Fieldbus and Plant Asset Management Systems

Fieldbus and Plant Asset Management Systems

Fieldbus and PAM

Some things were just meant to go together.  Peanut butter and jam.  Salt and pepper.  Simon and Garfunkel.  We can add FOUNDATION™ fieldbus and Plant Asset Management to the list.

FOUNDATION™ fieldbus instrumentation is often chosen for process control applications for both Greenfield and Brownfield construction projects.  A prime motivation for this choice is the abundance of advanced diagnostics the protocol can offer, which are perceived to be desirable from an operations and maintenance perspective.  Often, though, the potential of these diagnostics is never fully realized.  In the worst cases, the diagnostics are stranded in the system, with no mechanisms or systems to exploit them.

Stephen Mitschke, Director, Fieldbus Products, at the Fieldbus Foundation, stated in a whitepaper,

“If modern methods of preventive or condition-based maintenance are to gain more widespread acceptance, the available information must be centrally collated, evaluated and given to maintenance providers in an understandable form.” [1]

Enter Plant Asset Management.

What is a Plant Asset Management system?  There are several terms used to define systems that may be used to manage the lifecycle of plant assets, including Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Plant Asset Management (PAM).  For the purposes of this discussion, a CMMS or EAM system can be regarded as the same thing – a software system used to manage any or all of a company’s assets from acquisition to decommission and disposal – assets that could range from an office printer, to a fleet of vehicles, to a plant boiler. A PAM system can be considered a complementary subset of a CMMS or EAM, in that it focuses on the lifecycle management of plant equipment only.    Plant equipment can be further divided into categories such as field instrumentation (transmitters, valve positioners, etc), physical layer equipment (power supplies, wiring, etc), or process equipment (heat exchangers, pumps, compressors, etc).

Whereas some asset management systems solely rely on data entry to populate a database, a PAM system is capable of displaying information generated by smart instrumentation, such as FOUNDATION™ fieldbus. This enables operators and maintenance personnel to view the near real time, actual health of their instrument assets.

FOUNDATION™ fieldbus instrumentation coupled with a Plant Asset Management (PAM) system is the optimal combination to reap the benefits of instrument diagnostic capabilities.

This topic is covered in depth in BusCorp Learning Module BLM-707 “Fieldbus and Plant Asset Management Systems” as part of our course FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Project Execution.  Visit our Fieldbus Training Services page for more information about this course and our Downloads page to view the syllabus.


[1] (Whitepaper “Fieldbus Diagnostics: Latest Advancements Optimize Plant Asset Management” Mitschke, Stephen, page 2)

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