Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest

As Profibus and Fieldbus Foundation tough it out over who’s actually got the first `real’ products on `real’ process applications (Dow Chemical, Canada on FF, or ICI, Billingham on PA), the fieldbus pantomime groans on its lugubrious way. Add this to the latest bit of amusement – the public contest for who’s got the most […]

As Profibus and Fieldbus Foundation tough it out over who’s actually got the first `real’ products on `real’ process applications (Dow Chemical, Canada on FF, or ICI, Billingham on PA), the fieldbus pantomime groans on its lugubrious way.

Add this to the latest bit of amusement – the public contest for who’s got the most fieldbus nodes out there (presumably on real, not imagined, projects) – and it’s clear we’re set for a whole season of entertainment.

Which is it to be? InterBus, the open sensor/actuator bus developed by Phoenix Contact, or Profibus, the equally open fieldbus, originally out of the Siemens stable? Be still my beating heart!

ARC, the American market research organisation, says its InterBus; Consultic (Germany) says Profibus. ARC looked world-wide with its study; Consultic’s market research examined just the European market. And ARC has been more than a little vocal on the `differences’ between their studies. And hence the outcomes.

What’s perhaps most interesting is ARC’s statement that InterBus’ master-slave architecture is most popular – and that in five years, two-thirds of all fieldbus systems sold will be based on it. Might be something here for certain of the fieldbus camps to be concerned about perhaps?

Meanwhile, here we go again on the EN European fieldbus standard route! Now it’s the device level buses’ turn. And yes, already things aren’t going smoothly!

IEC 17B for actuators and sensors has had proposals from AS-Interface challenged by ODVA (DeviceNet), Echelon (LonWorks), Honeywell (SDS) and Square D (Seriplex). Seems they all want to come along for the ride!