FDT Group introduces the FDT Unified Environment (UE) for field to cloud data harmonisation

06 June 2022

The FDT Group used Hannover Messe to introduce the FDT Unified Environment (UE) and developer tools based on the new FDT 3.0 standard to deliver next-generation FDT industrial device management system and device solutions for field-to-cloud IT/OT data harmonisation, analytics, services, and mobility based on the requirements for smart manufacturing in the process, hybrid, and discrete markets.

Driven by digital transformation use cases to support new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) business models, the standard has evolved to include a new distributed, multi-user, FDT Server application that includes built-in and pre-wired OPC UA and Web servers enabling an FDT Unified Environment (FDT 3.x) merging IT/OT data analytics supporting service-oriented architectures. 

The new Server environment – which is deployable in the cloud or on-premise – delivers the same use cases and functionally as the previous generation FDT hosting environment, but now provides data storage for the whole device lifecycle at the core of the architecture allowing information modeling and data consistency to authenticated OPC UA and browser-based clients (tablets and phones) to address the challenges of IIoT.

“Collaboration and data harmonisation are the keys to manufacturing modernisation,” said Steve Biegacki, managing director at FDT Group. "FDT UE delivers a data collaborative engineering specification and toolset to enable modern distributed control improving operations and production reliability, impacting the bottom line for new IIoT architectures. I am proud to witness our first group of members showcasing their FDT 3.0 WebUI-based DTM prototypes mixed with 2.0 DTMs in the new Server and Desktop environments running IO-Link and HART at Hannover Messe 2022, live and in person. To be present as a guest in the OPC Foundation booth to demonstrate field-to-cloud connectivity, OPC UA enterprise access and services along with mobile field device operation is one for industry history books.”

FDT UE consists of FDT Server, FDT Desktop, and FDT DTM components. 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 3.0 solutions—expanding their portfolio offerings to meet requirements for next-generation industrial control applications. Each solution auto-enables OPC UA integration and allows the development team to focus on value-added features that differentiate their products, including WebUI and App support. FDT Desktop applications are fully backward compatible supporting the existing install base.
 
FDT 3.0 specification license agreements and developer toolkits are now available on the FDT website (www.fdtgroup.org/resources).


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