Editorial: FDT 3.0 IIoT Solutions Enabled Right Out-of-the Box

September 1, 2020

The official launch of FDT 3.0 has certainly generated a great deal of interest and excitement in the industry. The global industrial and process automation press has picked up the story and conducted several published interviews. It is also an honor to see FDT 3.0 featured as the cover story in Control Engineering Europe this month. The secure remote access feature of FDT 3.0 is certainly a timely topic.

Within our vendor community, one of the popular FDT 3.0 topics is the developer tools that are used to develop FDT 3.0 enabled products. We call these developer tools Common Components. We have built the complete framework for compliance with the standard inside of the Common Components. We then test that framework to ensure that all the Common Components function well together regardless of the operating system on which they are deployed. This strategy allows vendors to focus their efforts on value-add features that showcase their products instead of getting bogged down in standards compliance.

The DTM and Server Common Components have been engineered to deliver platform agnostic solutions. This means that the resulting components can be deployed on Windows, Linux or Apple operating systems. This has brought a new dimension of scalability from simple skid-based asset management to full cloud-based, data rich enterprise systems.

An amazing feature of how the new FDT 3.0 standard is engineered is that all FDT 3.0 DTMs automatically provide full OPC UA support without additional effort or coding. This means that any authorized OPC UA client can browse the project structure in the FDT Server to find the device specific, real-time information. This provides easy integration of live plant floor data into apps, dashboards, MES, ERP and CMMS applications without the need to touch the DCS or PLC configuration. We have ensured the free and easy access to this information through a built-in and fully “wired” OPC UA server within the FDT Server Common Components.

Whether you are developing DTMs, FDT Servers or FDT Desktop applications, I think you will find that FDT 3.0 Common Components enable a compelling business case for the rapid and cost-effective engineering of FDT 3.0 enabled solutions. The scalability, secure remote access and the data rich environment that FDT 3.0 provides drives the realization of next generation automation solutions from which customers will benefit today.

Lee Lane – Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors

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