I am pleased to announce that the European Industrie 4.0 initiative has included the FDT Standard in its recent publication, The Reference Architectural Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). This document is the result of collaboration between three Platform Industrie 4.0 trade organizations ZVEI, VDMA, and BITKOM that analyzed relevant industry standards for inclusion in RAMI 4.0. The RAMI 4.0 document centers around a new three dimensional layer model that facilitates further analysis and classification of relevant technologies. You may learn more about the RAMI 4.0 document in this ZVEI publication.
Two major milestones have been reached within the FDT development community. As you will recall, the development of the FDT2 standard was focused on ease of device and network integration using DTMS and FDI Device Packages while offering significant speed and performance enhancements in a more secure environment. Part of the “ease” of integration is interoperability. So, Common Components were developed to aid product developers by providing a complete tool kit of all of the essential interfaces and core functionality that make up the FDT2 standard. By incorporating the Common Components inside either their Frame Application or DTMs, companies are able to save significant time in product development and deliver a product with greater compliance to the FDT2 standard. With these benefits of FDT2 in mind, I am pleased to report:
- The PACTware association announced the release of its first FDT2 enabled Frame Application, PACTware version 5.0. The PACTware consortium consists of 22 member companies in the device and automation solution industry that commonly develop an open source FDT-based Frame Application that will be distributed by the consortia members. This version of PACTware (5.0) is built upon the FDT2 Common Components to help ensure interoperability and compliance to the standard. Since the new PACTware version is based on FDT2, it offers full backwards compatibility to previous DTM versions. The PACTware consortium represents a large constituency of Frame vendors in the industry - thus the introduction of PACTware on FDT2 represents a major step forward for full adoption of the FDT2 standard in the market. My personal thanks to the PACTware consortium for their leadership in making this technological advancement.
- In a related FDT development, an article in this newsletter announces another major application that is based on FDT2, the Yokogawa PRM tool which is embedded in their automation system. While many configuration management tools are based on the FDT2 standard, this represents an early implementation in a Plant Asset Management (PAM) application that’s grounded in FDT2 Technology.
On the FDT marketing front, I have received word that our European marketing team will be retiring its much publicized integrated brewing display that made appearances at more than 30 venues over the last three years. Its final showing will likely be the SPS/IPC/Drives show later this year. The team is already working on a new display that promises an even more exciting demonstration of the FDT Standard in an integrated process and factory automation environment. I look forward to its debut at Hannover Fair in 2016. Meanwhile, please do stop by our booth at SPS/IPC/Drives (Hall 2, booth 550) to see the integrated brewery demonstration and enjoy a cold, Belgian beer at the end of the long show day. It is a great way to meet many FDT experts and end users in a relaxed environment.
Our Asia Pacific marketing committee teamed up with our China marketing committee at the recent SICE 2015 event in Hangzhou, China. FDT representatives made four presentations during the course of the conference, helping raise the technical awareness of the full capabilities of the FDT Standard. The FDT China Board welcomed FDT leaders from the various geographies during the course of their co-located Board meeting. In my recollection, this is the first cross-region collaborative effort. Based on the success of this event, I envision more to come.
In the Americas, FDT has been the guest speaker with in the ISA community including sections in Beaumont, TX; Bakersfield, CA; Edmonton, AB; and San Diego, CA. Upcoming events include the FDT Developer Forum in Foxboro, MA, on Sept. 15th, and multiple FDT guest speaking appearances with ISA sections in Sarnia, ON, on Sept 28th and ISA Baltimore, MD on Oct. 6. FDT will also be exhibiting at the Rockwell Automation PSUG event on November 16-17 in Chicago, IL. In addition to events, the FDT Group is updating the ISA103 standard to include the latest FDT2 Standard. FDT2 Standardization is projected to be complete in the first quarter of 2016, which will benefit the ISA/ANSI community.
Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors