FDT Group Announces IIoT Server and Extensions at SPS in Nuremberg

FDT IIoT Server

FDT IIoT Server

The FDT Group announced a revised mission statement, an IIoT Server, and agreements with other organizations—OPC Foundation, ODVA for CIP, and AutomationML–at its press conference at SPS 2016 in Nuremberg.

This highlights the role of technology organizations in this connected era—they must cooperate and collaborate or die.

“FDT is the open standard for industrial automation integration of networks and devices, harnessing IIoT and Industrie 4.0 for enterprise-wide connectivity” proclaims the organization on its updated Website.

The FDT Group launched FDT/IIoT Server (FITS) for mobility, cloud, and fog enterprise applications. The FITS solution protects industry investments in FDT through advanced business logic, well-defined interfaces and common components, and enables operating system (OS) agnostic implementation of the technology while supporting today’s integrated automation architecture.

The server features robust layered security leveraging vetted industry standards and utilizing encrypted communications with transport layer security (TLS).

FITS also takes advantage of an OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) annex enabling sensor-to-cloud, enterprise-wide connectivity in industrial control systems used in the process, hybrid and factory automation markets. Together, FDT and OPC UA allow sensor, network and topology information to permeate the enterprise, including mobile devices, distributed control systems (DCSs), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, the cloud, and the IIoT and Industry 4.0.

According to Glenn Schulz, managing director of the FDT Group, the FITS solution represents the key architectural role that FDT plays in an intelligent enterprise. “The FDT Group is working with the various IIoT initiatives around the world to ensure that our new architecture meets their emerging requirements,” Schulz said. “In addition, the FDT platform is being enhanced to include operating system agnostic support for standard browsers, fit-for-purpose apps, and general web services for any potential expansion. These advancements underscore our support for the hundreds of thousands of installed FDT/FRAMES and tens of millions of FDT-enabled products in the global installed base.”

It announced the release of an annex to the FDT standard for the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA).
The FDT/OPC UA annex is intended for implementation by automation system manufacturers in FDT Frame Applications (FDT/FRAMEs). System suppliers with an FDT/FRAME embedded in their distributed control system (DCS), asset management system, programmable logic controller (PLC) or other system have the ability to include an OPC UA server in an application accessible from any OPC UA client application.

The combined FDT/OPC standards create a single system infrastructure that standardizes the connection of industrial networks, automation systems and devices. This approach enables unification of system engineering, configuration and diagnosis in Industrie 4.0, and supports Industrie 4.0 devices, but is also able to build a bridge to Industrie 3.0 networks and devices.

Also announced was release of an updated annex to the current FDT standard for ODVA’s media-independent Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). Network adaptations of CIP include EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet. The latest version of the CIP annex to the FDT specification enables the use of proven and widely implemented ODVA networks in FDT/FRAME Applications with the latest enhancements.

And a further announcement was integration of the open AutomationML data exchange standard into open, non-proprietary FDT Technology. Together, the two standards will help advance global adoption of Industrie 4.0 solutions.

First developed in 2006, AutomationML is intended to standardize data exchange in the engineering phase of production systems.

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