A joint venture of five automation foundations called FDI Cooperation, LLC, which consists of FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, Profibus & Profinet International, and OPC Foundation, has developed a single common solution for field device integration (FDI). Headed by a “board of managers,” FDI Cooperation is composed of representatives from the involved organizations, as well as managers of global automation suppliers including ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens, and Yokogawa.
FDI was created with the mandate to develop one technology for the management of information that comes from all intelligent devices throughout the plant. Its mission also includes: completing standardization under the International Electrotechnical Commission; manage the specification; finalizing toolkits for system and device manufacturers; promoting and providing high-quality technology support; providing technology that is fully backward compatible; and ensuring stability, interoperability and compatibility of FDI-based products.
End users with either an FDT or EDDL-based host will have a single source solution for managing information from intelligent field devices, no longer needing to manage disparate device descriptions. Combining the advantages of FDT with those of EDDL in a single, scalable solution, FDI is applicable for simple to complex devices, including configuration, commissioning, remote diagnostics, and calibration.
A first draft of FDI specifications was published in late 2011. Test concepts and completion of the validation, as well as release of the FDI specifications for member review within the foundations, are expected to occur by mid-2012. Completion of the FDI standard host components, such as EDD Engine and User Interface (UI) Engine by the FDI Cooperation are expected by the end of the year.
The FDI website is still under construction >> http://www.fdi-cooperation.com