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EtherNet/IP users to reap benefits of modernised asset management initiatives through new FITS-based cloud platform

FDT Group, an independent, international, not-for-profit industry association supporting the evolution of FDT technology has announced its continued partnership with ODVA, Inc. to add support for FDT’s latest 3.0 architecture solution, incorporating the new FDT IIoT Server (FITS), to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). CIP-based networks such as EtherNet/IP lead network communications for both the process and factory automation sectors, who will directly benefit from the emerging communication annex supporting the FITS platform.

FDT and ODVA share a common core mission that includes advancing open, interoperable information and communication exchange for the industrial automation marketplace. The industry associations have cooperated on the ability to integrate devices implementing ODVA technologies (EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, ControlNet and CompoNet) and standards into the FDT ecosystem for more than 15 years. Their most recent work resulted in a CIP annex supporting the FDT 2.0 desktop and client/server architecture, which enables seamless nesting through all the networks and in combination with any other network supported by the current version of the FDT standard. This effort allowed any CIP-based FDT Device Type Manager (FDT/DTM) to integrate seamlessly with any FDT-based hosting environment in a plug-and-play manner.

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The release of the FDT 3.0 standard is imminent, and once released, will execute FDT Group’s digital transformation pathway to connect and empower the intelligent enterprise supporting the new era of automation for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 applications. Based on industry-driven feedback, the new FITS platform supports skid-to-cloud deployment, a robust security architecture, remote access and mobility, IT/OT integration, and compatibility.

FDT Group Managing Director Glenn Schulz said, “The marketplace has clearly shown its desire for the new FITS platform to support the CIP family of standards. By making CIP support available on the new FITS platform, EtherNet/IP users gain the advantages of platform independence, remote access, mobile device support, scalability from skid-to-cloud and even FDT as a service.”

“The new CIP annex supporting FITS will enable automation suppliers of CIP-based solutions to provide additional device integration options for their customers. The addition of CIP to FDT 3.0 will give end users a wider set of modern and innovative solutions to enhance the user asset management experience, operations and workflow practices,” said Dr. Al Beydoun, president and executive director at ODVA.

“ODVA will be supporting efforts with direct participation on the FDT protocol annex committee and will also help with the technical review of the proposed annex prior to publication.”

In addition to a new CIP annex, HART and Profibus annexes supporting the new FITS architecture are under development with expected released dates in 2020.

 

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