A Close Up View of EDDL’s Benefits

I caught up with Emerson’s Terry Blevins who has been leading the standards efforts around Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) with his work as chair of the ISA SP104 committee. From the EDDL.ORG website:

The Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) standard advances interoperability of devices in control systems. Integration of simple sensors through complex drives is facilitated. Device diagnostics, asset management, and user interface displays enhance reliability and performance.

Terry will be presenting a paper at this year’s ISA Expo (Oct 2-4 in Houston, Texas USA) along with Emerson’s Jonas Berge and other committee members from Siemens and the Institut für Automation und Kommunikation Magdeburg (ifak). This two-hour tutorial is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

In the exhibition area of the ISA Expo, they will be demonstrating the benefits process manufacturers derive from sensors, actuators, control systems, and handheld communicators that support the EDDL standard. These benefits come from the ability to configure, calibrate, diagnose, and provide data and alarms back to operators. Terry extends an invitation to those of you going to the Expo to stop by the ISA Booth to visit with him and some of the SP104 members. Terry also mentioned that he’d be doing a talk on EDDL at the ISA booth on Thursday afternoon.

As the paper notes, EDDL is required for Foundation fieldbus, HART, and some Profibus devices, which means that virtually every automation system supplier supports it. Some of the key advantages cited by this paper include:

  • A well-defined structure for supporting simple to very complex field devices
  • EDD files are text-based (not code-based) and thus independent of operating systems and control platforms
  • EDD files being text based also makes switching versions, revisions, and supplier brands simpler

If you want to follow the progress of this standards effort, you can visit the EDDL.ORG website, or subscribe to their mailing list.

I also encourage you to take Terry up on his offer to visit with him and see the presentation of this paper.

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