Managing Intelligent Device Revisions

EDDL Device Revision and Lifecycle Management whitepaperMy RSS subscription to the Fieldbus Foundation blog alerted me to a device revision management whitepaper over at the EDDL.org (Electronic Device Description Language) site. The whitepaper, Device Revision and Lifecycle Management Guide: How to keep systems up to date and compatible with new devices using EDDL, describes an issue in maintaining intelligent field devices:

The challenge of device revision management has existed since the very first smart transmitters and other intelligent devices.

It also describes how the global EDDL standard can help maintenance personnel [hyperlink added]:

EDDL (IEC 61804-3) is a device integration technology created as a solution to the device revision problem. EDDL makes managing devices of different types and versions easier. EDDL is a file that is loaded onto the workstation or handheld field communicator. There is no EDDL inside the device itself. Thus there is no such thing as an “EDDL device” or a “non-EDDL device”. Devices are HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS, and WirelessHART devices, and these protocols support EDDL. The same EDDL file is used for all systems, and shows the same device information on all…

The whitepaper shares the basics in managing the revision process [hyperlinks added]:

Device revision management is all about keeping the system and handheld field communicator up to date with the latest devices… The EDDL file can be obtained from one of many sources: device manufacturer website, HART Communication Foundation website, Fieldbus Foundation website, PROFIBUS International website, or system manufacturer website… The device revision of the EDDL file to be loaded on the system shall match the device revision of the device. When the system or handheld encounters a new device for which it does not have the corresponding EDDL file with the correct device revision, the system will prompt the technician which EDDL file it needs the technician to obtain and load. This makes getting the right file easy.

The whitepaper appendices include extensive technical references on how revision management works, device revision troubleshooting, project execution considerations, manufacturers’ IDs, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and information for plant operations and maintenance.

If you or someone in your plant is responsible for the maintenance of your HART, Foundation fieldbus, and Profibus devices, this whitepaper is a great addition to your reading list.

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