Fieldbus Technology 2.0 for Hazardous Areas

HOUSTON - R. STAHL's established ISbus series, which has been providing a basic range of explosion-protected fieldbus technology until now, will be expanded by various innovative components and systems in 2009. These additions ensure greater flexibility, save costs and create new options, taking the ISbus program to a new level. A simple fieldbus power supply, fieldbus barriers for 4 intrinsically safe/FISCO devices and field device couplers for up to 8 non-intrinsically safe fieldbus devices have been available for some time. However, more powerful solutions for FOUNDATION(TM) fieldbus H1 and Profibus PA-based applications are now available. The same size as the 4-channel type, the new fieldbus barrier now connects up to 8 Ex i/FISCO field devices, which saves space and reduces costs by approx. 30% in typical bus segments. Just like the 4-channel type, the new barrier features an integrated power management system which enables soft starts, thus reducing the starting current by approx. 40% compared with conventional fieldbus barriers.

In addition to the 8-channel barrier, a new digital I/O coupler which connects 8 intrinsically safe discrete input signals and 4 intrinsically safe solenoid valves has been added. It supports a wide range of solenoid valves from various manufacturers with up to 24 V and 30 mA of control power for each valve. The digital units for FOUNDATION(TM) fieldbus H1 applications provide numerous function blocks and a logic transducer block. They are available as 2-wire and 4-wire types based on output power and system needs. The newest addition to the ISbus product range is a new fieldbus power supply system. Supplying 28 V and 500 mA, it provides sufficient power for bus segments. A parallel connection of two outputs allows users to supply up to 1 A ("Boost" mode) or to implement redundant supply units for a segment. In addition to simple error alarms, the more Advanced Fieldbus Power Supply models can provide integrated advanced diagnostics concerning the physical layer parameters such as signal level, noise, asymmetries and jitter. The need for costly diagnosis modules are thus rendered unnecessary. Similarly, other components from the expanded ISbus range also provide additional connectivity and lower installed costs: the miniCLIX series of plug connectors for hazardous areas, allows for hot plugging in of non-intrinsically safe trunks, i.e. the so-called high energy or high power trunks. Cost efficient field device couplers for zone 2 enable users to connect hot-swappable devices in hazardous areas via Ex nL or Ex ic circuits. The latest innovation of the IS Bus products marks a special highlight in the fieldbus port-folio: R. STAHL is the first manufacturer to introduce a Zone 1 remote I/O sys-tem prototype for FOUNDATION fieldbus High Speed Ethernet, which is cur-rently being used as a testing system by the FF HSE RIO working group. De-tailed information about R. STAHL's product and performance range for fieldbus applications are available at

Company Background

For more than 80 years, R. STAHL has been a trendsetting manufacturer of safety technology for hazardous areas. Based in Waldenburg, Germany, the company is one of the world's leading sup-pliers of explosion-protected automation, control and distribution, installation, operating and monitoring, lighting, signaling and alarm components and systems. Key products include customer-specific systems solutions for hazardous areas. R. STAHL's individual packages containing tailored product combinations and a wide range of services such as consulting, project planning, engineering and training courses for customers are designed to fully meet application requirements and customer needs. International certifications, approvals and patents demonstrate the company's expertise and allow for R. STAHL's products to be used throughout the world.

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