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FDI Project Team Achieves Development Milestones

Karlsruhe, May 12th 2009 — The Steering Committee of the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) Cooperation Team (ECT) announces, that their technical team has achieved important milestones in its effort to develop a common solution for field device integration (FDI). The FDI Project Team has successfully worked over 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. It has also drafted an architecture concept migrating participating technologies to a common device integration standard.

The results of the FDI project are based on close cooperation among key global process control suppliers, including ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Smar and Yokogawa as well as the members of the ECT.

The FDI team performed a complete inventory of use case analysis and designed a draft architecture concept and a draft functional specifications. The architecture is a client/server structure based on OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) technologies. The Field device integration is realized by a “Device Package” provided by the device supplier containing EDDL components and an optional programmed component for programmed user interfaces.

This design will allow complete flexibility to develop customized user interfaces.

The current phase of the project includes development of the detail specifications followed by validation of the specifications 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.

About the ECT

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


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