Both are in Div. 1 locations."

Aaron: At Pepperl+Fuchs, we offer solutions for any topology, whether it's a class and division location, or a Zone classified location. For this particular small installation in a Division 1 location, we would need two different components:

  • A power supply module
  • A field distribution module

For the power supply, we would offer either our DIN-rail mountable basic power supply module, which comes in a standard K-System housing, and is capable of outputting up to 360 mA. The second power supply option would be our motherboard mounted solution, which can be ordered in one, two, four, or eight segment packages with or without redundancy. The power supplies that mount on these motherboards would be capable of outputting up to 500 mA. For this particular installation, I think the single basic power supply module would be best.

When field devices are located in a Division 1 area, we would use a product called a FieldBarrier for distribution. This module would be mounted either in the safe area, or the Division 2 area. The trunk line from the previously mentioned power supply would run into the FieldBarrier, which would provide four intrinsically safe spur outputs to the field devices in the Division 1 area.

Andy: Alright, let's move on to the second question: "Do you have a FOUNDATION fieldbus to current conversion module? I need to translate the fieldbus command to an analog output for the positioner."

Aaron: We have Remote I/O systems that are capable of converting standard field signals such as analog inputs, analog outputs, digital inputs, and digital outputs, into a communication protocol such as FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS, Modbus, or Ethernet. These Remote I/O systems are comprised of a backplane, a power supply, communication gateway, and then the required I/O modules. These systems are extremely useful if an application has the need for standard instrumentation, but the control system is a bus-related communication protocol, such as FOUNDATION fieldbus. An example of standard instrumentation would be a 4 mA...20 mA transmitter or an analog valve.

Andy: Alright, moving on to our last question, and this customer asks: "Do you have a FOUNDATION fieldbus surge suppressor that is designed in accordance with IEEE62.41.2-2002 or its European equivalent DIN EN 60079-14?"

Aaron: We do not have a FOUNDATION fieldbus surge suppressor that is in accordance with EN 60079-14. However, all of our fieldbus surge protectors are in accordance with EN 60079-15, as well as EN 60079-11. 60079-15 provides a single standard for the design of apparatus in a  Zone 2 solution. 60079-15 uses 60079-14 as a basis, but modifies and reduces the requirements for equipment to be used in a Zone 2 application. This in turn reduces some of the installation requirements and provides a net cost savings.

Andy: Alright, well that concludes this segment of Ask an Expert. Again, I want to thank Aaron for joining us, and thanks to everyone who submitted questions. If you have a question, please feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or visit our website. Thanks again!

Fieldbus Technology Questions? Get the Application Guide

Topics: Ask an Expert, Fieldbus, Remote I/O

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