The FDT® standard provides an open, vendor-neutral software interface for integrating assets and delivering access to device intelligence. This includes a common environment for utilizing intelligent devices’ most sophisticated features.
With FDT, users can monitor from a few critical inputs to many inputs. The architecture adapts to any field communication protocol that may be needed and will allow incorporation of new standards for enterprise connectivity, mobility applications and more in the years ahead. As such, end users are assured of utmost adaptability to their changing needs.
Since FDT breaks down proprietary barriers in control systems, it opens those systems to smart applications that can utilize all of the advanced features of intelligent devices. The technology’s open, yet secure framework integrates any network with any device and device driver. As a result, field equipment and higher-level systems can work together without concern for the legacy of integration technologies.
FDT also gives users the freedom to choose solutions from the supplier of their choice. And with an FDT/FRAME™ enabled system (DCS, PLC, Asset Management Application) or stand-alone software application, they have full lifecycle management of devices and networks.
Not only can Greenfield plants be equipped with FDT from the ground up, Brownfield plants can implement the technology in a scalable fashion.
Users can also implement FDT with confidence. A comprehensive cyber security infrastructure addresses potential cyber attacks on automation assets. It provides unparalleled protection when integrated in control system vendor applications.
Going forward, the approval of the FDT OPC UA annex will allow any FDT/FRAME enabled system to contain an OPC UA server that any standard or custom OPC UA client can use to access the wealth of operational information available through the embedded Frame Application. This includes topological information, network health, and individual device data. In addition, the OPC UA client has transparent access to supported devices thanks to the unique nesting feature of the FDT standard, which allows automatic and transparent routing – enterprise to the end device – through all industrial networks.