FDT® Technology holds the key to integrating any device, system or network in today’s complex industrial automation architecture. It consists of two major software components:
- FRAME™ Application (FDT/FRAME™)
- Device Type Manager™ (FDT/DTM™)
Together, an FDT/FRAME and a DTM or a collection of DTMs create an FDT-enabled application, which can be scaled from a single device to tens of thousands of devices controlled by a single FRAME throughout the automation communication pyramid.
An FDT/FRAME, whether it’s a device configuration tool, system engineering tool, operator console, or asset management tool provides access to all devices, gateway and communication components with single-point access to operational assets. With the aid of this component, the information of processes in the field is accessible in real-time and available across the life-cycle of a plant or application.
The FDT/FRAME provides a common runtime environment and renders a graphical user interface to DTMs, and is the unifying tool embedded in system/host applications like asset management tools, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) or Distributed Control Systems (DCSs).
The FDT/FRAME is designed to administer entire device instances and save their data without the need to possess device-specific knowledge. This guarantees enterprise-wide, uniform life-cycle management, and supports multi-workstation and single workstation environments.
A DTM™ is a software component for an intelligent device or communication component within a digital network. It contains all of the parameters, functions, user interface, etc. that represents the device’s most sophisticated features via a graphical display supplied by the manufacturer.
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. All DTMs require an FDT/FRAME system to run.
There are several different types of device DTMs:
Manufacturer-specific DTM – These DTMs offer the greatest functionality and support. A single device DTM can support one or a family of a common type of devices such as pressure or temperature transmitters. These DTMs can be expanded with additional features such as extended configuration and diagnostic capabilities, networking analysis or curve display.
Interpreter DTM – These DTMs are not uniquely programmed for a specific device. Instead, they interpret these other types of device representations, for example: Device Descriptions (DDs), Electronic Device Descriptions (EDDs), Field Device Integration (FDI) Device Packages, and IODD to allow configuration and parameter access within an FDT/FRAME- enabled system.
Generic (Universal) DTM – A Generic DTM has the ability to universally represent all devices with the compliant parameters of a specific protocol, creating simplicity in the architecture employed by a single DTM within the FDT/FRAME system. As an example: With a generic HART DTM, these are the parameters that can be reached under the term “Universal and Common Practice Commands.”
Communication DTM (CommDTM) – A 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. The communication DTM consequently acts as the standardized device driver for one or multiple protocols.
Gateway DTMs – These DTMs allow communication to transition between the communications paths of different protocols in the FDT architecture. Gateway DTMs act as a link between the communication DTM and device DTM. They allow the cascade of information being communicated to move bi-laterally (downstream and upstream).