For several decades, the industrial world has been blessed with a plethora of internationally accepted open standards that have simplified the plug-and-play environment of engineering systems and smart devices. These standards have unlocked system solutions restructuring processes, improving industry safety, efficiency, and profitability.
Today, users find new challenges related to interoperability and data exchange of networked infrastructures using different vendors, systems, service tools, device types, data models, communication protocols, etc., that should seamlessly integrate enterprise-wide. Currently, you can still find system and device solutions that aren’t supporting open integration and device management methods leading to complexities of multiple device management environments and service tools creating inefficiencies and silos of critical field-level data needed for innovation.
With the networking of industrial protocols, the market seeks to innovate via holistic business models focused on connecting and viewing ‘things’ in unity. The FDT Group manages an IEC 62453 standard dedicated to harmonizing industrial standards establishing a universal approach for intelligent device management and IT/OT data-driven operations. Whether an end user wants to leverage a point-to-point or distributed control environment, run a multi-vendor multi-network (process and/or discrete) topology, prefers a web-based configuration tool, desires enterprise data access, or is running device drivers like DTM’s, (E)DD’s, FDI packets, IODD files, etc., FDT enables users the freedom to select equipment and tools that best fits their application while providing the unified environment for device management, data exchange and monitoring.
By reducing complexity focused on device integration and lifecycle management, FDT helps users realize operational excellence by improving performance, lowering maintenance costs, reducing downtown, enhancing operability, and saving money. Users around the globe recognize the value of FDT by specifying FDT DTM for system and device solutions during the bidding process. The industry currently deploys tens of millions of FDT device DTMs serviced by FDT-enabled engineering applications (ie; PACTware, fdtCONTAINER, Asset Management Applications, DCSs, PLCs, etc.) globally.
Thanks to collaborations with other standards organizations, FDT is positioned uniquely; as the key to comprehensive interoperability, device configuration/management and data access enterprise wide.
- FDT’s twenty-year legacy supports over 17 protocols and platforms – CANopen, CC-Link, CompoNet, ControlNet, DeviceNet, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, FDI, FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART, WirelessHART, ISA100Wireless, Interbus, IO-Link, Modbus, OPC UA, ProfiBus, ProfiNet, Sercos and proprietary protocols.
- Over the last year, FDT Group has engaged with the OPAF organization to provide a method to connect and manage process sensors and actuators of an OPAF system.
- We are collaborating with OPC Foundation, ODVA, and FieldComm Group to harmonize intelligent device configuration and management.
- Recently, the FDT Group became the ninth owner of the PA-DIM specification. Supporting PA-DIM acknowledges the good work done with the spec, while being able to promote and enhance that specification for process devices.
- For all devices, FDT Group is working closely with the OPC Foundation focused on OPC UA FX for the C2C and C2D specification, which will ultimately provide a standard approach to configure both process and discrete devices.
We have made good progress – one of increasing our collaborations – with the goal of intelligent device management harmonization, making life as a plant manager a little easier.
Looking ahead, the FDT Group will work with regional industry associations to host User Forums to gather feedback on current and future control system device management needs and complexities. The valuable feedback will facilitate FDT’s evolutionary journey committed to empowering the intelligent enterprise. Watch the www.fdtgroup.org website for upcoming User Forum events in your area.