Summary of Multi-Supplier EDDL Demonstration at ISA Expo 2009

Emerson’s Jonas Berge, whom you may recall from earlier EDDL-related posts, has written a great summary of the EDDL demonstration at the recent ISA Expo 2009. I’ll highlight a few of his key points and embed a slideshow of some pictures from the event.

For those unfamiliar with EDDL or Electronic Device Description Language, Jonas summarized it:

EDDL is the leading international standard for device integration and is known as IEC 61804-3. The EDDL standard enables device management software and handheld communicators to display device information so that technicians can setup and commission a device, calibrate, perform diagnostics and troubleshooting, and other device management tasks.

From a host system perspective, Jonas wrote:

Five different hosts including handheld field communicator, laptop software, and integrated control systems supporting EDDL enhancements were on display, and these are just some of the systems supporting EDDL. All leading DCS have by now passed the Fieldbus Foundation Host Registration Process (HRP), supporting EDDL enhancements. A handheld field communicator with color graphics was shown as well. Visitors to the booth could see how system software interoperates with devices from other manufacturers, implementing the EDDL enhancements. The EDDL standard allows a single software application or a single handheld field communicator to work with different types of devices from many manufacturers. That is, a single open solution takes the place of many proprietary tools.

He briefly summarized the history of the EDDL standard:

Traditional DD was introduced in 1992 but lacked graphics. It became an international standard in 2004. In 2006 the graphical enhancements were added to the standard making it possible to support sophisticated (complex) devices, meeting this and all the other NAMUR NE 105 requirements.

The list of device suppliers who participated was quite impressive. Jonas described it:

Simple temperature and pressure transmitters were provided by Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Microcyber and Siemens. Other devices included pH transmitter from Knick as well as Current to Fieldbus Converter from Microcyber. Sophisticated (complex) devices included radar and magnetostrictive level transmitters from Emerson, ISE-Magtech, Siemens, and Vega as well as control valves with positioners from Emerson, Foxboro-Eckardt, Metso, Samson, and Siemens. A variable speed drive was provided by Siemens and fieldbus diagnostics module (a relatively new type of device that monitors signal and noise level of the bus infrastructure) by MTL.

EDDL extended to WirelessHART devices:

Some HART devices were demonstrated with a WirelessHART adaptor. Since EDDL is independent of the communication path, these devices are integrated using the same EDDL file as when they communicate HART over the wire.

The summary report described aspects of the live demonstration including graphics and wizards, look and feel consistency, settings and diagnostics expert help, ease of integration, integrated device diagnostics, data access, and the EDDL role in automation systems’ control strategies.

Jonas concluded the report:

State-of-the-art systems and devices support EDDL enhancements in the 2006 edition of the IEC 61804-3 standard. The ISA104 EDDL demonstration at ISA Expo confirmed what the report from BIS found: EDDL is interoperable and meets the requirements of NAMUR NE 105.

The EDDL.org website remains the best source for news, articles, videos, and other information on this important standard.

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