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Field Device Integration

Field Device Integration, or FDI for short, is simply the rationalization of benefits of EDDL and FDT/DTM technologies. End users across the world recognized the benefits of both EDDL and FDT and so they looked for an integration solution to have the best of both worlds. Users requested a uniform device integration solution for process industries that will span across all host systems and devices regardless of device manufacturer. It was, therefore, critically important that Fieldbus Foundation, HART and Profibus protocols all be an integral part of this direction.

The Field Device Integration effort was announced in 2007 at the Interkama/Hannover trade fair. The original FDI effort consisted of a combination of representatives from the FDT Group and the EDDL Cooperation Team.

 

Formation of FDI Cooperation LLC

In September 2011, a new joint company, FDI Cooperation, LLC (a limited liability company under US law), was formed. The new company is headed by a Board of Managers that includes representatives from the Fieldbus Foundation, FDT Group, HART Communications Foundation, OPC Foundation and PROFIBUS and PROFINET International. Most of the major process automation suppliers are also lending their support including ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens, and Yokogawa. FDI probably has the broadest base of support of any technology in the process automation market today.

fdi_cooperation_group

The true goal of FDI is to make life easier for the end user. FDI promises a common set of development tools and a single path to managing the flood of information from intelligent devices across different networks to the applications and ultimately the people that need it. It offers standardization, transparency, and, ultimately, reduced cost. The Fieldbus Foundation is committed to the long-term success of FDI.  

 

How does FDI work?

At the core of the FDI architecture is what is called the Device Package. The Device Package is the functional equivalent of the organizational structure of all of the elements that make up a field device at its software level. In other words, a user can think of the Device Package as a filing cabinet for the device. Inside of that filing cabinet are all of the relevant folders and files a system needs in order to understand and talk to the device. Each FDI Device Package contains a mandatory device description that provides parameter definitions, structure for the parameters for context-specific views, and automated work processes for device procedures such as calibration. FDI device packages may also include user interface plug-ins, software components that support advanced device setup, and diagnostic functions. Product manuals, documentation, images, electronic certifications, and other attachments may also be delivered in the FDI Device Package.

FDI device packages make it easier for automation suppliers to develop and integrate intelligent devices, because suppliers only need to create a single, unified package for each intelligent device that can work with all host systems and tools. This reduces overall development costs, while preserving and expanding existing functionality. Users will also find it easier to manage information from intelligent devices with a single device package, instead of juggling different technologies and investing significant capital in custom integration efforts to connect multiple technology platforms.

Below is a functional view of an FDI Device Package.

fdi_functional_view

 

To learn more about FDI, including its formation, goals, design and development as well as its advantages and benefits across the plant lifecycle, please review the interactive video below.

fdi_video_screen_image_v1

 

How is FOUNDATION impacted by FDI?

Since FDI is built upon EDDL, they are an integral part of one another. In order to gain the advantages unlocked by FDI, some changes needed to be made to EDDL. First, there needed to be an effort to harmonize the standards of FOUNDATION, HART and Profibus in order to make them operate efficiently and effectively between different manufacturers. Second, new features needed to be added to the EDDL standard in order to make FDI possible. Finally, FDI specific features had to be integrated. These 3 items combined are what help users unlock the advantages of FDI.

Version 6.0 and above of the Fieldbus Foundation's Device Description Language (DDL) Specification is where these new enhances have been added. It is available for download to license holders of our FOUNDATION Technical Specifications. Member access in the Fieldbus Forums is required.

Access the FDI Compliant Specification Here

 

Need More Information?

We have developed a great whitepaper on FDI you can view below:

FDI Whitepaper FDI Technical Whitepaper
thumb_fdi_whitepaper_frontpage thumb_fdi_whitepaper_frontpage

 

Looking for FDI Specifications?

Visit http://www.fdi-cooperation.com/technology.html.

 

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