OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group cooperate on standard information model

Monday, 05 March, 2018

OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group cooperate on standard information model

The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have announced an alliance to further advance process automation system multivendor interoperability and simplified integration by developing a standardised process automation device information model.

A joint working group between OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group, tasked with developing a protocol-independent companion specification for process automation devices, was formed in late 2017. The goal of the working group is to leverage the extensive experience of FieldComm Group with the HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication protocols to standardise data, information and methods for all process automation devices through FDI using OPC UA. The OPC UA base information model and companion Device Information (DI) specification will be extended to include the generic definition and information associated with process automation devices.

The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have worked together for over a decade, initially working on the development of the EDDL specification and most recently, on the creation of FDI technology.

“FDI provides the new standard for device integration to deliver a protocol-independent path to configuration, diagnostics and runtime operation for process devices,” said Ted Masters, president and CEO of FieldComm Group. “The partnership between OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group further builds upon the common information model of both to deliver process automation data in context, which is the key to enabling value from enterprise systems and analytics.

“The 350-plus suppliers of devices and applications that are members of FieldComm Group have an opportunity to benefit from the key initiative to develop a standard process automation information model by their adoption of FDI and OPC UA technologies.”

“I’m excited that the OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group are working together on this important initiative,” said Thomas Burke, OPC Foundation president and executive director. “This is truly a breakthrough in our industry that will provide significant operational benefits across all points of the value chain.”

“This important collaboration will provide a solid foundation for the standardisation of devices that will serve as the base infrastructure for the numerous other collaborations that the OPC Foundation is doing across international boundaries,” said Stefan Hoppe, OPC Foundation global vice president.

Paul Sereiko, FieldComm Group’s director of marketing, added, “HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus have been leading digital process automation standards for field device communication for over 20 years. It is a very natural progression to extend the extensive capabilities of these technologies to higher level systems through the use of FDI and a standardised process automation information model. As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution and IIoT becomes prevalent across industries, it becomes extremely important that we, as an industry, come together around standardised models to ensure seamless device and system communication and interoperability.”

The joint working group plans to release an extensible, futureproof process automation information model specification during the first quarter of 2019.

Contact FieldComm Group or the OPC Foundation for information about participation in this joint working group. The working group is open to all members of both organisations as well as collaboration partners of the organisations.

Image: ©stock.adobe.com/agsandrew

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