FDI Project Team Achieves Development Milestones

The Steering Committee of the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) Cooperation Team (ECT) announces that its technical team has achieved important milestones as it develops a common solution for field device integration (FDI). The FDI project team worked the past 18 months to identify use cases encompassing all facets of plant operations: from start up and commissioning; to ongoing maintenance activities and plant operations. A key outcome of the team is a draft architecture that migrates Field Device Tool (FDT) and EDDL technologies to a common device integration standard.


The success of the FDI project is the result of close cooperation between the ECT and key global process control suppliers including ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Smar and Yokogawa.


Along with the draft architecture, the technical team performed a complete inventory of use cases and wrote a draft functional specification. The solution is a client/server structure based on the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA). The FDI solution contains two elements: a “Device Package” provided by the device supplier containing EDDL components and an optional programmed application for customized user interfaces.
This design permits complete flexibility for users to develop customized user interfaces to meet individual needs.


The next milestone of the project is the development of detailed specifications of the FDI solution. The specifications will then be validated by each of the member organizations which will begin during the second quarter of 2009.


Details of the exact FDI architecture and associated device interface will be unveiled with the release of the final functional specification, currently planned for the summer of 2010.


ECT (EDDL Cooperation Team): In 2003, the three leading field device foundations (Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation and PROFIBUS Nutzer-organisation) signed a cooperative agreement to develop a common specification for graphical visualization and persistent data storage enabled by EDDL.  All three of the organizations utilize EDDL for parameterization and description of their devices.  In 2004, the OPC Foundation joined the cooperation team.  With EDDL™, an established IEC standard (61804-3), it made sense for the OPC Foundation to base their data structure on that same standard and work with the organizations to develop a standard interface to OPC UA. The four organizations signed an agreement in 2004 to cooperate in the development of that interface. In 2007, the FDT Group joined the ECT on the basis of a technical agreement to jointly develop a new common standard for device integration. The Steering Committee is comprised of the presidents of each foundation plus one representative from each organization’s membership.  Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller is chairman of the committee.


This is a joint press release by:

Fieldbus Foundation
Profibus Nutzerorganisation
HART Communication Foundation
OPC Foundation