Fieldbuses Are No Good

Fieldbuses are no good?  (I can’t believe I said that.*)  But you might think that if you’ve read some recent articles on ControlGlobal.

The two-part series titled “The Fieldbus Jungle” reminds us that fieldbuses are not all unicorns and rainbows, but the articles come across as too cautionary.   (Reference: The Fieldbus Jungle Part 1. The Fieldbus Jungle Part 2.)  To be fair, the author does conclude that fieldbuses are worth the trouble some times, but not as often as our experience would indicate.

James Powell has a detailed response focused mainly on PROFIBUS coming up in the next print issue but you can get a sneak preview in the PROFIBUS discussion group on LinkedIn (registration required).  You will find a Foundation Fieldbus user’s response in “Fieldbus Supporter Dissent.”

Fieldbuses can save time and money at installation and commissioning, but even more during production… IF you use the asset management features that they provide.

An important point: fieldbuses are not point-to-point wiring.  They’re different.  Don’t treat them the same.  If you are not familiar with fieldbuses, educate yourself.  I outlined my suggested path through the available resources here.  Many of these resources are free.  Like our free one-day training classes on PROFIBUS and PROFINET.  Maybe I’ll see you at one this year.

–Carl Henning


*Although I said something similar back in a 2007 blog post: Never, Ever Use a Fieldbus