Why Control System Manufacturers Should Try Out the iDTM for FDI

July 8, 2014
FDT, FDI and iDTM combine to make life easier for automation personnel.

The world could be so easy:

You connect a field device to the communication infrastructure; the system software in the control room will detect it and automatically select the correct driver. Just imagine how the end user would be released from the burden of acquisition and selection of drivers. Users could take care of all their tasks again without checking name plates, installations and software versions. For your customers, this could be an important argument in the selection of the control system or plant asset management software.

The question is: Can FDT, FDI and iDTM contribute to this scenario?

FDT is the leading software technology in device integration when it comes to the variety of supported bus protocols. As Glenn Schulz, the Managing Director of FDT Group, presented at this year's Hanover Fair press conference, FDT is supporting in principle all major communication protocols in the field of process and factory automation. Furthermore, a technology update was made in order to fit the latest Microsoft technology with FDT2. FDT is proven and used in numerous plants around the world.

The focus of FDI within  process automation (HART, Foundation Fieldbus and PROFIBUS) is to achieve a standardization of tools. For a long time, all three communication protocols successfully used the textual description of field devices defined by the EDDL (Electronic Device Description Language). The relevant language standards, translators, interpreters and development tools have been maintained by separate interest groups even though their contents were not substantially different. FDI was launched by leading manufacturers and by major bus organizations (HCF, FF and PI) with the aim to create a uniform integration technology by combining the advantages of EDDL and FDT. This great step alone will bring end users significant simplification in the future. FDI Device Packages will then allow the operation of field devices for process automation.

This is all well and good, but end users may ask whether they have to replace previously installed FDT systems or whether it’s possible to connect FDT and FDI? Also, system manufacturers can probably not expect their customers (the end users) to exchange their complete software environment just because of a new device integration technology.

These concerns are why the CodeWrights iDTM-technology is coming into consideration, to help end users overcome technological barriers. For more than five years, this product has been used by the industry in the form of iDTM-EDD, either for HART or FOUNDATION Fieldbus EDDs. More than 800 HART and more than 400 FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices are made available in FDT-Frames, making life easier for many people.

Shortly, FDI will be commercially available. Then the iDTM-FDI will allow FDI Device Packages for FDT systems to be easy to implement. And it offers the basis of FDT2! As shown in Hanover in a real-world installation, this gives all FDT2 system manufacturers an easy way to turn their FDT2 Frame into an FDI host with just a flick of a finger.

Try it out and convince yourself of the simplicity of our solution. Demystify the subject of FDI and FDT for yourself, your system and your customers. For more information about the free, non-binding pilot program, please contact [email protected].

Companies in this Article