HIROOKA Isao1 SAITOU Youji1 KAWAHARA Mizuo1 MURATA Hironori1
We have developed FieldMate, a field device management tool for the new era, and released it in July 2006. FieldMate is software designed to be used with a notebook PC to efficiently facilitate configuration, adjustment, and replacement of field devices that support communication protocols such as Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART), FOUNDATION™ fieldbus H1, or Process Field Bus (PROFIBUS). FieldMate provides an integrated task environment independent of the communication protocol, as well as simple operating procedures to greatly improve the above field device operations. This paper describes the technical features of FieldMate.
|Figure 1 Example of Connection with an
FOUNDATION™ fieldbus H1 Device
FieldMate application software runs mainly on a notebook PC and is a key component epitomizing Yokogawa's asset excellence (AE) concept together with Plant Resource Manager (PRM). FieldMate is available in basic and advanced versions. The basic version enables parameter setting and adjustment as well as status check of a field device by directly connecting a FieldMate-installed PC to a Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) device or FOUNDATION™ fieldbus H1 device. The advanced version, on the other hand, has a field device management function in addition to the basic version's functionality. Moreover, use of communication and gateway DTMs (Device Type Managers), described later, enables the advanced version to cope with communication protocols other than HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and handle field devices of a type other than direct connection. This paper primarily describes the features of the advanced version. Figure 1 shows an example of connection with a field device.
|Figure 2 FieldMate Functional Configuration|
FieldMate was developed with the three concepts of "installing on My PC," "simple connection and operations," and "one tool for all" as the basic policy. This section describes the FieldMate features that have realized these concepts.
FieldMate Functional Configuration
FieldMate is designed assuming that it will be installed on a notebook PC (My PC) used daily by maintenance personnel. FieldMate is composed of the three functions described below (Figure 2).
|Figure 3 FieldMate Window Configuration|
Window Configuration of FieldMate
The following describes the features of the FieldMate window configuration:
|Figure 4 FieldMate Main Window|
An operation flow is designed such that a device or event is selected using these three windows and then an "individual window" is opened to handle the details of individual devices.
As methods to eliminate input/selection operations as much as possible, when using Yokogawa's HART device for the first time, for example, the user supplies power to the device, connects a FieldMate-installed PC to it via a HART USB modem, and starts FieldMate and then the device DTM (DTM Works) by making only a few clicks. This enables setting/adjustment of the device and conducting its status check.
Field Device Setting/Adjustment Function
This function enables setting/adjustment of a field device or conducting its status check. Activating this function requires an EDD file provided specially for individual field devices or the device DTM program, both of which are supplied by a field device vendor. As field device setting/adjustment windows, FieldMate is equipped with Parameter Manager using an EDD file and DTM Works using device DTM. The following sections describe these windows.
|Figure 5 Example of Parameter Manager Window|
An example of a Parameter Manager window is shown in Figure 5. An EDD file is a data dictionary that defines field device parameters and the method for accessing parameters. There is a long history for EDD files, and they are available for almost all FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and HART devices. In addition, there is an advantage for the host vendor in that all field devices can be handled in a similar way using the same HMI.
The Parameter Manager offers functions such as management of field device parameter values, export to, editing on, and import from a CSV file, comparison of parameters between the actual device and database-/file-stored values, and differential download using the standardized HMI independent of the model.
An example of a DTM Works window is shown in Figure 6. Device DTM is an application program (Active X Control) with a display screen specially developed for field devices. It has an advantage in that complex setting/adjustment procedures or special MMI can be created and run using the same HMI on all host systems. DTM Works enables its device DTM to run as is and allows field device setting/adjustment using HMI independent of the host system.
Field Device Management Function
This function enables information relating to field device maintenance to be managed on the database and facilitates field device maintenance/management work.
|Figure 6 Example of DTM Works Window|
FieldMate defines a set of the following five pieces of information as a concept known as "Device Maintenance Info" and describes the requirements such that one "Device Maintenance Info" corresponds to one field device.
"Device Maintenance Info" can be created in three ways: (A) by acquiring information from a device, (B) by the user entering the necessary items, and (C) by importing the information required. Device maintenance info can be created using Method (B) or (C) without using a device and then linking the device to the created maintenance info after obtaining it.
Field Communication Function
|Figure 7 Example of COMM DTM Connection|
This function is for communicating with a field device. Additionally installing communication device drivers known as "communication DTM" and "gateway DTM" to FieldMate enables it to support communication protocols other than HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and communication routes of a type other than direct connection. Examples of communication DTMs include a PC COM port driver for HART communications and a driver for a PROFIBUS communication card inserted into a PC slot. Examples of gateway DTMs include a remote I/O driver that performs protocol conversion between PROFIBUS and HART.
The communication and gateway DTMs are provided by a communication device vendor in the same way as device DTMs. The interface (I/F) is specified by the filed device tool (FDT) specifications in the same way as device DTMs, and if it is combined with an FDT frame application complying with the FDT specifications, the user can freely integrate and use the application. In other words, one of the benefits of the field communication function is that different vendor communication and gateway DTMs can be combined to define various network configurations of multi-stage stacking. Figure 7 shows an example of this.
FieldMate Operating Environment
Table 1 shows the FieldMate operating environment.
Table 1 FieldMate Operating Environment
|Processor||Pentium III of 1 GHz or more (Pentium M or Pentium 4 recommended)|
|Main storage||256 MB or more (512 MB or more recommended)|
|Hard disk space||8 GB or more for whole machine (free space of 1 GB or more required)|
|CD-ROM drive||Double-speed or higher, Windows XP-compatible drive|
|CRT||1024 x 768 (256 colors) or more is essential|
|Others||USB or RS-232C port (for HART modem), PCMCIA card or PCI card slot (for NI-FBUS cards*)|
|Option||HART USB (Universal Serial Bus) modem|
|OS||Windows XP Professional (English version) SP1 or later|
* Use of an FOUNDATION™ fieldbus H1 device requires National Instruments' NI-FBUS card separately
This paper describes the technological features of FieldMate. Although not introduced here, FieldMate provides a users' Web site, open to the public, where users can download the latest version of EDD files and device DTMs, an updated version of FieldMate, etc.
In recent years, compact PCs such as UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) have been introduced on the market, and FieldMate can conceivably be installed and used on such PCs.
At this point, we wish to pursue the provision of support for BRAIN devices equipped with Yokogawa-dedicated communications protocol, further improvements in operating ease and interoperability with rivals' field devices, compatibility with languages other than English, enhancement of data linkage with PRM, etc.
FieldMate 3.0 is a PC based tool that enables you to see intelligent field devices clearly, know their condition in advance, and act with agility throughout maintenance work flow.
Yokogawa offers a variety of communication protocols; including, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART, BRAIN, ISA100, Profibus, and Modbus to help support smart devices in this evolving digital communication technology.