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Fieldbus Foundation Praises Unified Device Integration Solution

EDDL-FDT groups will develop common technology benefiting suppliers and end users

HANNOVER, Germany, April 17, 2007 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at the Interkama 2007 Trade Fair & Exhibition in Hannover, Germany, today 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 exhibition, 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 organisations 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.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney described the agreement as "a very positive step forward for the automation community in general, and end users in particular."  He said, "On behalf of the Fieldbus Foundation, I applaud the dedicated work of the ECT and FTD Group to arrive at a consensus approach serving the needs of the entire industry.  Their cooperation will satisfy the market's demand for a device integration solution supported by a majority of the world's leading control and instrumentation suppliers."

ECT Chairman and Fieldbus Foundation board member Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller commented, "This agreement, once brought into reality, is a major step forward for device integration in several areas.  It eliminates double efforts for customers and vendors, and preserves backward compatibility and operating system independence.  It is based on the upcoming OPC UA technology, providing EDDL-based integration with the possibility for integrating software applications for highly complex requirements."

He added, "Our agreement is more than a compromise; it is the natural technical evolution based on the most up-to-date, open and flexible technologies.  The ECT welcomes the FDT Group as a new member to shape the future."

Flavio Tolfo, managing director of the FDT Group, also welcomed the agreement.  "This new cooperation follows our targets of openness and freedom of choice for the benefit of end users and is strongly supported by our members," said Tolfo.  "After much discussion, we reached a commitment to work together and protect the investment of each technology for the benefit of end users.  The FDT Group is looking forward to bringing to bear its broad experience of integrating software applications in conjunction with device descriptions by joining the EDDL Cooperation Team to solve end user needs."

About EDDL Cooperation Team

In 2003, the three leading field device foundations, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzer Organisation (PNO), signed a cooperative agreement to develop a common specification for graphical visualisation and persistent data storage enabled by Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL).  All three of the organisations utilise Electronic Device Descriptions (EDDs) for parameterisation and description of their devices.  In 2004, OPC joined the cooperation team.  With EDDLTM, an established IEC standard, it made sense for the OPC specification to base its data structure on that same standard and work with the other organisations to develop a standard interface to the Unified Architecture (UA). The four organisations signed an agreement in 2004 to cooperate in the development of that interface.  The Steering Committee is comprised of the presidents of each foundation, plus one representative from each organisation's membership.  The organisations will rotate the chairmanship of the committee from year to year.  Currently, the HART Communication Foundation member representative, Hans Georg-Kumpfmueller, is chairman of the committee.

About FDT Group AISBL

The FDT Group AISBL is a non-profit corporation consisting of over 57 leading worldwide companies active in process and factory automation.  The major purpose of the FDT Group is to provide an open and non-proprietary interface for the integration of field devices with engineering, automation and asset management systems.  In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations are working together to develop the technology, provide development tools, support and training, coordinate field trials and demonstrations, and enable product interoperability.  Learn more at www.fdtgroup.org.

About the Fieldbus Foundation

The Fieldbus Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation consisting of over 350 leading process and manufacturing automation companies worldwide whose major purpose is to provide an open and neutral environment for the development of a single, international, interoperable fieldbus.  In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organisations are working together to develop the technology, provide development tools, support and training, coordinate field trials and demonstrations, and enable product interoperability.  Visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.

 

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