PROFIBUS International (PI) has transferred the further development of the FDT technology to the FDT Joint Interest Group (FDT JIG), which has completed a revised specification and published it with the agreement of PI.
Apart from clarifications, essential user requirements were integrated into the new specification 1.2.1. Many of these requirements concerning interoperability and version management are based on the items documented in the recommendation NE 105 from NAMUR (Association of users of process control of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry). The realization of one of the most important user requirements ? a style guide for the uniform operation of device classes ? will be available by the end of August 2005. PROFIBUS International is involved in all reviews of the new FDT specification as a cooperation partner of the FDT JIG.
In addition to the already supported PROFIBUS and HART communication protocols, enhancements for FDT application with the Foundation Fieldbus and Interbus have been integrated and are available. The working groups of the FDT JIG are currently working on the specifications for AS interface and CIP (Common Industrial Protocol for DeviceNet and Ethernet/IP). The specification for CIP is being worked on in close cooperation with ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors Association). Results will be available by the end of 2005.
All test and certification procedures for DTMs (Device Type Manager) have been defined and the responsible certification office has been operating since this April. The submission of the FDT specification for international standardization at the IEC was also decided in the Swiss National Committee this April.
The FDT technology unifies the communication interface between field devices and the systems. This is a special technology because it works independent of the communication protocol used and the software environment of the device and the control system. FDT thus makes it possible to call any devices using any protocols via any systems. FDT therefore enhances the EDDL technology.
The FDT Joint Interest Group is supported by the organizations AS-interface, ODVA, OPC Foundation, PACTware Consortium, PROFIBUS International and ZVEI. The goal of the FDT Joint Interest Group is to gain acceptance and facilitate the use of FDT technology in all manufacturing industries of industrial automation, process technology and hybrid applications.