25 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Fieldbus analyser is ‘as easy to use as a multimeter’

Pepperl+Fuchs has unveiled a handheld device designed to simplify the commissioning and troubleshooting of fieldbus installations. The FieldConnex diagnostic device (FDH-1) has been designed to be easy to use without needing expert fieldbus knowledge, and can check a Profibus PA or Foundation Fieldbus H1 segment at the press of a button.

The device can answer questions such as: Is the desired signal quality being achieved? And is the bus termination correct? 

Connecting the device to a bus segment before it is commissioned can reveal if there are any errors in the physical layer installation. If there are errors, it will pinpoint what and where they are, and suggest how they can be corrected.

The tester can also be used to check existing cables to determine whether they are suitable for a fieldbus installation. P+F says that this can lead to considerable savings in cabling costs and the amount of maintenance work needed.

In existing installations, the FDH-1 can check short-circuit protection at spur connections. This is especially useful for fieldbus installations that are several years old and may be starting to experience problems.

The device is claimed to be as easy to use as a multimeter, but can do much more. For example, a built-in expert system interprets measured values to detect errors and to determine where they are located, and how to correct them.

A commissioning wizard with guided dialogues compares the installation with values from fieldbus standards and specifications. If required, it can create documentation that can be downloaded via USB. The report can also be downloaded again later and used for comparisons.

The FDH-1 is approved for use in hazardous areas and for all types of explosion protection.