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FDI tools and components support OPC UA

05 December 2018

FieldComm Group has announced the availability of version 1.3.0 of the FDI development tools for field devices and host systems. These updated tools allow suppliers to develop a broader range of products with fewer tools and better capabilities, while enhancing security and integration capability for their customers.

By removing protocol dependencies, FDI enables sensor level data to be shared across the enterprise easily and enables big data analysis to provide deeper insights into user’s assets. 

The enhanced tools include; FDI Device Package Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and FDI Common Host Components (CHC).  

Major features provided in these updates include:

Device Variant Support – Currently only related to PROFIBUS/PROFINET, device variants allow a field device to be modelled for multiple possible applications. For example, a vendor may have a single pressure transmitter that can be configured to measure absolute pressure, level, or flow. This eases offline configuration and speeds commissioning.  

FDI Information Model Server (IMS) – This OPC UA based development server is used to expose field device information to OPC-UA clients. A typical use is for device developers to test the connection of field device information to cloud applications using FDI and OPC UA. Host system suppliers can also use the FDI IMS as a reference implementation creating commercial FDI Information Model Servers. 

Cyber Security Updates – enhancements related to signature validation have been added to bolster FDI’s security capabilities in the era of Industrial Internet of Things. 

Commenting on the announcement, Achim Laubenstein, director integration technology said: “FDI in conjunction with the OPCUA information model supports upcoming open system architectures like NAMUR Open Architecture or I4.0.; FDI helps end users to expose field device information to IT centric tools for further evaluation.” 

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