Friday 26 October 2012

Fieldbus training in Eastern Europe!

The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press conference at the University of Miskolc, (H), has announced that the university has been successful in the rigorous certification process required to become a training site that offers fieldbus training courses certified under the FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP). This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

Fieldbus Foundation's  Director, Larry O'Brien
The University of Miskolc is now the preferred site for certified FOUNDATION fieldbus training in the Central & Eastern Europe region.

There are rigorous procedures that educational institutions must follow in order to gain certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers are required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with fieldbus technology. They are also audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits; device replacements; commands, icons, menus and screen designs of different software packages; and communication, scheduling and function block assignments enabling configuration.

In addition, certified instructors are audited to see if they have achieved specified Fieldbus Foundation training goals. Instructors must demonstrate expertise in areas such as Human-Machine Interface (HMI) tools, fieldbus troubleshooting, simple device configuration, and device deployment and functionality across a fieldbus network.

FCTP is intended to raise the visibility and prestige of institutions offering certified FOUNDATION fieldbus training and ensure that the instructors delivering the courses are skilled, knowledgeable and technically competent. Through certification, the program demonstrates to prospective end user students that fieldbus training centers, and their instructors, have been thoroughly evaluated based on strict criteria, and have the necessary qualifications to provide the very best training available. Only certified institutions are permitted to use the official FCTP logo.

The Fieldbus Foundation's Global Marketing Director, Larry O'Brien, welcomed the addition of another certified establishment. He commented, "Effective and standardized 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 program ensures a very comprehensive, vendor-neutral approach to training. The user then has the knowledge required to make an informed decision in system design; host, device and component selection; and implementing that design to ensure certainty of outcome of the project. Process end users want to maximize 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."

The FOUNDATION Certified Training Program currently offers three levels of certification, and others may be added in the future. The current certifications include FOUNDATION Certified Professional, FOUNDATION Certified Support Specialist, and FOUNDATION Certified Technical Specialist.

For many years, the University of Miskolc, Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences – Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics, has been actively involved with several research projects to use, develop, and teach industrial communication systems. Throughout this time, it became apparent that both users and manufacturers within the process automation industry had a fundamental lack of theoretical knowledge and practical experience of new industrial communication systems and their functionality. This inadequate knowledge was seen to have a significant and negative impact on the returns and scheduling of investment projects. In response to this, the Research Institute, with the support from several sponsoring manufacturers, established a dedicated Industrial Communication Research and Training Laboratory in 2000.

Three instructors at the University of Miskolc have been certified to conduct FOUNDATION training courses. József Subert, Viktor Füvesi and Ildikó Bölkény are all members of the Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences – Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics and, in addition to their teaching and research roles, are key members of the program and organizing committees of the annual Distributed Control Systems (DCS) meeting, a key event in Hungary for control engineers.

The University of Miskolc will be offering the FOUNDATION Certified Support Specialist course. Registrations can be made via the Education/End User Certified Training Section of the Fieldbus Foundation website and Certified Training Center – Miskolc website.

Dr. Károly Jónap, Head of Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics, commented, "Certification is important for the University of Miskolc because we are formally recognized by the foundation as a high quality training center. This will give our customers a guarantee that the content of our courses, the course materials and the knowledge of our trainers are up to date. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the Fieldbus Foundation."

Jürgen George, Chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation Central & Eastern Europe Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC), is delighted that the University of Miskolc has gained its accreditation. "One of the key objectives of the FFCEEMC is to provide technical training, support and information about FOUNDATION technology and its applications to users and potential users throughout the CEE region at a local venue and, where possible, in a local language. To have a certified training center here in Hungary that can support the CEE region's technical training needs is a great achievement for all those involved."

Around the world, institutions currently certified under the FCTP program include: Fieldbus Center at Lee College, United States; Trine University, United States; SAIT Polytechnic, Canada; STC Group – Brielle, The Netherlands, University of Miskolc, Hungary; Waseda University, Japan; and King Mongkut's Institute of Technology, Thailand. Other training centers participating in the program include: Sinopec Yanshan, China.

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