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FDT Group releases FDT 3.0 annexes for HART, Profibus

Dec. 1, 2020

FDT Group, an independent, international, not-for-profit industry association supporting the evolution of FDT technology, announced the release of two FDT 3.0 communication protocol annexes, HART and Profibus, supporting the new FDT 3.0 standard. Instrumentation vendors upgrading their product lines with the new technology benefits of FDT 3.0 DTMs for these popular communication protocols will empower today’s installed base with advanced, data-driven solutions while inherently mobilizing real-time operations supporting Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 applications for the process, hybrid and discrete markets.

FDT 3.0 was developed based off industry-driven feedback and delivered by a collaborative team of industrial automation experts to accelerate the evolutionary journey into the Fourth Industrial Revolution with an ecosystem of FDT IIoT-based solutions. The FDT IIoT ecosystem consists of FDT Server, FDT Desktop and FDT/DTM components, which are fully deployable out-of-the-box using the latest Common Components toolkits. Now, control system and device suppliers can take a well-established standard they are familiar with and easily create and customize standards-based, data-centric, cross-platform FDT IIoT solutions—expanding their portfolio offerings to meet requirements for next-generation industrial control applications. Each solution auto-enables OPC Unified Architecture (UA) integration and allows development teams to focus on value-added features that differentiate their products, including WebUI and App support. FDT Desktop applications are fully backwards compatible with the existing install base.

Both HART and Profibus are widely deployed as active backbone communication standards for today’s process automation architectures. While communication standards allow data exchange within their protocol, FDT is the essential core standard seamlessly integrating any hierarchy of Operational Technology (OT) communication protocols or Information Technology (IT) networks to ensure real-time information exchange sensor-to-cloud.

Glenn Schulz, FDT Group managing director said: “Companies seeking a forward-looking strategy for the new era of automation can now empower their portfolio of HART and Profibus devices with FDT 3.0 DTMs mobilizing real-time remote operations with a new, browser-based standardized WebUI. This is especially important in the current COVID-19 pandemic environment, where the manufacturing world can be paralyzed without remote access to critical data to ensure uptime.” 

Along with the new FDT 3.0 standard, FDT Group released modernized toolkits making it easier to create compliant FDT/DTMs than ever before. Thanks to the FDT 3.0 DTM Common Components, DTMs are automatically compatible with OPC UA—no additional coding required—as well as the NAMUR NE 107 status recommendations for predictive maintenance. FDT 3.0 DTMs automatically make device data available via the OPC UA server embedded on the FDT Server. This enables innovative capabilities such as a data-driven approach to maintenance and integration of live plant data with Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and asset management as service. While all these benefits come standard out-of-the-box, device vendors can focus their time on customized parameterization, differentiating their products from the rest of the line-up.

FDT 3.0 specification license agreements and developer toolkits are now available on the FDT website (www.fdtgroup.org). In addition to the FDT 3.0 standard and developer toolkits, an IO-Link Interpreter DTM is under development along with FDT communication annexes for IO-Link and CIP networks slated for release mid year in 2021.