ABB comments on role of FDT/DTM and EDDL

10/21/2005


The ongoing debate on the value of FDT/DTM and EDDL for automation industry end users has become more heated. ABB Inc., which has traditionally supported both FDT/DTM and EDDL, has issued the following statement on the relationship between these two technologies:

"Recently, there have been negative public statements about FDT/DTM technology. The authors of these statements want their audience to believe that FDT/DTM technology and EDD are competing — mutually exclusive technologies — either you support EDD or you support FDT/DTM," said Mark Taft, Senior Vice President, Systems Marketing, ABB Inc., and Board Director for the Fieldbus Foundation. "This assertion is simply false.

In working with customer-owners, ABB understands their high expectations for interoperability and integration of automation systems and intelligent field devices. While progress has been made, their expectations have not been met by any of the current fieldbus standards. These customer-owner needs drove ABB and other like-minded automation and instrumentation companies to develop FDT/DTM technology (the FDT Group held their first formal End-User forum in October 2005).

ABB has also actively participated in and supported the enhanced EDDL cooperation initiatives between Fieldbus Foundation (FF), HART Communication Foundation (HCF), PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation (PNO) and the OPC Foundation (OPCF). While these cooperative efforts have taken a first step in addressing customer-owners' needs for a higher level of interoperability and integration, the results still fall short of customer-owners' desire for integration of increasingly sophisticated device applications with automation systems.

Unlike some automation system and instrumentation suppliers, ABB has implemented support for all major field instrumentation integration standards in its automation systems. ABB uses EDDL technologies together with these technologies (HART, Profibus, FOUNDATION Fieldbus) in its systems to integrate intelligent field devices. Our customer-owners have implemented systems combining these technologies to allow for best-in-class multi-vendor solutions. EDDL provides the support necessary for basic integration and interaction with process instrumentation. However, customer-owners are increasingly focusing on the utilization of the more complex and sophisticated intelligent field device applications. They require a consistent and rich integration of these applications, meaning they desire the same performance when they buy a field device from one supplier, and the automation system from another, as they receive when they buy the whole package from a single supplier. EDDL solves that problem for the bulk of instruments available on the market today. It does not solve the problem, however for the more sophisticated (and one could argue more valued) applications that have traditionally been performed by stand-alone, or "bolt-on" applications. Examples include Metso's valve diagnostics and partial stroke testing for safety valves, Vega's radar level measurement, Emerson's valve diagnosis software, and ABB's 2600T Multivariable Transmitter configuration wizard. Solutions are also desired for integration of intelligent devices not addressed by EDDL such as electrical equipment including variable speed drives and intelligent motor controllers.

ABB uses FDT/DTM technology to integrate these more sophisticated device applications, when DTMs are available — as is the case for the Metso, Vega, and ABB equipment mentioned above. The FDT standard provides field device suppliers a rich environment to develop and then integrate their applications into the context of an automation system that supports DTMs. Moreover, customer-owners who want the freedom to choose devices and systems from different suppliers are able to take advantage of these sophisticated applications, which decreases their life-cycle costs.

The recent controversy — dubbed by some as "Fieldbus Wars" is very one sided. A couple of vendors have chosen to withhold support for FDT/DTM from their customer-owners. Automation system and field-device supplier-members of the FDT Group have gone on record as supporting both FDT/DTM and EDDL for their customer-owners. The FDT Group has grown to nearly 40 member companies made up of automation and field device suppliers like ABB, Endress & Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Metso, Rockwell, Schneider, SMAR, and Yokogawa, and customer-owners like Saudi-Aramco, and Shell.

ABB also has an inclusive strategy. As a member company of all the major fieldbus foundations including the FDT Group, our active participation in the ongoing development of these standards, aims to ensure that our customer-owners' desire for true interoperability between devices, systems and applications is met. Therefore we will support both EDDL and FDT/DTM as complementary technologies in our process instrument, control system, and power technology products. We feel strongly that exclusion of either technology would compromise that goal," said Taft.





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me