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Interoperability tests for FDT certification

The FDT Group continues its activities to bring system providers and device manufacturers together in order to provide the end-users with integrated solutions right out of the box.

For the last five months, 22 FDT Group member companies have participated in a project at the facility of Dietz Automation GmbH in Neukirchen, Germany, testing the interoperability of the FDT/DTM technology in a very diverse setting.

The test system setup includes products from different vendors; seven frames (systems or engineering tools) from five vendors, 21 Devices with DTMs from 13 vendors, and six communication DTMs from 4 vendors. The system currently uses the most familiar digital protocols; Profibus, HART, and Foundation Fieldbus. By checking the interactions between these systems and devices, the interoperability tests weed out the common problems and offer the end-user maximum assurance for a problem free implementation of their FDT/DTM applications in their automation projects.

As a precondition to test participation, all DTMs had to be certified through the FDT Group Certification process. During the preparation phases, participants had the opportunity to perform tests on their own. Additionally, while setting up the test, a test procedure was also developed for the frames —the software in which the DTMs are used-. This will be the base for the future frame certification procedure.

The test phase started in February and is scheduled to be completed in May.

The FDT Group intends to turn this test system into a permanent test and certification facility and to make it a part of the FDT certification process.

Achim Laubenstein, Vice President of Technology, said “This test facility further completes the FDT certification procedure. Besides the DTM certification we will have shortly a frame certification procedure and a permanent interoperability test bed. This will ensure maximum robustness for the FDT certified products and provide end users the insurance of smooth project implementation.”

The FDT Group AISBL is a non-profit corporation consisting of over 60 leading process and factory

automation companies worldwide whose major purpose is to provide an open and non proprietary

interface for the integration of field devices with engineering, automation and asset

management systems.

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