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Gateways link process networks to Foundation Fieldbus devices

21 June, 2012

Rockwell Automation has announced a pair of gateways that link its PlantPAx process automation system to Foundation Fieldbus devices. The Allen-Bradley 1788-EN2FFR and 1788-CN2FFR gateways provide a direct link from EtherNet/IP or ControlNet networks to FF H1 device-level networks, simplifying the integration of FF devices.

“The Foundation Fieldbus standard is a popular choice among many process industry companies because of the wiring, commissioning and support savings a digital network offers,” explains Rockwell product manager, Graham Proctor. “With these linking devices, PlantPAx system users can access data for improved diagnostics, troubleshooting, maintenance and uptime.”

Using an auto-configure tool and an Add-On-Profile (AOP), the gateways offer simplified setup using Rockwell’s RSLogix5000 software. The auto-configure tool can save hours of setup time by applying frequently-used configurations, while the AOP provides a graphical environment for more detailed configuration of field devices. It also provides built-in diagnostics, including information on network voltages and currents, internal temperatures, and device status, which also can be viewed on a built-in display, simplifying troubleshooting. A Web server provides remote access to network and field device data.

Both gateways support up to 16 field devices on one H1 segment and offer multiple redundancy configurations. No external software or user licenses are needed, and each device has a built-in power conditioner, minimising the equipment’s footprint.

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