Lorain County Community College - First FDT Americas Certification Testing Site

Center will offer DTM certification testing, analysis services and will welcome end user visitors to see FDT in action

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The FDT Group announced that Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH will be the home to the first FDT certification testing center in the Americas. This new center will support the global automation market by providing consultancy services in the areas of DTM analysis, testing of communication, gateway and device DTMs during development and final DTM certification testing to ensure conformance to the FDT specification. In addition to these services, LCCC will host an in?house integration evaluation and testing lab providing a hands?on facility for users to validate benefits of FDT Technology, implementing asset management strategies based off FDT Technology.

FDT Technology known as IEC 62453 provides the device integration standardization solution for the communication and configuration interface between all field devices and host systems. DTMs are the 'key driver' to provide a centralized remote access point for horizontal and vertical data flow, allowing for a safer work environment by reducing the number of trips to the field and lowering start?up and commissioning costs.

The opening of the certification testing center supports a $5.5 million grant from the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering (WCSSE) that LCCC recently received. The WCSSE Program as outlined is funded by the State of Ohio's Third Frontier Program (TFP), supporting economic development objectives allowing transition from older industries to newer, high?growth industrial technology markets

like sensor technology. "This is an exciting step for Lorain County Community College," said Duncan Estep, Director, FDT Technology Certification Testing Center -Americas. "The college's alignment with the FDT Group and their international membership of leading automation users and suppliers builds on the steps we are taking to make Lorain County and Northeast Ohio a center for the automation and sensor markets."

Currently the center is installing lab equipment and building competency as it prepares for the rigorous accreditation audit to be conducted by the FDT Group. Once complete, LCCC will receive accreditation status as an official FDT testing laboratory for three years. After that time, a repeat audit will be performed to ensure the integrity of the activities conducted at the facility. All test laboratories are audited against the official FDT 'test and certification quality assurance system.' These guidelines state that each location must meet the following three guiding principles:

- Must maintain as an independent entity to ensure no commercial influence.
- Will establish a quality management system to ensure reproducibility of test results.
- Required to provide detailed documentation and provide outstanding technical expertise in certifiable equipment and the official testing tools.

LCCC will provide complimentary services to the DTM certification testing activities. With consultancy services now available, LCCC can provide assistance to companies specifying DTMs for their automation products or to DTM software developers to provide guidance and expedite efforts for DTM implementation and certification. LCCC will soon provide an independent environment for integration evaluation and a testing center to allow end users access to a single product or a complete multi?vendor control system. LCCC has been equipped with state of the art products from FDT member companies allowing suppliers and system integrators the opportunity to conduct interoperability testing prior to project, and so much more.

The FDT Group is projecting a healthy 45% annual growth rate in devices supported by DTM certifications for 2010, providing the automation market with over 2700 devices supported by certified DTMs. "This is the perfect time to initiate this activity in the North American market," Tobias Horn,

Chairman of the working group Test & Certification states, "Certification of FDT based products is one of the main customer requirements and therefore also a key goal of the FDT Group. The Test & Certification Team strives to ensure that all preconditions such as test specifications, test tools and accredited test sites are available all over the world. With the first official FDT test site in North America we will have achieved a major milestone for FDT Certification and the contribution of the LCCC will multiply the acceptance of FDT in the North American Market." FDT maintains certification capabilities globally including locations in Germany at BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH, Dietz Automation, Ifak system GmbH, and M&M Software GmbH; Switzerland at Endress+Hauser Process Solutions AG; and China at M&M Software (Suzhou) GmbH. For more information on FDT/DTM certification, please visit www.fdtgroup.org.

About Lorain County Community College (LCCC)

LCCC was established in 1963. For 47 years LCCC has served the diverse needs of Lorain County in Northeast Ohio by providing affordable access to higher education, and is now one of Ohio's fastest growing colleges. Lorain County Community College offers a progressive, diverse educational environment serving more than 16,000 associate degree students per year and offering more than 80 academic programs. LCCC has emerged as an innovator in higher education through the success of its University Partnership - the only one of its kind at an Ohio community college - where more than 3,000 students are able to pursue bachelors and masters degrees through eight of Ohio's leading universities

on LCCC's campus. LCCC has a long history of providing education and training in the latest technologies. It is home to the Nord Advanced Technologies Center, the Weld?Ed National Center for Education and Training, the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise - an Edison Technology Incubator, and a MIT?associated Fab Lab.
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