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 capabilities.
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.