Siemens-FDI Cooperation, new FDI style guide

FDI Cooperation announced the first public release of the FDI Usability Style Guide and a preview release of the Field Device Integration (FDI) developer toolkit, which together, will make it possible for automation suppliers to prepare for developing FDI-compatible products and host systems. The announcements were made at the 2014 ARC Forum.


Stephen B. Mitschke, director of Fieldbus products, Fieldbus Foundation, prepares a demonstration showing the FDI Integrated Development Environment. He announced the FDI Usability Style Guide at the ARC Forum, Feb. 10.The FDI Cooperation LLC announced its new FDI Usability Style Guide. Here are some notes from the 2014 ARC Forum new product press conference:

  • The FDI Usability Style Guide was developed so that device packages look the same, which is a strong end-user requirement.
  • Standard software components enhance interoperability to ensure device package can be executed. UI Engine allows it to be used across protocols. The FDI IDE includes an EDD Editor, tokenizer, reference host, and sample device packages.
  • The demonstration from Steve Mitschke, director of fieldbus products, Fieldbus Foundation, showed the integration of a HART Communication Foundation device from Emerson, a PI device from Siemens, and FF device from ABB, using the FDI framework.
  • Foundation fieldbus, HCF, and Profibus PA networks are integrated with the FDI software.
  • Integration and scaling are important for end users.
  • FDI uses an open-source platform called Eclipse to create device descriptions (DDs). Context oriented menus help with organization. The new thing with FDI is the device package, the key driver supplied by vendor to allow FDI integration. Other documents may be incorporated. Manual, certification, and other documentation can be incorporated in the FDI package. It’s made easier for device suppliers with forms in the software. This file incorporates disparate file structures from the three networks. Two key points: (1) FDI has a well-defined upgrade policy. (2) Security is closely defined with certificates that are validated.
  • Demonstration showed loading the package. Screen and device settings are standard across all three devices, three vendors, three networks, showing configuration, diagnostics, and process variables. 
  • Tools are available on the FDI site to test. 

Here are some notes about the new Field Device Integration (FDI) toolkit:

  • ABB, Siemens, and the Fieldbus Foundation representatives spoke of the capabilities of Field Device Integration (FDI). Industry members and organizations founded the FDI initiative in 2009. Organizations included HART Communication Foundation, Profibus, and the OPC Foundation.
  • EDDL and FDT each have their advantages and disadvantages, and FDI combines the best elements from each.
  • Developers are currently working on an IEC specification.
  • The beta release is forthcoming. FDI specification has been available on the FDI site since fall 2013. 

Return to the ARC product press conference summary.

- Mark T. Hoske and Jordan M. Schultz, content managers CFE Media, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering, m,

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.