01 December 2002
Interoperability for real?
A newly organized Modbus Organization is rolling out Modbus serial conformance testing services.
Modbus Organization president Ken Crater said the latest addition to its Modbus TCP/IP test program services will take place at the University of Michigan's Con formance Test Laboratory, headed by James Moyne.
"Independent conformance testing is the cornerstone of any open protocol," Crater said. "It helps guarantee the primary benefit that users look for in open technologies: the ability to interconnect products from different manufacturers and have them interoperate successfully."
Moyne said the lab's increased focus on Modbus "comes at a time when increased activity is expected, due to the Modbus Organization's formation. We've expanded our personnel commitment to this program and are excited to be able to offer a valuable and long overdue service to the industrial control community."
Along the lines of totally open to all platforms, the FDT Group launched its universal field device interface solution for the first time in North America.
The FDT Group, a collaboration of global automation vendors, bases these solutions on the open field device tool (FDT) specification. FDT enhances existing fieldbus technology by standardizing the interface between intelligent field devices and host systems.
Simply put, with all different types of bus technology in plants these days, the specification lets users deal with any intelligent device, regardless of vendor or what protocol it uses.
Using this standard FDT-compliant interface, automation vendors can now provide users with a common environment, including graphical elements, for configuring, accessing, and managing all intelligent field devices.
-Jim Strothman and Gregory Hale