Food Engineering

Field devices find common ground

September 27, 2011
FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International and OPC Foundation founded a company to establish an organization to manage a common single solution for device integration (FDI).


FDI Cooperation’s board of managers includes (left to right) Rich Timoney (Fieldbus Foundation), Jörg Freitag (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International), Thomas Burke (OPC Foundation), Glenn Schulz (FDT Group) and Ron Helson (HART Communication Foundation).
The five major automation foundations (FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International, and OPC Foundation) have developed a single common solution for field device integration (FDI). The foundations decided to combine their efforts and form a joint company.

The new company, named FDI Cooperation, LLC, was formalized by all representatives of their respective foundations who signed contract documents in Karlsruhe, Germany. The FDI Cooperation, LLC will be headed by a board of managers, which is composed of the representatives of the involved organizations, as well as managers of global automation suppliers including ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens, and Yokogawa. Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller of Siemens will serve as chairman of the board. Achim Laubenstein of ABB has been nominated as executive director.

The purpose of the organization is:

  • Completing the standardization of FDI under the IEC (International Electrical Commission)
  • Managing the FDI Specification
  • Finalizing the FDI tool kits for system and device manufacturers

FDI Cooperation originated from efforts at the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) to accelerate deployment of the FDI solution, which was kicked-off at 2007 Hanover Fair. Since then, the project has carefully shaped the technology direction for the converged FDI solution. FDI is a unified solution for simple as well as the most advanced field devices, for the various tasks associated with all phases of their life cycle such as configuration, commissioning, diagnostics, and calibration.

In October 2009, ECT broadened the scope of the FDI project to harmonize EDDL across communication protocols and provide FDI Design and Test Tools including a common EDD Interpreter. Implementation of the extended scope was supported by seven major supplier companies: ABB, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens, and Yokogawa.