China Updates National Standard to Include FDT 2.0

To aid the country’s manufacturing base in keeping up with intelligent manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things initiatives, China has updated its national standard for industrial device integration.

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Since 2013, the Field Device Tool (FDT) technology has been accepted as a Chinese national standard (GB/T 29618) for automation system device integration. As the FDT technology has advanced, Chinese national standards have sought to keep pace.

This month, a cooperative initiative among China’s National TC124 On Industrial Process Measurement, Control and Automation of SAC (TC124/SAC); Instrumentation Technology and Economy Institute, P.R. China (ITEI); China Instrument Manufacturer Association (CIMA); Southwest University; and the FDT Professional Committee has resulted in an update to the Chinese national standard for device integration based on FDT 2.0 technology. The updated standard, GB/T 29618-2017 FDT Interface Specification incorporates the latest technology enhancements by the FDT Group.

According to Glenn Schulz, FDT Group managing director, the FDT 2.0 specification employs a future-proof architecture based on Microsoft.Net technology to offer “all the properties needed by modern software right up to web- and client/server-based systems. The release of the GB/T 29618-2017 standard incorporating FDT 2.0 will better guide the integration and application of various fieldbuses and devices, and help promote the widespread implementation of standards-based automation solutions.”

Noting the importance of standardization to intelligent manufacturing, Tian Zhaoying, vice director of the Second Industry Department, Standardization Administration, People's Republic of China, said, "The purpose of our ongoing efforts is to enable the effective implementation of advanced industrial standards while promoting social and economic development within China. The Chinese FDT Professional Committee and ITEI actively assisted the development of FDT so this advanced technology could be widely implemented by our country's manufacturing community."

Mei Ke, vice president of ITEI, believes the updated FDT 2.0 specification will meet current requirements for standardizing communication and configuration interfaces between field devices and host systems, and is a key tool for the integration of intelligent manufacturing centers.

No statement has yet been made by ANSI/ISA regarding an upgrade of its ISA-62453 standard to include FDT 2.0. ISA-62453 announced FDT technology as a standard in 2011 (initial IEC standard recognition for FDT as IEC 62543 was announced in 2009).

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