Lee Lane - FDT Chairman  Rockwell Automation

We just concluded our first FITS developer seminar in Mannheim, Germany. This was a chance for FDT Group members to get a close-up look at the technology stack that drives our new FDT Industrial Internet of Things Server (FITS™) architecture. With more than 70 participants between the in-person attendees and those on the web, our member companies now have the critical information needed to properly place this emerging standard in their product roadmaps. It was great to see the enthusiasm for the architecture and the validation of the technologies chosen by our panel of experts. If you are an FDT Group member who couldn’t attend the session, an on-demand version is available. Please contact our business office at businessoffice@fdtgroup.org for details.

Our next developer seminar for FDT Group members will take place in March, 2018. We plan to give members the opportunity to use the FITS common components to develop a working FITS DTM and install it on a cloud-based FITS server. Participants will also have the opportunity to create a FITS app, choosing an iOS, Android, or Microsoft platform, and connect the app to a FITS server in the cloud. An additional developer seminar will be scheduled near the end of 2018 when the final FITS standard is available.

A key component of our FITS architecture is the integrated OPC UA server capability, which was developed jointly with the OPC Foundation, who are continuing to refine its capabilities. I was pleased to see that a working demo of the OPC UA server component has been integrated in our tradeshow booth for the upcoming SPS/IPC/Drives trade fair in November. The native OPC UA capability within FDT has captured the attention of the user community as users seek to realize the intelligent enterprise envisioned in the IIoT and Industrie 4.0 initiatives. It is a powerful testament to the extensibility of FDT DTMs that this capability can be added without requiring any changes to the DTM that is supplying the information.

As we wind down 2017 and look forward to 2018, I would like to pause to thank the hundreds of volunteers that make the FDT Group what it is. Through the services of these member volunteers, we have completed nearly every objective that we set out for 2017. Our branding has been completely refreshed, a new website has been launched, brochures refreshed and translated, and our tradeshow/conference schedule has been expanded. We completed and approved new communication annexes, the FDT 2.1 standard, and we updated our certification tools. Our work on the new FITS architecture met its objectives and timelines. It is truly a pleasure to see the enthusiasm of the FDT Group members yield such tangible results.

Chairman of the FDT Group Board of Directors