ISA Expo 2004: FDT Joint Interest Group starts test, certification process

Houston, TX—FDT Joint Interest Group (JIG) reported at ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, that its steering committee has approved a comprehensive framework for compliance testing and certification of FDT Device Type Managers (DTMs).

By Control Engineering Staff October 6, 2004

Houston, TX— FDT Joint Interest Group (JIG) reports that its steering committee has approved a comprehensive framework for compliance testing and certification of FDT Device Type Managers (DTMs). This effort includes establishing an FDT Certification Office, guidelines for establishing and certifying DTM Test Sites, compliance testing and certification procedures, and releasing official compliance testing software. FDT made these announcements at ISA Expo 2004 , Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.

FDT says its DTMs provide an open and interoperable interface for configuring, commissioning, and managing intelligent field device from vendors’ control systems via any fieldbus protocol, including FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART and Profibus. As a result, FDT frame applications, running on a control system, can take advantage of sophisticated instrument commissioning, diagnostic, and management software tools developed by device vendors to help users reduce costs and improve asset availability.

“The FDT JIG Steering Committee and Certification Workgroup have worked diligently over the past year to develop and put into place a rigorous, yet practical, testing and certification process to ensure that DTMs comply fully with the latest FDT 1.2 specification. This should provide users with complete confidence in the multi-vendor, multi-bus interoperability of their FDT-enabled fieldbus instrumentation, frame applications, and software tools,” says Invensys’ Nick Zucchero, an FDT JIG Steering Committee member. “The formal compliance process not only ensures that DTMs comply with the FDT 1.2 specification, but also assists instrument vendors, system vendors, and third-party DTM developers in speeding their FDT-compliant products to market. As FDT/DTM technology moves toward recognition by the international standardization bodies, it’s important that we achieve‘critical mass.’ The proliferation of compliant DTMs via the test and certification process will provide needed momentum.”

In addition, recently released dtmInspector software automatically verifies compliance with FDT 1.2. This compliance software was jointly developed by ABB, Endress+Hauser, Metso, and Siemens. M&M Software will distribute and support the software. The steering committee picked M&M because of the company’s FDT/DTM expertise and because, as a software company, it doesn’t manufacture instruments or systems.

The software uses built-in scripts that give DTM to be tested relevant parameters to automatically detect and identify errors or verify compliance to specification. Extensive reporting options ensure that tests are recorded and documented, so results can be reproduced and evaluated at any time. The software’s Developer edition can also serve as a valuable tool for DTM developers by identifying potential problems early on in the development process.

Control Engineering Daily News DeskJim Montague, news