The Steering Committee of the EDDLT Co-operation Team, in close co-operation with the FDT Group, continues its efforts to achieve a common product for field device integration. The FDI (Field Device Integration) team has successfully worked over the past 18 months on identifying use cases that encompass all facets of plant operations: from startup and commissioning to ongoing maintenance activities and plant operations. This team's efforts also included drafting an architecture concept that meets the needs of both technologies as they are migrated to a common standard.
Due to the close co-operation between key global process control suppliers including ABB, Emerson, Invensys, Rockwell, Siemens and Yokogawa, both the draft architecture concept and the complete inventory of use case analysis have now been completed. Future efforts will be focused on completing two remaining documents. The first is a functional specification that will detail how the benefits of EDDL, FDT and the OPC Unified Architecture will be combined. Release of this draft functional specification is planned for February 2009. Lastly, a comprehensive technical specification will be published.
In 2003, three field device foundations (Fieldbus Foundation, Hart Communication Foundation and Profibus Nutzer-organisation) signed a co-operative agreement to develop a common specification for graphical visualisation and persistent data storage enabled by Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL). All three of the organisations utilise EDDs for parameterisation and description of their devices. In 2004, OPC joined the co-operation team. With EDDL, an established IEC standard, it made sense for the OPC specification to base their data structure on that same standard and work with the organisations to develop a standard interface to the Unified Architecture. The four organisations signed an agreement in 2004 to co-operate in the development of that interface.
In April 2007, the FDT Group joined the ECT on the basis of a technical agreement to jointly develop a new common standard for device integration. The Steering Committee is comprised of the presidents of each foundation plus one representative from each organisation's membership. Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller is chairman of the committee.