The Fieldbus Foundation has signed an addendum to its agreement with the HART Communication Foundation, Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V. and OPC Foundation to further develop Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL). The global user groups have formed a joint maintenance team to expand support for EDDL technology enhancements.
EDDL is a text-based language for describing the digital communication characteristics of intelligent devices and equipment parameters in an operating system (OS)- and Human Machine Interface (HMI)-neutral environment. EDDL enables a host system manufacturer to create a single engineering environment that can support any device, from any supplier, using any communications protocol, without the need for custom software drivers for each device type.
In early 2004, the EDDL specifications of the Fieldbus Foundation, HART and Profibus organizations were unified in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61804-2 international standard. More than 15 million field devices based on EDDL have been installed worldwide, according to the Foundation press release.
The EDDL maintenance team, as a contribution to the IEC, will advance maintenance of Electronic Device Description (EDD) technology. This includes specifying compliance tests and developing a general test procedure. A steering committee consisting of representatives of the four user groups will oversee the project.
According to Fieldbus Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Timoney, the cooperation project will protect industry investments in EDDL by enabling additional enhancements to the IEC standard. “The Fieldbus Foundation strongly supports the effort to advance IEC 61804-2, which harmonized and extended the contents of the Foundation Fieldbus, HART and Profibus EDD specifications,” said Timoney. “The EDDL standard assists suppliers faced with developing intelligent instrumentation that is compatible with multiple protocols. The technology streamlines the device development process and lowers the cost of bringing new products to market.”