The FDT concept can be compared with the simplified methodology used in office communication. Take for example a printer with a suitable device driver and an integrated user interface. Just like the printer driver in the office world, a specific driver for a field device - the DTM (Device Type Manager) - ensures smooth communication between the system level and field devices in the FDT world. The DTM combines all device functions and data, whether for a single field device, an interface module, a remote IO system, or even entire device families.
Unlike device-only descriptions, DTM also offer advanced features for display and user guidance. With its uniform technological basis, the PACTware operating concept - for a very wide range of manufacturer-specific field components - remains consistent and always recognizable for the user. This minimizes the amount of work involved, ensures safety at the application level, and reduces training requirements.
In one of the first steps of the application software, PACTware combines all of a plant's device drivers, including the communication drivers, into a single project. The corresponding DTMs are selected from the device catalog and inserted into the project. Just a little work creates clarity and, thanks to an improved workflow, also saves time:
- When customizing the configuration
- When changing individual parameters (also at a later stage)
- Simulating functions
- For detailed diagnosis
- For creating documentation
Used by the user to uniquely identify the field device. Contains the device and company logo, device operation information, device number, and version information. Optional DTM-specific information
Buttons for quick access to frequently used functions such as printing, copying, pasting, diagnostics, etc.
Device functions arranged in a tree structure with access to the parameterization, diagnosis, and service functions.
Scope of Application
Display of manufacturer and application-specific DTM functions such as measured value trends, tables, auxiliary functions, etc.
Buttons for standard functions and application-oriented functions such as OK, close, back, etc.
Display of general DTM statuses such as online access, user rights, parameters changed, etc.
Due to the increasing number of DTM available, it is important to certify the quality of device and communication DTM using a standardized official test method in accordance with the guidelines of the FDT Group.
A description of the certification process and the available DTM certificates can be found on the FDT Group homepage.
DTM are available from many device manufacturers. Many manufacturers also offer free versions for download with slightly limited functionality.
Get an overview of the functions of a device and communication DTM. On the following pages, you can quickly and conveniently download free device and communication DTM from members of the PACTware Consortium.