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If information is the currency of the information age, then your Fieldbus field devices like transmitters and positioners are your printing presses. Fieldbus based control systems communicate not only process variables, but also lots of non-control information. Detailed device self-diagnostics and automatic failure alarms enables quick determination if a process problem is due to the sensor or not, without having to do several field visits. The time that can be saved by not having to bring only a few transmitters in to the workshop is enormous. Wear and tear data, exceeded operating conditions or other abnormal behaviour information may be used for predictive maintenance scheduling minimizing costly unscheduled downtime. Field instrument management software will complement the basic process control function and reduces paper work and enables automatic record keeping and documentation of configuration, calibration and maintenance. This is an important feature to help comply with ISO9000 and ISO14000 and other quality and environmental management system requirements for updated and traceable records. Fieldbus helps companies increase productivity, flexibility, quality and comply with ever more stringent environmental regulations, and at the same time lower their operating cost. Fieldbus is the means whereby companies will stay competitive well into the 21st century.
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