Changing of the Guard

Jan. 20, 2015
Retirements, consolidations spur changes in FDT Group

As you may have noticed by the new byline, the FDT Group has undergone some change at the conclusion of 2014. It is a great honor for me to have been voted as the new Chairman of the Board by the FDT Group Board of Directors during our October Board meeting in Bad Pyrmont, Germany, hosted by Phoenix Contact. The FDT Group is an outstanding organization and I embrace the opportunity to add my leadership to the momentum.

Since joining the FDT Board in 2011, I have always enjoyed the leadership of Chairperson Hartmut Wallraf of Invensys . His rich industry knowledge and his knack for building consensus have been great assets for the FDT Group. But with the recent acquisition of Invensys by Schneider Electric, it was decided that their two FDT Group memberships would be consolidated. This caused Mr. Wallraf to announce his retirement from Chairman of the Board position he has held since 2008. The FDT Group has seen steady growth during his tenure, with a crowning achievement of the release of the FDT2 standard in 2012. I wish Hartmut well in his future endeavors.

At the end of 2014 we also saw the retirement of one of the founding members of the FDT Group, Dr. Raimund Sommer of Endress+Hauser. Dr. Sommer has been a driving force of the FDT Group since its earliest days as a loose association of companies that had a concept for accessing device intelligence with an open standard. A glance through the minutes and other records of the FDT Group show his strong guiding hand present for more than ten years. His retirement from Endress+Hauser brings to close a significant number of chapters in the FDT history book. It is hard to imagine an FDT leadership meeting without him present. Congratulations, Raimund on your retirement.

The Board of Directors took action to approve Francois Ichtertz as the new Board member representing Endress+Hauser. Mr. Ichtertz is the Marketing Director of Process Solutions at Endress+Hauser. The Board also appointed Mr. Terry Minns of Schneider Electric as the new Secretary of the Board. My thanks to Shannon Foos of Rockwell Automation for her past service in this role.

The FDT Group membership is in the final member review stage of the new dtmINSPECTOR tool for FDT2 DTMs. This critical piece of technology allows developers of FDT2 DTMs to confirm that their DTMs are in compliance with the FDT2 standard. It is the same tool used by our independent test labs to certify that FDT2 DTMs are compliant with the standard prior to issuing a certificate of compliance. If history is any indication, we will see companies jockey for position to be the first to certify an FDT2 DTM. Our Test and Certification Working Group, led by Guenther Grady of Endress+Hauser, has put in countless hours to ensure the organization is ready for the end-to-end process of testing FDT2 DTMs and issuing certifications. I look forward to reporting the early results in a future newsletter.

Our marketing committees around the world have prepared another banner year of events and activities for 2015. I hope you have the chance to attend - a snapshot of some of the events are listed in this newsletter. It would my pleasure to meet you in person at an FDT event near you.

- Lee Lane
Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors

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