Standardised IIoT Ecosystem empowers innovative business models

02 November 2020

A new whitepaper from the FDT Group describes how the recently released FDT 3.0 standard supports digital transformation for manufacturers seeking an innovative technology that supports today’s new business models.

FDT 3.0 provides an open, enterprise-wide, data-centric Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) integration platform with built-in security and features to mobilise real-time remote operations.

The FDT IIoT Ecosystem consists of a platform-agnostic FDT Server and FDT Device Type Managers (FDT/DTMs). Both components are essential to unlocking universal device integration and a data-centric platform to mobilise the industrial workforce with modern and diverse deployment options.

The FDT Server is a pivotal IIoT component empowering the intelligent enterprise. This distributive, multi-user server solution employs a web services portal allowing access from authenticated mobile devices or any major browser along with an OPC UA Server for enterprise access to real-time plant floor data. Its rich features ensure any industrial communication protocol or vendor device can be seamlessly integrated as part of smart manufacturing practices.

Since FDT 3.0-based DTMs automatically make device data and health information available via the OPC UA Server embedded in the FDT Server, asset management and enterprise wide data access is now deployable as a cloud service as part of an IIoT initiative. This architecture flattens the automation pyramid so that any application requiring data from devices can retrieve it directly from OPC UA through the DTM without changing incumbent PLC or DCS systems.

With FDT 3.0’s platform independence, every device vendor or service provider can utilise an edge gateway or cloud instance to push data from multiple facilities to a centralised location for enterprise monitoring and asset management. This capability will be welcomed in Greenfield projects but is equally applicable to Brownfield projects in situations where management wants to achieve additional availability or leverage remote access for efficiency improvements.

One of the most important changes to DTM development with FDT 3.0 involves the user interface (UI). User interfaces with web technologies are currently state-of-the-art for allowing remote and mobile access. The use of HTML 5.0 and JavaScript with FDT 3.0 greatly enhances the user’s visualisation experience while using a more contemporary technology.

FDT 3.0 also deploys a secure by design approach, which features multi-layered security and leverages vetted industry standards.

The FDT 3.0 standard is positioned to speed up the evolutionary journey into the Fourth Industrial Revolution by enabling an ecosystem of FDT-based solutions to meet demands for IIoT and Industry 4.0 applications.

Download the whitepaper at: www.fdtgroup.org/innovation


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