FDI Project Team Achieves Development Milestones

May 12, 2009

The Steering Committee of the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) Cooperation Team (ECT) continues their efforts to achieve a common solution for field device integration. The Field Device Integration (FDI) Project Team has successfully worked over the past 18 months identifying use cases that encompass all facets of plant operations: from startup and commissioning; to ongoing maintenance activities and plant operations. This team’s efforts also included drafting an architecture concept that meets the needs of both EDDL and FDT technologies as they are migrated to a common standard.

A complete inventory of use case analysis, draft architecture concept and draft functional specifications have been completed.  The architecture is a client/server structure based on OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) technologies.  Field device integration is facilitated by a “Device Package” provided by the device supplier containing EDDL components and an optional programmed component for programmed user interfaces.

This design will allow complete flexibility to develop customized user interfaces. Details of the exact architecture and associated device interface will be unveiled with the release of the final functional specification, currently planned for the summer of 2010.

These results are based on the close cooperation between key global process control suppliers; including ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Rockwell,  Siemens, Smar and Yokogawa as well as the members of the ECT.

EDDL Cooperation Team: In 2003, the three leading field device foundations (Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation and PROFIBUS Nutzer-organisation) signed a cooperative agreement to develop a common specification for graphical visualization and persistent data storage enabled by EDDL.  All three of the organizations utilize EDDL for parameterization and description of their devices.  In 2004, the OPC Foundation joined the cooperation team.  With EDDL™ an established IEC standard (61804-3) , it made sense for the OPC Foundation to base their data structure on that same standard and work with the organizations to develop a standard interface to OPC UA. The four organizations signed an agreement in 2004 to cooperate in the development of that interface. In 2007, the FDT Group joined the ECT on the basis of a technical agreement to jointly develop a new common standard for device integration. The Steering Committee is comprised of the presidents of each foundation plus one representative from each organization’s membership.  Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller is chairman of the committee.

This is a joint press release by:

  • Fieldbus Foundation
  • Profibus Nutzer Organisation
  • HART Communication Foundation
  • OPC Foundation
  • FDT Group

About the FDT Group AISBL™

The FDT Group AISBL is a non-profit corporation consisting of over 60 leading process and factory automation companies worldwide whose major purpose is to provide an open and non proprietary interface for the integration of field devices with engineering, automation and asset management systems. In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations are working together to develop the technology, provide development tools, support and training, coordinate field trials and demonstrations, and enable product interoperability.


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