This news holds relevance for those hoping for “open” process control technology.

The co-owners of Process Automation Device Information Model (PA-DIM), including FieldComm Group, ISA 100 WCI, NAMUR, ODVA, OPC Foundation, PROFIBUS and PROFINET International, VDMA, and ZVEI, today announced the release of the PA-DIM Version 1.1 specification. This release, a testament to collective efforts, includes expanded device type support for process analyzers and an enhanced basic hierarchy structure with new extensions, benefiting the industrial user and vendor manufacturing community.

The PA-DIM specification aims to improve information standardization for process automation applications. All co-owners work together to support a unified information model that seamlessly integrates OT data exchange with IT systems and other higher-level applications. This model includes core parameters, capabilities, status, and diagnostic data based on the NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA) initiative. It allows users to access and interpret device information consistently, regardless of the fieldbus protocol, device type, or manufacturer, enhancing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architectures.

Key highlights of the PA-DIM Version 1.1 specification include:

  • Expanded device-type support for process analyzers, including Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Continuous Gas, and pH. This extension broadens the scope of the standard, enabling seamless integration and management of analytical instruments within process automation systems.
  • Enhancement of the basic hierarchy structure to include new extensions such as device condition sets, signal condition sets, and signal calibration. These extensions give users greater flexibility and functionality in representing device information, including attributes such as type, timestamp, and calibrated values.

PA-DIM facilitates various applications, such as:

  • Providing/receiving information to/from HMIs, information apps, and reporting apps.
  • Supporting inventory management and remote monitoring applications.
  • Enabling real-time control applications, such as reading process values and setting parameters.
  • Device configuration and parameterization.
  • Configuring device security and monitoring its current hardening status.
  • Providing information for device dashboards.
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