EDDL enhancements reportedly available to industry users by January 2006

IMPLEMENTATION OF recently completed enhancements to the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL, IEC 61804-2) by system and device suppliers is expected to revolutionize the process automation industry. The enhancements make standardized device configuration a reality allowing users to easily visualize and configure millions of installed HART-enabled intelligent devices.

“The standardization of device configuration is as significant to the process industry as the creation of Windows was for PCs,” says Ed Ladd, Director of Technology Programs for the HART Communication Foundation (HCF). “One DD to work everywhere—that’s our goal. And we expect this technology to be available to users by the first of the year.”

The enhanced EDDL enables users to interact with their intelligent devices in new ways. The enhancements include improved data visualization and display capabilities – like waveforms and valve signatures, a standardized method to access historic measurement or device performance information and enhanced tools for high-level information (such as algorithmic relationships for complex device parameters) display and use in control systems.

During the EDDL Enhancements Interoperability Workshop (Duesseldorf, Germany, July 12-14) 11 different HCF member companies used HCF standard EDDL tools—the Device Description Integrated Development Environment (DD-IDE) and the Smart Device Configurator (SDC-625)—to assess the interoperability of enhanced EDD files for their devices across different EDD-enabled host platforms.

“The enhanced EDDL benefits both users and developers by reducing the complexity and streamlining the process,” Ladd says. “The enhanced capabilities provide users with more information about the connected device while giving developers the tools they need to ensure a consistent look and feel across DDL-enabled host applications.”

The EDDL enhancements are the result of an unprecedented collaborative project between the HART Communication Foundation and other international fieldbus organizations and automation system and device suppliers. Specifications for the enhanced EDDL have been submitted to the IEC for approval and manufacturers have begun implementation of the new EDDL.

HCF member companies participating in the Interoperability Workshop were: ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Exalon Delft, Foxboro-Eckardt, Honeywell, Krohne, Saab, Samson, Siemens and VEGA.

A key element of the HART technology since 1990, EDDL is the HART standard and the only technology endorsed by the HCF for configuration of HART devices.

The HART Field Communications Protocol is the global standard for smart process instrumentation. Seventy percent of all smart process measurement and control instruments installed worldwide each year use HART Communication and the global installed base of HART-enabled devices is the largest of all communication protocols at more than 14 million. Key features of this unique open standard communication technology are: 4-20mA compatibility, ease of use, low risk, and cost-efficient implementation for both users and suppliers.

The HART Communication Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization providing worldwide support for application of HART technology. Established in 1993, the Foundation is the technology owner and standards setting body for the HART Communication Protocol. Major instrumentation manufacturers and users around the world support the Foundation. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of HART technology. For more information, go to www.hartcomm.org.

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