The Fieldbus Foundation has announced its support for a new
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) report that guides end users
selecting an industry-standard device integration technology encompassing all
host systems, field instruments and device protocols.
The new technical report, IEC 61804-6 Ed 1: Function blocks (FB) for
process control – Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) – Part 6:
Meeting the requirements for integrating fieldbus devices in engineering tools
for field devices, explains the requirements for field device integration and
how they are met using the EDDL standard (IEC 61804-3).
The Foundation says EDDL is a universal, proven and state-of-the-art
method for accessing diagnostic, real-time and asset management information
contained in more than 20 million field devices from the world''s leading
instrumentation manufacturers. EDDL has the power to integrate field devices
for optimal control strategies and consistent human-machine interfaces (HMIs)
across different platforms. The technology extends interoperability to the HMI
and diagnostic data levels with improved visualization and graphical
The IEC report is based on the recommendations of NAMUR, an international
end-user association of automation technology in the process industries. The
NAMUR NE105 specification defines requirements for device integration
technologies enabling a mixture of sophisticated device types—based on
different protocols—from multiple manufacturers, and keeping control systems up
to date with new versions of these devices. Device integration technology
impacts both the ease of use for devices and system administration.
The Fieldbus Foundation''s global marketing manager, Larry O''Brien, said,
"This report is good news for automation end users because it illustrates
how EDDL can satisfy key requirements for integrating the large amount of data
provided by today''s fieldbus devices with the applications that must turn that
data into useful information–not just FOUNDATION fieldbus devices, but all
devices that rely on EDDL technology."
The Fieldbus Foundation provides independent testing of FOUNDATION
fieldbus devices, including their EDDL files, to ensure interoperability,
interchangeability and compatibility. Devices that pass these tests carry the
official FOUNDATION registration mark and are listed on www.fieldbus.org. Host
systems are also tested to ensure support for the EDDL standard.