The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have announced an alliance to further advance process automation system multi-vendor interoperability and simplified integration by developing a standardized process automation device information model.
A joint working group between OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group, tasked with developing a protocol independent companion specification for process automation devices, was formed in late 2017. The goal of the working group is to leverage the extensive experience of FieldComm Group with the HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication protocols to standardize data, information, and methods for all process automation devices through FDI using OPC UA. The OPC UA base information model and companion device information (DI) specification will be extended to include the generic definition and information associated with process automation devices.
The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have worked together for more than a decade, initially working on the development of the EDDL specification and, most recently, on the creation of FDI technology.
“FDI provides the new standard for device integration to deliver a protocol independent path to configuration, diagnostics and run time operation for process devices,” Ted Masters, President and CEO of FieldComm Group, said. “The partnership between OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group further builds upon the common information model of both to deliver process automation data in context which is the key to enabling value from enterprise systems and analytics. The 350+ suppliers of devices and applications that are members of FieldComm Group have an opportunity to benefit from the key initiative to develop a standard process automation information model by their adoption of FDI and OPC UA technologies.”
“I’m excited that the OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group are working together on this important initiative and will be partnering with other organizations, end-users and suppliers to make the dream of a standardized process automation device information model a reality. This is truly a breakthrough in our industry that will provide significant operational benefits across all points of the value chain,” Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President and Executive Director, said.
“This important collaboration will provide a solid foundation for standardization of devices that will serve as the base infrastructure for the numerous other collaborations that the OPC Foundation is doing across international boundaries,” Stefan Hoppe, OPC Foundation Global Vice President, said.
Paul Sereiko, FieldComm Group’s Director of Marketing, added, “HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus have been the leading digital process automation standards for field device communication for over 20 years. It is a very natural progression to extend the extensive capabilities of these technologies to higher level systems through the use of FDI and a standardized process automation information model. As we enter the 4th industrial revolution and IIoT becomes prevalent across industries, it becomes extremely important that we, as an industry, come together around standardized models to ensure seamless device and system communication and interoperability.”
The joint working group plans to release an extensible, future-proof process automation information model specification during Q1 2019.