JAN-FEB 2018

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INTECH JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 15 PROCESS AUTOMATION their experiences with consumer electronics—are no longer satisfied with products from different vendors not operating together seamlessly. This expectation now requires multivendor and multi- platform information integration from the sensor to the cloud. The days of the IT and OT worlds not communicating are also waning, with both sides seeking to convert data and metadata from plant assets into meaningful information. The joint ac- tivities of FieldComm Group and the OPC Founda- tion are bringing this reality into real-world focus. Role of HART The large installed base of HART and Wire- lessHART sensors and devices is a huge resource for real-time information that is already on pro- cesses and equipment. There are more than 30 million supported field instruments worldwide. HART technology is a reliable, long-term way to leverage the benefits of intelligent devices through digital communication to improve operations. Simply communicating raw data from field de- vices to OT and IT systems is not a good solution. The noncontextual data does not have meaning to be productively used for higher-level applications, including predictive maintenance, analytics, and process optimization, unless duplicate contextual definition profiles are available in the receiving systems. This approach duplicates information, contributing to lower system reliability and brittle systems that have problems when configuration changes are made in databases and field devices. The FieldComm Group and OPC Foundation are cooperating to solve these issues. OPC UA component OPC UA is a platform- independent, service- oriented architecture that has standard models for secure and reliable information exchange in indus- trial automation. De- veloped by the OPC Foundation, it is an established standard for integration and in- teroperability between factory-level devices, supervisory and con- trol systems, manufac- turing execution sys- tems, and enterprise applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain manage- ment. As a vendor-neu- tral international stan- dard, OPC UA is also published as the IEC 62541 specification. In 2016, the OPC Foundation delivered open-source OPC UA code to the software community, paving the way for greater interop- erability. This eliminated the need for rigorous multivendor testing, which was once the norm in industrial automation. FDI and OPC Foundation collaboration The architects of FDI partnered with the OPC Foundation to include in the design of FDI the OPC UA technology that defines field devices and field device integration in the context of FDI tech- nology. Specifically, the technologies share the same information model that defines the context of field devices in process automation. The goal is to ensure that as systems evolve, an open pathway to field device information is assured. To complete the architecture, the FieldComm Group, which is responsible for ongoing development of FDI tech- nology, has collaborated with the OPC Foundation to provide a solution allowing data and metadata from intelligent device networks to be consumed by generic applications. More importantly, this data is converted into information that can be commu- nicated into the IT world and leveraged directly by cloud-based applications. Integration with IT and FAST FORWARD l Industrial digitalization, Industry 4.0, and the IIoT require integration with IT and OT systems. l WirelessHART and HART-IP developments are paving the way to the benefits of intelligent devices with digital communications. l The FieldComm Group and OPC Foundation are jointly developing OPC UA information models for process industries. The FieldComm Group accomplished sensor to enterprise and cloud integration.

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