Standard for Smart Field Device Interoperability

As I mentioned in many earlier posts, Emerson has a long tradition for supporting open, interoperable standards. A recent example is the international standard, IEC 61804-3, Function blocks (FB) for process control – Part 3: Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) which:

…fills the gap between the conceptual FB specification of IEC 61804-2 and a product implementation. It allows the manufacturers to use the same description method for devices based on different technologies and platforms.

The ISA’s new SP104 committee is working to adopt this generic device description language specified by IEC 61804. The committee recently issued a press release, ISA SP104 Committee Releases EDDL Draft for Ballot. The key benefit to process manufacturers cited in the release:

Ultimately, tools based on EDDL enable faster device commissioning and loop checkout, as well as reducing field trips and eliminate unnecessary maintenance. Benefits from EDDL-based tools match corporate strategies such as reduced maintenance cost, quality improvement, increased throughput, and reduced downtime.

From a user perspective, applications which support EDDL can display information from these smart devices using familiar dialog boxes to present graphs, charts, and trending of dynamic variables in addition to text, and archived data in a consistent, familiar format.

One of the really great aspects of the EDDL effort was the cooperation among the leading digital communications standards consortia including: Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communications Foundation, PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation, and OPC Foundation. This cooperation will continue to simplify the dissemination of information from the devices touching the process to those who need it to improve the performance of the process and the business. Emerson continues to incorporate this standard into its technology developments, like this recent announcement for EDDL enhancements for rotating machinery monitoring.

ISA SP104 is chaired by Emerson’s Terry Blevins (a fellow blogger who you can see at ModelingAndControl.com.) Terry gave me a quick update that the SP104 committee is making good progress in advancing the adoption of the IEC 61804 standard as an ISA/ANSI standard.

Posted Friday, October 27th, 2006 under Interoperability.

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