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Industrial Ethernet Book Issue 111 / 3
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New process automation device information model

A liaison agreement has been reached and endorsed for the process automation device information model specification (PA-DIM), function blocks and FDI technology within the OPAF "standard of standards".

FIELDCOMM GROUP AND THE OPEN GROUP Process Automation Forum have completed a liaison agreement to leverage FieldComm Group specifications within the OPAF ′standard of standards′.


OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group collaboration paves the way for adoption of a harmonized, OPC UA based, information model for process automation devices via PA-DIM Standard.

FieldComm Group earlier announced the endorsement of its process automation device information model specification (PA-DIM), based on NAMUR requirements, by the OPC Foundation (OPCF), PROFIBUS&PROFINET International (PI). Together these endorsements serve as validation of FieldComm Group′s position at the center of process automation standards development and product conformance testing.

Announced at the 2018 ARC Forum, FieldComm Group and the OPC Foundation presented their joint vision for creating a protocol independent, process automation device information model (PA-DIM) specification to implement requirements of the NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA).

According to Ted Masters, "The goal of PA-DIM, when used alongside registered products that support FieldComm Group and PI′s joint FDI technology (Field Device Integration), is to simplify field device integration to systems and clouds. The goal of OPAF is to create a new paradigm for open automation systems that respects existing standards and technologies -- in other words, a standard of standards. We look forward to working with OPAF to leverage existing FieldComm Group technologies, and to helping define the PA-DIM."

Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group, says, "This is another key milestone for the development of process automation globally. We are delighted to be working with FieldComm Group to grow our collaboration and vision of the many industries vested in automation, which are critical to vital sectors of our economy. This is also a key step in our move towards the development of a framework and a standard for process automation, which aims to deliver tangible benefits to multiple industry sectors. We are looking forward to progressing along this journey with FieldComm Group as a strong collaborative partner."

"FieldComm Group technologies, such as Function Blocks and FDI, are important enablers of interoperability, interchangeability, and portability in the standards-based open process automation architecture envisioned by OPAF", said Don Bartusiak Co-Chair, Open Process Automation Forum.

Activities anticipated by the liaison agreement include:

  • Nomination of a liaison representative to collaborate on development of the Process Automation Device Information Model (PA-DIM), in a joint collaboration with FieldComm Group, OPC Foundation, and PI currently ongoing within the FieldComm Group Working group structure.
  • Nomination of a liaison representative to collaborate on development of FDI and function blocks within the FieldComm Group Working group structure.
  • Technical support and best practices guidance of IEC standards for which FieldComm Group has created specifications or otherwise had input into the standards.
  • Technical support and best practices guidance on FieldComm Group Function Blocks and related specifications.
  • Leverage FieldComm Group as the conformance authority for IEC standards guided by FieldComm Group, including HART, Foundation Fieldbus, and FDI, as well as for conformance with the FieldComm Group Function Blocks.

OPC Foundation endorsement

The OPC Foundation also announced its endorsement of the Process Automation Device Information Model (PA-DIM) standard published by the FieldComm Group. Developed in part with the OPC Foundation, the PA-DIM standard implemented on an OPC UA platform harmonizes device information models and delivers true device communication protocol independence to users and vendors alike.

"Using an OPC UA based PA-DIM implementation with FDI products will enable end users to dramatically reduce time to market for advanced analytics, big-data, and enterprise cloud solutions that often rely on information from thousands of geographically dispersed field devices that use multiple process automation protocols," added Stefan Hoppe, President and Executive Director, OPC Foundation.

News by FieldComm Group & OPC Foundation.


Source: Industrial Ethernet Book Issue 111 / 3
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