FOUNDATION Fieldbus is used for the connection of transmitters and actuators on the field level and is based like PROFIBUS PA on the same physical bus characteristics. Both provide voltage to the field devices and can be used in hazardous areas.  SIMATIC PCS 7 relies on both systems to allow free selection of the field devices. In this way, the best-suited field device can always be used for the automation solution

Depending on the existing hardware or your preferences, you can use FOUNDATION Fieldbus (FF) in addition to PROFIBUS PA as the fieldbus for the direct connection of transmitters and actuators to the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system. The fieldbus integrates actuators and sensors directly into the process control system in operating environments up to hazardous zone 1/21 or 0. The intrinsically-safe transmission technology MBP (Manchester Coded; Bus Powered) simultaneously provides the power supply over a two-wire line

Up to 32 bus nodes (1 coupler + field devices) can be operated on one fieldbus segment (typically 8 to 12 devices). The field devices are integrated into the fieldbus segment via active field distributors of the SIMATIC AFD product family, such as AFD4 and AFD8 (approval for hazardous zone 2/22) and AFDiSD (approval for hazardous zone 1/21)

FOUNDATION Fieldbus permits detailed diagnostics of field devices via corresponding device descriptions. It can be set up in line, tree or ring topologies. The FOUNDATION Fieldbus can be integrated seamlessly into the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system using PROFIBUS DP as link.

Compact FF Link single and redundant configuration


Use of the fieldbus technology based on FOUNDATION Fieldbus

FOUNDATION Fieldbus is one of the leading fieldbus technologies in process automation. The commissioning and operation of the system is simplified by the digitalization and the integrated diagnostics. The plant's production can be speeded up and the availability of the plant can be increased. General benefits are:

  • Integrated digital communication down to field level permits the transmission of additional diagnostic information

  • Use of the diagnostics for effective maintenance planning

  • Reduction of wiring and simplified planning

  • Fast commissioning through user-friendly loop checks

  • Increased availability due to flexible architectures and redundancy options

  • Interoperability

  • FISCO model
    - Calculation for the explosion protection certification is omitted

  • Several process values via one channel
    - Fewer cables

  • Increased transmission rate
    - Faster upload/download - reduces the time required for commissioning

  • Diagnostics according to NE107 in cyclic data
    - Cross-vendor preventive maintenance as per standard

  • Reduction of I/O control cabinet and dispensing with marshaling/distribution control cabinet, trunk cable, and field distribution board
    - Less space required and greater flexibility

  • Digital fieldbus communication
    - Greater measuring accuracy (one-time A/D conversion) and drift-free transmission