Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The number of the day: 110

The international fieldbus standard series IEC 61158 (Industrial communication networks –Fieldbus specifications ) and IEC 61784 (Industrial communication networks – Profiles) comprise 110 parts – as listed in the FDIS of part IEC 61158-1 (Fieldbus specifications – Part 1: Overview and guidance for the IEC 61158 and IEC 61784 series). IEC 61158 comprises 82 parts and IEC 61784 has 28 parts.

The part 1 of IEC 61158 states that “The IEC 61158-6 (application layer) series defines a number of distinct and non-interoperable fieldbus application protocols.” This is true for most of the specified solutions: they are not interoperable.

The fieldbus standard series defines 50 different (usually non-interoperable) profiles …

In contrast IEC 61850 defines:

  • ONE set of interoperable information models independent of protocols,
  • ONE configuration language mostly independent of protocols,
  • ONE set of abstract services,
  • THREE sets of protocols for three different applicationsONE for client/server, ONE for GOOSE, and ONE for Sampled Values.

Devices that implement IEC 61850 are usually interoperable – there are exceptions, of course. The standard is intended to reach a very high level of interoperability. Lesson learned from the Industrial communication networks: prevent the proliferation of standardized solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_standard describes the purpose of international standards:

“ … Technical barriers arise when different groups come together, each with a large user base, doing some well established thing that between them is mutually incompatible. Establishing international standards is one way of preventing or overcoming this problem. …”

This is exactly what the experts that define IEC 61850 are doing for almost 20 years – to the benefit of the global energy delivery market! This objective is well received and appreciated all over.

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