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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions and Application Notes

We have documented the answers to the most frequently asked questions to enable you to easily and quickly find answers directly. We also provide the most common application notes.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus (FF) general

The standard port 80 and the following TCP/UDP Ports must be free in the Firewall for HSE communication:

  • 1090
  • 1091
  • 1089

In case you have a communication issue on the Ethernet side between Client and Linking Device then Wireshark logging could be useful. How to capture traces with Wireshark, please see the document below the following link:
How to capture traces with Wireshark

In case of communication problems between the Linking Device and the connected H1 devices the PuTTY traces are helpful. How to create puTTY traces is described below:
How to create PuTTY traces.pdf

The FF-CIT is the base library of several Softing FF products such as ComDTMs, FF-CONF and ComConf Software.
The tracing functionality of the FF-CIT offers a very effective diagnostic tool.
Users may not always be able to interpret this information, but the trace files provide valuable help to Softing's support if an error occurs.

To enable and disable the tracing mechanisms please unzip the FF-CIT_Trace.zip file.

The archive contains two registry files:
- “Enable_Trace.reg” will enable the FF-CIT tracing mechanism via the Windows Registry.
- “Disable_Trace.reg” will disable the FF-CIT tracing mechanism via the Windows Registry.

Create the FF-CIT trace files:
1.    Activate the tracing mechanism through the file “Enable_Trace.reg”
2.    Start the application and reproduce the erroneous behavior.
3.    Stop the software after the error has occurred
4.    Deactivate the tracing again via “Disable_Trace.reg”

You will find the created trace files under
%APPDATA%\Softing\FF-CIT\traces\.

Separate trace files are created for every application run. The last part of the trace file name (-xxx.trc) represents the process id of the application run.

In case of loss password the FF Linking Device must be returned to Softing. For further information about this procedure please contact the sales department per mail: order.sia[at]softing[dot]com
Softing will inform you about the costs and will reset the default password.

If you have not changed the password, then you can log in with the default password of the device.
Login: administrator
Password: fgadmin

In any case please try to login with the default password before you return the device to Softing.

FG-110-FF & FF-CONF

  • This application note describes how to set up the Softing FG-110 for alarm and alert propagation to Emerson’s AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager.
  • This application note describes how to realise the mapping of process value status with the FG-110 FF web interface.
  • One of the main advantages of Foundation fieldbus is the feature “Control in the field”. Therefore a PID function block in a field device will be used.
  • This document proposes a system configuration architecture and redundancy strategy.
  • This application note describes the workflow how to update a running system with a new FG-110 FF hardware. Please follow this application note step by step.

The Softing FF Configuration Tool (FF-CONF) can detect devices even with completely different IP settings. To find an FG-1xx FF device it does not matter which IP address and network mask is set on your PC.

After successful installation of the FF-CONF software, open the FF-CONF and scan for connected devices via the Menu View -> Network Livelist. The FG-100 FF has to be connected to the network. Then the FF-CONF will show the IP address of the device.
You will find detailed description to this topic in the Softing Linking Device Manual chapter 5.7 Network Livelist.
 

This document describes how to use the Softing's FOUNDATION Fieldbus configuration software FF-CONF to configure FG-110.

Furthermore how to create function block application and read your first process value.

The Linking Device is delivered with a pre-configured IP address 192.168.177.177.
The default subnet mask is 255.255.0.0.

Unfortunately the default IP address of the device is not correct in previous versions of the FG-110-FF documentation.

This document describes how to use FG-110 FF together with the Modbus OPCServer solution “dataFEED”.

When FG-110-FF is used, then the values of the Modbus registers are filled by means of acyclic communication.
Cyclic communication has been realized first in the new product FG-200-FF.

FFusb

The CommDTM software for the Softing FFusb is now available free of charge. If you are using the latest version 1.20 of the software then you don’t need to activate any software license for it. Therefore please uninstall a previous version of the CommDTM manually and install the latest version of the software from the Softing web site here.

Please note, the version of the CommDTM on the delivery DVD could be older then the actual version of the Softing web site. When you install the CommDTM from the delivery DVD and not from the Softing web site, then the software will probably run in demo mode.

FG-200 HSE/FF Modbus & Communication Configurator FF

The FG-200 device is installed per default with the ComConf software. Therefore you don't need any more a CFF file for this device.

In the FG-110 web interface you could configure a restricted set of parameters.
Please note, that the Modbus Mapping cannot be made any more in the web server of the successor product FG-200!

The Modbus Mapping should be made in the ComConf software and not in the Web Interface of the FG-200. It is more comfortable for the user then you will not have any issues with the naming conventions and you can configure more parameters as before. The only thing you should do after the mapping was made in the ComConf that you should import the configured CSV file in the web interface of the linking device. See manual for further details.

No power supply to FF H1 links through FG-200 HSE/FF Modbus. Therefore, in addition, one power conditioner per FF H1 link is required for the bus supply.

Softing recommends using the R. STAHL bus-Carrier Series 9419 and Fieldbus Power Supply Series 9412 products.

Devices with instantiable blocks do not have a fixed set and layout of blocks, but allow to dynamically create function blocks of supported types.
Instantiable blocks are primarily intended for control in the field. They allow to design simple and complex control strategies as required.

Whether the device has instantiable function blocks or not, it is mentioned on its product web page. This information (NumberOfInstantiableBlockTypes) is also available in the CFF file of the device.

ComConf does not support the instantiation of blocks.

A general workaround cannot be applied for this. The solution will differ case by case.

Please contact the technical support to verify if the intended use of the device can be configured with ComConf.
The manufactures are recommended to deliver the basic set of instantiable blocks preinstantiated so that devices can also be configured by hosts that do not support block instantiation.The corresponding CFF file should be then modified to work with ComConf.

Capability Levels allow the device manufacturer to provide different sets of functionalities (e.g. local display, diagnostic features) for a certain device under the same device type and device revision.

ComConf does not fully support the use of capability levels. The device description files can be imported without errors. The blocks of all capability levels can be accessed online and their parameter values can be read and written.
The selection of the capability level is not supported and the first capability level is used for verifying offline configurations. This means that blocks of other capability levels than the first one can’t be used properly. It is possible to add and configure all the blocks but  an  error will be reported when conducting a build.
 
Whether the device has several Capability Levels or not, it is visible in the CFF file.
Capability Levels example: Yokogawa (050102.cff):


 

For this example it is possible to add and configure the PID block defined in the capability level 2 in the ComConf but an error is raised when conducting a build.  ComConf uses capability level 1 for offline verification and this capability level does not contain the PID block.

Workaround:
In order to use blocks defined in other capability levels you have to patch the capability section within the cff file of the corresponding device description files appropriately. Afterwards you have to reimport the device description.

There are two possibilities:

  • You can either interchange the capability level descriptions or
  • delete the first capability level in the CFF file.

If you delete the first capability level description and keep the second only then the „NumberOfCapabilityLevels“ must be set to 1.
If you interchange the capability level descriptions, you do not have to do anything else in the CFF file.

After you made the changes in the CFF file:

  • Save the CFF file
  • Delete the existing file in ComConf
  • Import the new CFF file
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