Updated software optimizes testing and certification of FDT2-compliant DTMs
The FDT Group, an independent, international, not-for-profit industry association supporting FDT® Technology, today announced the release of dtmINSPECTOR4, a robust software tool designed to automate testing of Device Type Managers (DTMs) in compliance with the FDT2™ specification.
The updated dtmINSPECTOR enables manufacturers of field devices for process, hybrid and factory automation to optimize their testing and certification procedures based on the current FDT2 specification. FDT standardizes the communication and configuration interface between devices and host systems, providing a common environment for accessing devices’ most sophisticated features. Suppliers add DTM software to their products, and compliant Frame Applications communicate via DTMs using digital protocols with each device. Any FDT-compliant device can be configured, operated, and maintained through a standardized user interface – regardless of supplier, type or communication protocol.
According to Glenn Schulz, managing director of the FDT Group, the release of dtmINSPECTOR4 opens the door to wider implementation of FDT2, including features for enhanced security and performance for mega-installations, as well as support of modern automation platforms. “The use of dtmINSPECTOR4 as part of a comprehensive test program will help meet market demand for FDT Technology and certified FDT2 DTMs on a wide range of automation projects,” Schulz said. “Our testing solution enables interoperability between automation systems and field devices, and provides end users with greater peace of mind.”
He added, “For automation suppliers, dtmINSPECTOR4 will drive the growth of FDT2-based products. The software aligns with our Common Components toolkit, which provides developers with pre-written and pre-tested FDT specification requirements to speed, product development, testing and certification process. This approach simplifies DTM testing since the Common Components inherently meet many of our test cases.”
A successfully completed dtmINSPECTOR test is the fundamental prerequisite for receiving a certificate from the FDT Group. The rigorous testing software tool determines the conformance of all types of DTMs (communication, device and gateway), including test cases that ensure compliance with the FDT specification, Common Components and the Style Guide maximizing interoperability success. Once the testing sequence is completed for a DTM with “passing results” by an FDT accredited test site, test results are sent to the FDT Group certification office where the DTM receives the official electronic certification mark acknowledging specification compliance, and thus an important mark of quality for manufacturers and users alike.
Beside the necessary functionalities for certification, dtmINSPECTOR4 delivers all the properties to effectively ensure DTM development compliance. The tool’s scripting engine enables developers to write their own functional test cases for a device. In doing so, the developer can create a powerful test environment providing optimal support throughout the DTM development process.
The new dtmINSPECTOR4 tool is available to all FDT Group members for pre-testing DTMs during development and available on a no-charge basis with only an annual maintenance fee to provide for ongoing support of the tool. Members in good standing may receive an annual license key and download information by contacting the FDT Group Business Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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™ is a trademark of the FDT Group AISBL.