Why FDI?

Why FDI?



Event: Process instrumentation complexity increases

Text based Device Descriptions (DD's) are used to integrate instruments to systems.


Event: Multiple Device Description Languages (DDL) are authored to simplify DD development

Standarization efforts begin, resulting in 2006 approval of IEC 61804 EDDL Specification.


Event: Microsoft Windows based control systems penetrate market and device complexity continues to increase

FDT/DTM technology is developed, centered around WIndows based control systems and executables rather than text files


Event: Microsoft Windows based operating systems (OS) became the norm, host systems became linked to operating system software upgrades

Some host systems suppliers only supported FDT/DTM, others only supported EDDL. As new Windows Service Packs and full version releases were made, each DTM needed to be re-verified with the new OS. Often, changes in a DTM were required to function in the new version of the OS.


By the mid-2000's  the burden of integration of the device to the host system was spread across the value chain.

  • Device suppliers needed to develop, test, and register a DD for each device. 
  • Device suppliers also were required to develop, test, and register a DTM across multiple versions of Window’s operating systems for device.
  • Host system manufacturers faced the burden of choosing between EDDL or FDT/DTM based platforms and then needed to develop and support that platform.
  • DTM testing and registration organizations were forced to upgrade test protocols to keep current with the latest version of the OS.
  • End users were faced with extremely challenging device integration burdens and the common problem of a DD or DTM not being available for a specific instrument.

All of these factors contribute to inefficiency, cost increases, complexity and a tendency to avoid system upgrades. As a result many host systems in brownfield installations are operating with versions of software that are sometimes 5-10 years out of date.

FDI technology has been developed and is supported by the automation industry's leading technology foundations and suppliers to adress these issues.  FDI combines the advantages of FDT(tm) with those of EDDL into a single scalable solution.