According to the wireless study published in Control’s August 2011 issue, 43% of respondents said they already had wireless field networks, while another 27% said they were planning to install them in the next 1-3 years.
WirelessHART uses the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) (IEC 61804-3) to simplify system integration as well as enabling setup, calibration and device diagnostics using graphical interface software applications.
I caught up with Jonas in an email. He notes that EDDL ensures full interoperability for WirelessHART (IEC 62591) and 4-20 mA wired HART. He describes EDDL as making the WirelessHART devices come alive fully in process automation systems, device management software, laptop configurators, and handheld smart device communicators. Also, the EDDL communications standard enables WirelessHART, 4-20 mA HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus, and PROFIBUS devices to be managed from the same application.
The HART standard provides a base level of interoperability using universal and common-practice commands that allow basic operation of a device in generic mode from any host. However, with EDDL the full functionality of the device can be unlocked. This includes sophisticated setup and advanced diagnostics.
With the EDDL standard, the device manufacturer can organize the system graphically to display the device pages, as opposed to a long “laundry list” of barely comprehensible parameters. The device pages are arranged in a logical task-based fashion.
Jonas describes how the standard helps application developers organize the information to provide an overview “dashboard” with the most important information related to common maintenance tasks. From there, it is easy to drill-down to device calibration, setup, or troubleshooting. In an earlier post, Improving Usability for Maintenance Technicians, Jonas shared how this enabling EDDL technology helps to foster development of intuitive applications based upon human centered design principals.