FDT Group™, an international, non-profit industry association supporting the evolution of FDT® technology for industrial device management today announced that Paul Brooks, manager, technology business development, strategic development for Rockwell Automation; and Rolf Birkhofer, managing director for Endress+Hauser digital solutions have been voted in by the FDT Group member community to serve in leadership roles on the FDT Board of Directors.
The FDT Group Board of Directors sets the executive strategy for the organization and provides governance over the open FDT standard, which directly benefits the global manufacturing automation industries with a unified environment for industrial device management and IT/OT data-driven operations for the process and discrete markets supporting smart manufacturing, efficiency, and sustainability initiatives.
Mr. Brooks and Mr. Birkhofer replaced board members Lee Lane, Rockwell Automation; and Francois Ichtertz, Endress+Hauser, respectively, due to their departure to new roles. They join existing board members including Andre Uhl, Schneider Electric; Michael Kessler, PACTware; Shinji Oda, Yokogawa; and Ed Silva, Flowserve Corporation.
FDT Group Managing Director Steve Biegacki congratulated the newest board members. “We appreciate the service Lee Lane and Francois Ichtertz provided to our organization. Paul Brooks and Rolf Birkhofer bring a wealth of process and factory automation industry experience to their new posts on our board,” Biegacki said. “They will play an important role in guiding the FDT Group organization and FDT/DTM technology roadmap through collaborative initiatives focused on innovation and differentiation that deliver new value to customers.”
Mr. Brooks has over 30 years of experience in the industrial market and currently leads the commercial & technical teams responsible for the strategy around open aspects of the Rockwell Automation System Architecture. This includes Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) and Field Xchange (FX) strategy, EtherNet/IP development, network architecture, 5G direction, and application orchestration. He was a member of FDT Joint Interest Group (JIG) in 2003, recognizes the importance of FDT in the market as a preferred integration standard for UAFX, and is committed to fostering market insights and relationships to allow FDT to develop in parallel with communication technologies to enable innovation.
Mr. Birkhofer’s near 20-year career in industrial automation stems from his electrical engineering background and managing director roles at CodeWrights and Endress+Hauser. Currently overseeing digital solutions for process applications at Endress+Hauser, he is deeply involved with technology standards groups including Advanced Physical Layer (APL), Device Descriptions (DD), Field Device Integration (FDI) and Field Device Tool / Device Type Manager (FDT/DTM). He is committed to prioritizing FDT technology investments that expand end-to-end interoperability and data harmonization, granting new business and service models for industrial markets.