Profibus Device Integration with FDT® 2.0

September 20, 2016

Thorsis Technologies supplies first certified communication and generic device DTMs for Profibus DP

The FDT Group, an independent, international, not-for-profit industry association supporting FDT® Technology, today announced the certification of the first Device Type Managers™ (DTMs™) compliant with the FDT 2.0 specification. FDT is the most widely adopted standard for industrial device integration.

FDT Technology holds the key to integrating any device, system or network in today’s complex industrial automation architecture. A Distributed Control System (DCS), Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), asset management application or other solution enabled with an FDT/FRAME seamlessly employs DTMs as software drivers for intelligent devices supplied by instrument manufacturers. A Communication DTM (CommDTM) is the first DTM to be activated upon communication setup in an FDT/FRAME system. It standardizes the communication channel to the corresponding communication operations of the mapped network protocol. A Generic DTM has the ability to universally represent all devices with compliant parameters of a specific protocol, creating simplicity in the architecture employed by a single DTM within the FDT/FRAME system.

A DTM or collection of DTMs are plugged into an FDT/FRAME enabled system – simplifying device integration and lifecycle management from sensor to enterprise with performance-driven data of connected devices for engineering, asset management, control systems and other applications through a standardized user interface – no matter the supplier, device type/function, communication protocol or route taken to get to the device.

Thorsis Technologies (previously ifak system GmbH), a developer of industrial communication and distributed automation solutions based in Magdeburg, Germany, supplied the first DTMs meeting conformance requirements based on the FDT 2.0 specification for Profibus DP. Two DTMs are now FDT certified and available to the market: the “isPro CommDTM V4,” which allows seamless communication of all devices on the Profibus network; and the “isPro Generic Device DTM,” which looks inside each device providing operational management, including configuration information and status of each device within the centralized FDT/FRAME system environment.

“The global end-user community is driving the demand for FDT-enabled solutions employing FDT 2.0 Technology, and thus the growth of our certification program,” said Glenn Schulz, managing director of the FDT Group. “Based on modern Microsoft .NET technology, the FDT 2.0 standard maintains proven FDT heritage, but includes numerous performance enhancements while ensuring backward compatibility with our existing installed base. We are pleased manufacturers are responding to industry requirements by bringing certified FDT/DTMs based on the FDT 2.0 specification to market.”

Thorsis Technologies’ Michael Huschke commented, “Our company is proud to offer the first certified FDT 2.0 DTMs to the global automation community. This development will help the industrial sector reach a new level of intelligent device integration with improved security and interoperability. End users can concentrate on operational workflows instead of having to spend time worrying about infrastructure.”

The FDT Group oversees a worldwide, independently owned and operated network of accredited testing laboratories that are regularly audited to ensure compliance with the FDT testing and certification requirements. The objective of FDT certification is to ensure interoperability by testing the conformance of DTMs with the FDT specification. Systematic tests performed during the certification procedure dramatically reduce the probability of interoperability issues, thus avoiding potential integration costs and project delays by the user.

To certify a DTM based on the FDT 2.0 version, it is necessary to use the DTM Common Components, which provide developers with pre-written and pre-tested FDT specification requirements to speed the product development, testing and certification process. This approach simplifies DTM testing since the Common Components inherently meet the established test cases, which creates consistency in the interface between the DTM and the FRAME for seamless integration.

More than 8,000 devices currently are supported by FDT-certified DTMs, making it the most widely adopted standard for integration of devices in industrial control systems. For a complete list of certified DTMs, please visit the FDT Group website.

About FDT Group AISBL

The FDT Group AISBL is an international non-profit corporation consisting of over 100 leading worldwide member companies active in industrial automation manufacturing — whether it be process, factory or hybrid. The major purpose of the FDT Group is to provide an open and non-proprietary standardized 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; to provide development tools, support, and training; to coordinate field trials and demonstrations; and to enable product interoperability.

FDT® is a registered trademark, and FDT2™, Device Type Manager™ and DTM™ are trademarks of the FDT Group AISBL.


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