ECT & FDT Update
The Fieldbus Foundation has praised an agreement by the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) and FDT Group to combine efforts and work towards a single, unified solution for device integration compatible with both technologies.
The historic automation industry agreement, announced jointly by ECT and FDT representatives at the Interkama 2007 exhibition in Hanover, Germany, lays the groundwork for developing a common device integration technology benefiting both instrumentation end users and manufacturers. As part of the agreement, the FDT Group will join the ECT as its newest member. The two organizations will work together to finalise this solution and achieve a common framework meeting the requirements of all parties. Future technology developments will use a subset of the OPC Unified Architecture (UA) within a client-server architecture. In addition, both groups have agreed to consolidate the advantages of EDDL and FDT technologies.
For more information about this cooperation agreement, click here.
Visit www.eddl.org for more information.
Download the EDDL Brochure HERE
Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is a programming language used to create Device Descriptions (DDs) to describe the attributes of field devices in an Operating System (OS) and Human Machine Interface (HMI)-neutral environment. EDDL is used to create DDs for functions such as generic digital and analog input/output modules, HMI displays and transmitters, on-off and regulating valves, and closed-loop controller diagnostics.
How the technology works
EDDL is a universal, proven and state-of-the-art method of accessing diagnostic, real-time and asset management information contained in more than 20 million compliant field instruments from a host of manufacturers, and to provide optimum data and device interoperability.
EDDL is a text-based description of the variables contained in field devices, such as flow, pressure, drive speed, ambient temperature, high and low limits, calibration settings, and so on. The description defines each variable, and describes the way to access it.
With EDDL technology, a user can calibrate instruments, diagnose problems, provide data for user interface displays, identify process alarms and obtain information needed for high-level software, such as MES, UI/SCADA, plant historians, asset management and ERP.
A true platform-independent solution
EDDL is supported by virtually every vendor of process control systems worldwide, and the information it describes is available in any Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation or Profibus User Organization based field device. As such, end users can easily profit from all device data provided by the EDD.
One EDD can be used everywhere—in asset management systems, process control systems, OPC-UA servers, hosted solutions, and even in a handheld terminal.
Industry cooperation extends EDDL
EDDs extend the concept of interoperability. EDDL supports device diagnostics, asset management, user interface displays, bar charts, trends, device signatures and historian functions. Enhancements submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and a revision to the international standard was approved in 2006 as IEC 61804-3. The developments, culminating in the new IEC standard 61804-3, substantially increase performance—through improvements in the capabilities of user interfaces and of data storage.
In addition, the OPC Foundation announced its adoption of EDDL in 2005 as the descriptive technology used in its Unified Architecture (UA). OPC is a standard interface definition for client and server applications. An OPC UA server will provide device and automation component data and their EDDs to client applications (e.g., HMI, MES, asset management and device applications).
Setting up user interfaces is now easier with standardized dialog windows and standardized representation of simple texts and dynamic variables, images, diagrams and archive files. User interfaces and displays have a uniform appearance, regardless of the device protocol or EDD process environment. Only the data-relevant aspects are standardized, not the shape and color of the elements. Systems and tool developers can achieve a look and feel that reflects that of their own product and design philosophy. For users of a tool or operating system, this means all their devices can be represented in consistent manner. However, the information displayed is read from the EDD and is completely determined by the supplier of the field device.
EDDL is fully backward compatible to 1990. Device Descriptions from more than 20 million compatible instruments installed in the field—plus all the new field instruments added to a control system—can be readily accessed.
Moreover, since virtually every control system on the market today has access to asset management software, all the complete stored data or online data of the devices described with EDDL is easily accessible from outside EDDL for any purpose—from instrument calibration to diagnostics for maintenance.
EDDL also includes new data storage functionalities that further improve archiving. With “persistent data storage,” manufacturers can store data from the device in a host application without requiring the device to recognize conventions for saving the data under the host system. In this case, the EDDL interpreter works as a go-between, taking instructions from the EDD and initiating the archiving procedure. The key benefit: the data format and semantics are known to the control system or tool and are thus readily available for onward processes.
This new functionality enables a whole new set of applications. A valve diagnostics application, for instance, is now able to write signatures based on EDD instructions into an archive that can be mined and evaluated at a later stage—without requiring the operator to bother with host-specific data storage and archiving procedures. Here, too, the extensions are based on the existing IEC 61804-3 standard.
Visit www.eddl.org for more information.
Download the EDDL Brochure below
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