November 30, 2018 – FieldComm Group has announced the availability of version 1.3.0 of the FDI development tools for field devices and host systems. These updated tools allow suppliers to develop a broader range of products with fewer tools and better capabilities, while enhancing security and integration capability for their customers.
The versions are another step forward in unifying devices and systems on a single integration standard irrespective of underlying protocols. By removing protocol dependencies, FDI enables sensor level data to be shared across the enterprise and enables big data analysis to provide deeper insights into user’s assets. The tools include; FDI Device Package Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and FDI Common Host Components (CHC).
Major features provided in these updates include:
Device Variant Support – Currently only related to PROFIBUS/PROFINET, device variants allow a field device to be modeled for multiple possible applications. For example, a vendor may have a single pressure transmitter that can be configured to measure absolute pressure, level, or flow. This eases offline configuration and speeds commissioning.
FDI Information Model Server (IMS)– This OPC UA based development server is used to expose field device information to OPC-UA clients. A typical use is for device developers to test the connection of field device information to cloud applications using FDI and OPC UA. Host system suppliers can also use the FDI IMS as a reference implementation creating commercial FDI Information Model Servers.
Cyber Security Updates– enhancements related to signature validation have been added to bolster FDI’s security capabilities in the era of Industrial Internet of Things.
FDI provides some benefits to the user community, namely: FDI Device Package signatures; sandbox environments for UIPs to run in; support for FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART, HART IP, WirelessHART, ISA100.11a, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, and Generic Protocol Extension for any number of protocols; backward compatibility to EDD technology.
The support by the industry standards bodies represented above illustrates FieldComm Group’s message of unifying the industry to be more collaborative amongst its peers to ensure we meet the needs of the user community first and foremost. As the industry transitions to the IIoT, there is a growing demand to ensure the needs of the users are met in terms of integrating products. To address this need, FieldComm Group has been testing and registering products to verify conformance to its standards and has been an important step for device manufacturers to ensure robust, compliant solutions. Having products formally tested and registered offers a level of assurance to users that the product will integrate into their enterprise regardless of manufacturer.
About FDI Technology
FDI solves the problem of integrating field devices with the multitude of networks, operating systems, and control systems used in the process industries. FDI technology is developed and supported by FieldComm Group, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International, OPC Foundation, FDT Group, and ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute and aims to become the de facto global standard for field device integration independent of underlying device protocols. With FDI the advantages of FDT® are combined with those of EDDL in a single, scalable solution. FDI takes account of the various tasks over the entire lifecycle for both simple and the most complex devices, including configuration, commissioning, diagnosis and calibration.