Eaton MTL

MTL Instruments Group



MTL launches unique diagnostics module for FOUNDATION Fieldbus ™ monitoring

2007 10 22
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MTL have launched the new F809F Diagnostics Module for use on Foundation fieldbus™ networks that offers a unique overview of the physical layer status by being installed as a fieldbus device. This enables the module to communicate directly with the network control system via the existing network wiring and infrastructure and present diagnostics information directly within the Instrument Management Software. The F809F is the first diagnostic module to be registered by the Fieldbus Foundation™ and represents a significant advance in the way diagnostic information is processed and presented to end users. The physical layer is critical to the performance of the fieldbus system. During commissioning the F809F collects data on the performance of the physical layer, provides alarms if any parameter is outside preset limits and is used to store a baseline of segment performance in the system’s instrument management software. Providing the data in the control system’s instrument management software is a key requirement identified by both end users and systems companies who were consulted during the development of the F809F. Typically, the investment in fieldbus diagnostics is recovered during commissioning. The F809F module is designed for use with MTL’s F800 series of fieldbus power supplies. It plugs directly onto the F800 series carriers and continuously monitors the performance of each of the eight fieldbus segments providing continuous information on network health. The F800 series is approved for use by the leading DCS suppliers and the F809F module integrates directly with the associated Instrument Management Software thus requiring minimal operator training. In operation, the on-line monitoring method identifies physical layer problems before they affect the process, thus enabling predictive maintenance to be implemented. If parameters are outside their normal values, then recommended actions are provided in Help screens contained in the fieldbus device description to reduce the time required in troubleshooting, hence maximising the availability of the fieldbus system. Device registration to the latest ITK 5.0 specification assures the user that the F809F module is easy to fully integrate with their choice of fieldbus control system. “Fieldbus end users, engineering contractors and automation suppliers recognise the value of a fully integrated fieldbus diagnostic solution. This is demonstrated by MTL having shipped F809F modules to monitor over 6000 fieldbus segments during the past three months” commented Roger Highton, MTL Fieldbus Product Manager.