Unified Environment Delivers IT/OT Data Harmonization and Mobility

May 10, 2022

Manufacturing continues to headline daily in my newsfeed as the world remains unresolved as supply chain and energy continue to be the global focus. The world’s critical infrastructure needs automation modernization to keep pace with the fast-moving world and pivot with demands.

For decades the manufacturing space has turned towards digital expansion at the field management level, exploring the inner workings of process inefficiencies with a keen eye on OT data diagnostics to improve reliability solutions for operations and production. Today, the digital push has climbed to higher-level use cases pushing OT data to the IT/enterprise and cloud to expand the benefits of data analytics from the converged data worlds.

Data harmonization is the force behind manufacturing modernization, but what the industry lacks is the unified environment inherent at the core of the architecture with distributed control allowing the application to connect and communicate for modern asset management.

FDT’s strength has always been tied to the digital world by enabling data interoperability and visualization, with millions of device DTMs, delivering field-level diagnostics to FDT hosting (DCS, IAMS, PLC) environments in a single project view, no matter the network topology. However, with new use cases supporting IIoT connectivity, the industry can now benefit from the new FDT (3.0) Unified Environment supporting a core IT/OT data-centric server and web-based DTMs.  The new FDT UE solution delivers modernized ways of accessing device intelligence, including OPC UA client access and browser access via phones and tablets. FDT UE-based applications unlock smart manufacturing, allowing users to securely connect and communicate – delivering comprehensive control, configuration, monitoring, and mobility independent of network, device, or industry!

FDT 3.0 is real and here! I am excited to announce that the first group of member companies will showcase their FDT 3.0 DTM prototypes and host (server and desktop) applications at Hannover Messe, 30 May – 2 June 2022. FDT Group will have a prime corner location in the OPC Foundation booth in Hall 8, Stand F07. Special thanks to Thomas Hadlich, FDT’s Architecture and Specification Chairman, for leading the first FDT UE demo mission. Come by our booth and test-drive the new FDT Server running process and factory applications on popular communication protocols, including IO-Link and HART. I am impressed by all the member companies who contributed FDT 3.0 and 2.0 device and communication DTMs, and Desktop hosting environments. Congrats to Flowserve, Krohne, Omron, Magnetrol, Thorsis, CodeWrights, VEGA, Rockwell Automation, Turck, PACTware and M&M Software for being our front runners.

In addition to Hannover, the FDT Group Annual General Assembly will take place virtually on 1 June 2022. This will be the first year the General Assembly is open to the entire automation community. We have an excellent lineup of FDT subject matter experts and Officers covering our traditional business, and technical updates.  I’m delighted with our special keynote speaker, Paul R. Maurath, Ph.D., Technical Director – Process Automation, The Procter & Gamble Company, with a presentation highlighting the industry stresses of intelligent device management. New to FDT or not, this is a great event to gain insight. Plan to attend!

FDT teams have worked endlessly behind the scenes to make FDT UE and the developer tools a reality at such a critical time in manufacturing. The time is right – act now by specifying FDT 3.0 for your next application focused on intelligent device management and experience the Unified Environment unlocking data transparency needed for scaling smart manufacturing applications. FDT 3.0 Common Component tool kits for the vendor community are available to jump-start development or migrate current offerings. Visit the FDT Resource area of the website to download the latest FDT 3.0 brochures, white papers, specifications, information model, and communication annexes.

If you are interested in learning more about FDT or the new FDT (3.0) UE solution, please reach out to the FDT Business Office at [email protected].

Lee Lane – Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors

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