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The availability of field bus technology can have significant impact on the economics of process automation upgrades in chemical processing facilities. The magnitude of this impact can be amplified when process instrumentation wiring must be routed in sealed conduit. This presentation discusses the use of both a full-function analog field bus and a discrete field bus in the upgrade of an automation system with I/0 in an FM Class1/Division2 area. The two buses used in this application are FOUNDATION™ fieldbus 1 and Actuator Sensor Interface (AS-i) bus 2. By using fieldbus technology, we dramatically reduced engineering cost, materials cost, installation time, and commissioning for our upgrade. In addition, the fieldbus technology gave us access to information about the health of the intelligent field devices that will enable us to eliminate unscheduled downtime due to instrument failure or calibration problems.
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