Development of Electronic Device Descriptions and integration into PDM
The description of field devices by means of Device Descriptions (DDs) for field devices that communicate via HART® protocol has been commonly used for more than 15 years now. DDs were initially used in handheld terminals for the parameterization of HART® field devices. Today, Device Descriptions are also available for field devices using Profibus- and Foundation Fieldbus protocol. All DDs can also be further utilized as masters for Device Type Managers.
The HART Communication Foundation, PROFIBUS User Organization and Fieldbus Foundation unified and extended their respective description languages. The result is known under the designation Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), an IEC Standard (IEC 61804).
As the device descriptions that were originally developed for handheld terminals were extended by graphic displays, the design of user interfaces approaches the possibilities of Device Type Managers.
A higher resolution of the display on a PC or PDA allows to use bar charts or trend charts. These displays support the user e.g. in the diagnosis of device states.
Despite further advanced standardization of the EDDL promoted by the publication of the IEC Standard, differences still exist between the host applications that interprete the Device Description. The test and certification of an EDD and the planned certification of host application as planned by the PNO (Profibus User Organization Germany) will contribute to enhanced interoperability.
Perhaps in the future it will be possible to integrate one single EDD into a device that runs in all host applications with the same functionality.
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