Thursday, February 12, 2015

A first for Africa in fieldbus training!

 Eight engineers from Angola LNG passed the inaugural five-day FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Technical Specialist course 
The FieldComm Group has announced that IDX Academy, the South African industrial communications training centre based in Johannesburg (ZA), has been successful in the rigorous certification process required to become a site that offers fieldbus training courses certified under the FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Certified Training Programme (FCTP). This programme establishes uniform standards for fieldbus end user educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

IDX Academy FCTP handover!
IDX Academy is the first certified FOUNDATION Fieldbus training site on the African continent. Eight engineers from Angola LNG passed the inaugural five-day FOUNDATION Fieldbus Certified Technical Specialist course held on campus last month, with a further nine Angola LNG engineers due to attend the second course in March. The successful students are now proficient in the installation, maintenance, repair, and trouble-shooting of FOUNDATION Fieldbus networks and systems. Certified students may be included in the Student Registry on the FieldComm Group website.

The certification of IDX Academy is the first FCTP accreditation since the joining of the Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation was completed, with the new FieldComm Group becoming operational on January 1, 2015. The opportunity to incorporate certified HART technology training is being planned alongside the current certified training centres.

The dedicated FOUNDATION Fieldbus training rigs at IDX Academy utilises host systems, devices and components from several FieldComm Group members including Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Eaton/MTL, Honeywell, National Instruments, Pepperl+Fuchs, Smar, Softing, StoneL, Turck and Wika.

Chuck Carter, certified FOUNDATION Fieldbus instructor, was instrumental in developing the certified curriculum at IDX. He teaches the FOUNDATION Fieldbus courses and will train additional trainers to ensure ongoing sustainable certified training expertise. Carter has been an instructor in instrumentation and process technology since 1976 and was centre director for over 16 years at the FCTP accredited Lee College Fieldbus Training Centre, Baytown, (TX USA), before relocating to South Africa.

David Bean, who heads up IDX, commented, “Certification is important for the IDX Academy because we are now formally recognised by the FieldComm Group as the high quality training centre that we are. Our customers expect the best and this gives them a guarantee that the content of our FOUNDATION Fieldbus courses and the course materials are up to date and delivered by an expert.”

He added, “We are looking forward to adding world class FOUNDATION Fieldbus training opportunities to the solid base of the other industrial communications products, services and training we already offer across the sub-Saharan region and, of course, we’d be keen to extend our capabilities further with the addition of HART technology training”.

The provision of a certified training centre in the African continent has been a primary objective of the FieldComm Group Southern African Marketing Committee for some time. Marc Van Pelt, FieldComm Group Vice President EMEA Operations, is delighted that IDX Academy has gained its accreditation. “I am proud that we have reached our goal of providing certified technical training and support to FOUNDATION Fieldbus users and potential users across the region and my thanks go to everyone involved throughout the comprehensive process. It was an honour to present the certificate of accreditation to David Bean and his team.”

The FieldComm Group’s Director Technical Services, Sean Vincent, welcomed the addition of another certified establishment. He commented, “Effective and standardised training of plant personnel is the key to successful design and overall project implementation of an advanced technology such as FOUNDATION Fieldbus“.

He continued, “This certification programme ensures a very comprehensive, vendor-neutral approach to training. Process end users want to maximise the benefits of their fieldbus instrumentation and control system investments—and experience has shown that training of operators, engineers and technicians is essential to getting the most out of the technology.”

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