The Famous Fieldbus Fiasco

With Apologies to Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass - The Walrus & the Carpenter

By : Jim Pinto,
San Diego, CA.

This poem was not intended to demean any company, or organization. Rather, it represents my own, personal view of the paradoxical situation that has existed over the past several years, and still exists, in the Industrial Automation business.

The Fieldbus Fiasco was the very first (1992) of the Fieldbus poems in the Alice in Wonderland metaphor. I've tried hard to keep some of the original The Walrus and the Carpenter lines, which enhances the symbolism, don't you think?

Over the years, I have invited all of the major industrial automation companies named to point out any small or large factual errors in this, and others, of my Fieldbus poems. As of yet, not even one person, or company, has disputed the positions (or facts) represented. Indeed, several key people in the industry have endorsed this view. And further, several major journals, in the USA and abroad, have published these poems. Some have even been published in foreign-language textbooks.....

'92 Houston was the scene, ISA was at its height
Doing its very best to put the recession out of sight
'Twas Gunfight at the ISA Corrall, the famous Fieldbus Fight

    Honeywell was brooding sulkily, that Rosemount should be there
    Emerson had just bought Fisher, which made them both a pair
    'It's very rude,' said Honeywell, 'but we'll act like we don't care.'

The scene was odd as odd could be. The players were all around
You couldn't see much business 'cause Customers did not abound
The Bailey boys wore Italian suits. And Foxboro couldn't be found!

    Yokogawa and Siemens were walking close at hand
    They wept with joy that they could play in such as mightly land
    'If we could only spoil the fun,' they said, 'it would be grand!'

'If we could form an ISP,'said Siemens, 'Do you think
That all the hungry oysters would join us for a drink ?'
'You're right,' the Yokogawa said, and nodded, with a wink.

    'O Oysters come and walk with us!' then Siemens did beseech
    'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk.' It was a pleasant speech.
    'We'll all make up an ISP! There is a prize for each!'

Rosemount and Fisher looked at him and jumped right into bed,
They saw a chance to thumb their nose at Honeywell instead.
Their new-found size made people think that they had jumped ahead!

    And hordes of hungry hangers-on hurried up with food in mind,
    They felt that they would simply win the leadership they'd find
    And this was odd, because they were the blind following the blind....

So other oysters followed them and quickly there were more
As if to say that sheer crowds could make the "standard" show
And SP became ISP - to Honeywell a blow.

    Siemens put in Profibus, because they owned the show
    And Yokogawa simply smiled, as if they really know
    And all the little oysters they just waited in a row

'The time has come,' the Siemens said, 'To speak of many things
Of MAP and TOP and Fieldbus too, of cabbages and kings
And how we can gain market share, and whether pigs have wings.'

    'But wait a bit,' the oysters cried, 'Before we have our chat
    For some of us are starving, and others less than fat.'
    'No hurry,' said the Siemens, and Emerson smiled at that.

'A little business,' Yokogawa said, 'Is what we chiefly need
A small foothold, some market share, is where we'd like to lead
Now, if you're ready, Siemens dear, we can begin to feed!'

    'But, not on me,' said Honeywell - by now almost alone.
    The Committees and the User Groups just sat there, turned to stone
    And all the Oysters simply stood and waited for a bone.

'It was so kind of you to come, you are so very nice.'
Yokogawa said nothing but 'Cut me another slice...'
Siemens was busy with Profibus and they had to ask him twice.

    'It seems a shame,' the Siemens said, 'To play them such a trick
    After we've brought them out so far, and made them trot so quick.'
    The Yokogawa said nothing but, 'The butters spead too thick...'

'I weep for you, my Honeywell, I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears, they sorted out a few more juicy lies
Holding their juicy yen and marks against the dollars shrinking size.

    Honeywell now almost alone, preparing to jump ship,
    The Bailey boys in Italian suits, they came up with a whip.
    Not just French or Italian style, but grandiose "World FIP" !

'O Oysters,' said the Siemens now, 'You've had a pleasant run,
Shall we be trotting home again?' - but answer there came none
But, that was scarcely odd because - they'd eaten everyone.....

Another poem : The Fieldbus Quadrille Read The Fieldbus Quadrille, the dance of the "open" networks.

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Copyright 2000 : Jim Pinto, San Diego, CA, USA