Growth opportunities in Europe for Fieldbus devices - Embedded.com

Growth opportunities in Europe for Fieldbus devices

LONDON — The European Fieldbus market is expected to earn revenues of $760.27 million by 2015 from $448.00 million in 2008 according to new research by Frost & Sullivan.

This expansion is being driven by the need for real-time data and increased plant availability offered by fieldbus devices. The technologies covered in this research are highway addressable remote transducer (HART) fieldbus, foundation fieldbus H1, profibus, modbus, and others.

“The flexibility of offering services from one central point by connecting additional devices to the bus provides compatibility and extends access to remote systems in the field, eases the work load of the maintenance person, and is an efficient fault detector with reduced debugging time,” said Khadambari Shanbagaraman, a research analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

The flexibility of connecting several fieldbuses makes data from inaccessible areas easy to obtain. The dynamic diagnostic capability and increased interoperability with other fieldbus devices improve robust and reliable transmission of information.

Fieldbus devices are perceived as a plug-and-play device. Simplicity in configuration and the flexibility of connecting add-on devices to it on a need basis are essential features of fieldbus devices. The advanced diagnostic module (ADM) of the fieldbus devices provides optimal transparency in the operation, which directly helps in achieving increased plant efficiency.

The resarchers say that the global economic downturn has impelled end users to cut down on investments at every stage of the production process. Although, end users are willing to employ fieldbuses in their new projects or in greenfield applications, investments for the retrofits and existing projects are uncertain due to the global financial crisis.

“Although the equipment is simple to use, the technology used in the process is complex; and an end-user using different protocols is expected to be aware of all topologies and the different networking model,” said Khadambari. “The more the benefits that a field bus provides, the more the complexity involved in the process.”

Khadambari believes that comprehensive training on the different protocols should be provided as the end users do not realise the long-term benefits of the fieldbus devices. The cost-saving features, predictive maintenance capabilities and asset life cycle management are some of the key features that need to be explained to end users to promote awareness.

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