DFI302: an innovative, ever-evolving architecture

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Since 1997, Fieldbus H1 technology and ethernet networks have emerged as the new direction for floor-level integration.

The Fieldbus Universal Bridge DFI302 was designed to incorporate these features and the product has been continuously developed since its introduction. The DFI302 was a challenge for dozens of development engineers, as it required the combination of hardware and software to incorporate decades of proven experience in real time, process control and automation. This development also allowed for additional requirements to meet the specifications of Smar's clients and partners. World market leaders took to the new technology and quickly adopted the new device.

Always on the alert for new market trends, Smar trusted in Foundation OPC technology from the beginning. This enabled the company to incorporate the OPC concepts accepted worldwide for systems integration in its initial version of the DFI. In other words, OPC Servers were developed for the DFI302, permitting connection between the best supervision and control systems, such as Process View, In Touch, Fix etc.

Key product features include: instantiation capability for up to 100 advanced blocks, native integration with Fieldbus networks, easy integration with Rockwell, ABB, Siemens and SDCDs (including those already installed in the plant). The DFI is also valuable in Asset Management by supplying the required information for AssetView, Smar's asset management software.

Many leading companies have already adopted the DFI302. One excellent example is Petrobras (Brazil) that has installed the DFI302 in a PNA-1 platform. This installation proves how this state-of-the-art technology coexists in such aggressive environments as an offshore oil platform, which is 70 km away from land. Since February 2000, a number of DFI302s were installed on that platform which is located at the Campos basin on the Rio de Janeiro coast. The product continues to control the deaeration level, gas pipeline pressure and the separators, among other functions.

DFI302 key features:

  • Block and network configuration through Syscon
  • Integrated hardware platform with Fieldbus source and impedance
  • Access to E/S digital and analog modules
  • Access to pulse modules
  • Native connection with Fieldbus H1, HSE and Modbus networks
  • Supports LAS and application redundancy
  • Executes up to 100 advanced or standard blocks
  • Contains co-processor for ladder language execution
  • OPC server compatible and approved on interoperability tests
  • Open architecture supporting radio-ethernet connection - enables telemetry applications