Articles Archive > FDT Group

Technology Report of the FDT Group

FDT enables integration of devices from different manufacturers

FDT (Field Device Tool) specifies the software interfaces to in order to enable communication and configuration between the field devices of various manufacturers and the engineering tool in a standardized manner.

FDT is already standard according IEC

FDT is already a standard according IEC 62453, specified and further developed by the FDT Group as a community of automation manufacturers.


  • FDT is the only available technology, which provides a unified structure to the users to operate devices of different manufacturers at various network/field buses via an engineering system.

How does FDT work?

The FDT concept can simplified be compared with the approach used in the office communication. Printers for example appear always in the same way and with the same functionality in any office applications despite their different device drivers.

Similarly FDT provides an integrated device driver (DTM Device Type Manager), enabling a unified access to the field device.


A Style Guide ensures unified structures of DTM that standardizes arrangement and behaviors of graphic items leaving sufficient free space for device-specific representations.


FDT tailored for total automation

The FDT technology is independent of the respective range of application. That is the reason why it is used in the most different applications. Regarding factory automation PLC programming systems are among others one application.


The flexible use of a DTM makes it possible to operate one device according to need in the tools of the respective level of the automation pyramid.

FDT’s specification offers the integration of new network/field buses at any time being future-proof. Today all common protocols are supported, even IO-Link for some time.


Benefits of FDT for the operator of plants

FDT substantially simplifies the increasing variety of devices and protocol in automation by optimizing the conditions of work and managing the work flow more efficient.


  • A single, central workstation for planning, startup, diagnosis and maintenance with direct access to all field devices.
  • Unified accesses to the devices, independently of the network architecture and communication protocols given.
  • Exchange of common data between system tools (engineering or PAM system) and device-specific operator interfaces.
  • Centralized administration and safety of data as well as administration of multi-station systems.


Benefits of FDT for machine-builders and automation manufacturers

  • Unified and standardized interface for the device integration independently of the type of device and system.
  • Use of a device DTM in the most differing applications saving high costs of multiple developments.
  • A DTM is providing higher functionality reaching far beyond the possibilities of static technical descriptions.


Further information

The FDT Group consists of approximately 100 worldwide leading companies of the process and factory automation. It is responsible for maintenance and enhancement of FDT. Further information provides

Manfred Brill
Member in the Executive Committee of the FDT Group for factory automation


Manager System Consistency at Schneider Electric


Schneider Electric Automation GmbH, Schneiderplatz 1, 97828 Marktheidenfeld, Germany, Telefon +49(0)9391-606-0, Internet

Zum Seitenanfang