I recently joined the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) mailing list to follow the work of this important standard. For those not familiar with this standard, EDDL.org describes it:
Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) technology is used by major manufacturers to describe the information that is accessible in digital devices. Electronic device descriptions are available for over 15 million devices that are currently installed in the process industry. The technology is used by the major process control systems and maintenance tool suppliers to support device diagnostics and calibration.
In prior posts, I’ve discussed how this text-based standard makes the exchange of information from smart field devices and maintenance software and/or automation systems easy so that information from different suppliers field devices can be presented to you in a common way. These smart field devices are based on the popular digital communications protocols HART, Foundation fieldbus and Profibus. EDDL can theoretically be used with any protocol. The standard declares device parameters and their dependencies, visual representations, user interactions, and how systems access information.
EDDL Workshop, Frankfurt Germany, 8 April 2008
EDDL makes Foundation fieldbus easier
EDDL demo and presentation at CIA2007 in Singapore 27-30 November
ISA104 explains EDDL at ISA EXPO 2007
EDDL demo and presentation in Japan in November 2007
EDDL demo and presentation in Singapore in November 2007
Make sure your colleagues involved with bus technology and intelligent device management also join this EDDL forum. There will be more important announcements shortly.
Jonas noted to me that the first link to the BIS test (BIS Prozesstechnik–subsidiary of Bilfinger Berger Industrial Services) used devices and control systems from different suppliers to see if the EDDL meets the requirements in NAMUR recommendation 105 for field device integration in engineering tools. This tested the IEC 61804-3 standard and how it is used by device and control system manufacturers, and the advantages the new EDDL standard has for plants in the commissioning, operation, and maintenance phases of the lifecycle.
The test is described:
A wide range of device types were tested including everything from the simple temperature and pressure transmitters to sophisticated radar level transmitters, valve positioners, and frequency converters (variable speed drive) connected via HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA bus systems.
The study found that EDDL meet the requirements also for complex devices, further software tools are not required. EDDL wizards, images, and trend charts enable good usability and intuitive operation also for complex use cases (e.g. Partial Stroke Tests).
Jonas and those involved in the EDDL standards effort have been quite busy in communicating their activities. I hope this post helps bring some additional visibility to these efforts.