In case you missed it, the FDI Cooperation has been formalized as a company! On September 26, FDI Cooperation, LLC was formalized. For those of you perhaps not yet familiar with FDI (Field Device Integration), it has been a cooperative group of the five major automation foundations that has accepted the task to create a single, unified solution for integrating intelligent management of field devices into automation systems. The five foundations are: FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communications Foundation, Profibus & Profinet International, and OPC Foundation.
End users win! Finally there is an end in sight for competing solutions for device management. For some time now, FDT, and EDDL, have been battling it out for attention from users. FDI has the promise to combine the best of FDT and EDDL for a single, unified solution. When the initial work is completed, device manufacturers and automation system suppliers will have the chance to start down a path of only one device integration methodology. Rather than needing to limit device selections according to which interface methodology the control system might support, or needing to have two different solutions inside one system that might confuse the users more than help them, a unified solution will begin to take shape.
According to the September 27th press release, the new company has three primary objectives:
- Complete the standardization of FDI under the IEC (International Electrical Commission)
- Manage the FDI specification, and
- Finalize the FDI toolkits for system and device manufacturers.
The company will be managed by representatives of the five foundations and seven of the leading automation suppliers. Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller from Siemens will serve as Chairman of the Board and Achim Laubenstein from ABB has been nominated as Executive Director
It appears that the FDI Cooperation does not yet have its own website, but you can read more about the technology, its background, and how it will likely be implemented at Control Engineering.