FDT Group formalizes organization; Honeywell, Schneider join

  
THE AUTOMATION companies and end-users previously organized as the FDT Joint Interest Group reported Oct. 26 at ISA Expo 2005 in Chicago that they’ve coalesced into a formal organization known as FDT Group AISBL.

In recent weeks, Honeywell Process Solutions, Saudi Aramco, Schneider Electric, and Shell Global Solutions have added their names and resources to the growing roster of major automation vendors, end-user companies, and global engineering organizations that support the advancement of FDT technology through the FDT Group. This follows on Yokogawa’s announcement last April that they too support FDT. Thirty-nine global companies are official members of the FDT Group, and membership remains open to all companies that wish to join.

Executives from ABB, Endress+Hauser, Invensys, Metso Automation, Omron, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Yokogawa make up the new group’s initial board of directors, while an executive committee and managing director will run the day-to-day organization. A managing director will be announced early next year and will serve as FDT Group’s primary contact.

Also, the group has formed an association and standards committee to help forge close relationships with other standardization bodies, such as the Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communications Foundation and ODVA, as well as with end-user organizations, such as NAMUR and WIB. Klaus-Peter Lindner, who is responsible for new technology at Endress+Hauser, has been named as this committee’s vice president.

In addition, Honeywell Process Solutions, Schneider Electric, Saudi Aramco, and Shell Global Solutions recently joined the new FDT Group. The organization now has 39 international automation and end-user companies as members, which reportedly represent most large automation vendors, plus several end-users, who reportedly have embraced FDT as an open technology for engineering, management and lifecycle support for their installed assets. FDT Group adds that it remains open to all companies that wish to participate.

“With the addition of Honeywell, Schneider Electric, and Yokogawa to the list of companies that support the FDT open interoperability initiative, the great majority of large global automation companies now belong to the FDT Group and we now have the critical mass required to bring this important interoperability standard into the mainstream,” says Scott Bump, a member of FDT Group’s executive committee and Director of Fieldbus Technology at Invensys Process Systems. “Of equal importance, leading global end-user companies and engineering organizations, such as Saudi Aramco and Shell Global Solutions have also joined the FDT Group. This will help ensure that, as FDT emerges as a formal international standard, it will continue to meet the needs of the user and engineering communities.”

The stated mission of the FDT Group is to:

  • Achieve international standardization status for the FDT specification
  • Promote, enhance and support the usage of FDT open interoperability technology in process automation, factory automation, and hybrid applications
  • Preserve the technology investments already made by end users, device manufacturers, and control systems
  • Ensure stability, interoperability and compatibility of FDT-based products
  • Continuously maintain the FDT standard consistent with leading-edge technology
  • Ensure that all FDT products are certified

For more information, readers can visit www.fdtgroup.org.

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