FDT Specification Enhanced to Incorporate Factory Automation Protocols

February 4, 2008

FDT Group releases specifications for Profinet I/O and Modbus communication  applications, enhancing our position as the solution of choice for vendor independent integration of devices and systems.

The FDT Group announces the release of the annexes for Profinet I/O and Modbus to its specification, which is the next step towards the application of the FDT technology in factory automation applications.  The annex or addendums include the XML schemas required to implement a Device Type Manager (DTM) for devices connected to the respective protocols.  The specifications are now available to all FDT Group Members and enable the integration of FDT technology into devices and system applied to discrete and factory applications.

As already verified in Process Automation applications, vendor-independent integration of systems and devices reduces the complexity and total cost of ownership of the automation system.  These cost savings are apparent in simpler engineering, reduced number of tools and reduced project complexity.

In addition, more annexes to the specification are under development:

  • The CIP annex will be amended with The final draft is now under member review.
  • The ASi annex draft version is in its final stage before members’ review after that prototyping will be done.
  • The working group for IO Link started its work in May 2007 and a first draft is now available. Prototypes have been recently displayed at the SPS/IPC/Drives fair.
  • Addressing the needs of the machine builders, a new working group is scheduled to start in December to develop the specification for the CANopen protocol.

Manfred Brill, member of the FDT executive committee and chair of the Factory Automation WG states “These activities show the strong commitment of the FDT Group to its strategy of broadening the range of applications for FDT. We are confident that the advantages already provided by FDT technology in Process Automation will be increasingly recognized by end users in Factory Automation”.

About the FDT Group AISBL

The FDT Group AISBL is a non-profit corporation consisting of over 59 leading worldwide companies active in process and factory automation.   The major purpose of the FDT Group 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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