At last, talk of cooperation on standards instead of fighting over them. I’ve received two releases (one from the Fieldbus Foundation and one from Emerson Process Management) supporting the new expanded role of the group previously known as the EDDL Cooperation Team. Members of the group have agreed to enlarge the scope into Field Device Integration (FDI) supporting a uniform device integration solution for process industries across all host systems, devices and protocols as required by end users.

The FDI Cooperation project will initially consist of major industry trade associations, such as the Fieldbus Foundation, FDT Group, Hart Communication Foundation, OPC Foundation and Profibus Nutzerorganisation; as well as leading control equipment suppliers, including ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens and Yokogawa.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney commented, “Adoption of a standardized FDI solution is in the best interest of controls & instrumentation suppliers and end users around the world, since it provides a unified path forward for device integration that is based on use case requirements, incorporates the best aspects of each member technology, and eliminates redundancies where they may exist. FDI also does away with double efforts for customers and vendors, and preserves backward compatibility and operating system independence.”

Timoney added, “The Fieldbus Foundation is in full support of FDI Cooperation and will continue to be a significant contributor to the related development work.”

The FDI project was kicked-off at the 2007 Hanover Fair. At that time the EDDL Cooperation Team welcomed the FDT Group with the primary objective of harmonizing EDDL and FDT/DTM technologies.  Since then, the project has carefully shaped the technology direction for the converged FDI solution. The addition of supplier companies, which have agreed to support FDI packages in their systems and products, will strengthen this effort by providing resources for the completion of this project.

Besides the finalization of the FDI specification, which is scheduled for mid-2010, the FDI Cooperation is covering common design and test tools, common binary format and EDDL interpreter across the Foundation Fieldbus, Hart and Profibus protocols.

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