What is a GSD File and Why it is required?

In automation industry, there are various communication protocols are used to connect field devices to controller.

Some of communication protocols are Ethernet, Profibus, Profihub, Modbus, DevicesNet.

Also Read: Industrial Automation Protocols

While connecting device through profibus / Profinet GSD/GSDML files comes into picture. Each device has its unique GSD file.

To setup a device in controller, it is important to know properties of a device.

When you integrate GSD files in controller, controller gets the device parameters and characteristics. It enables you to configure devices as per requirement.

GSD  is abbreviation of German term “Gerätestammdaten.”  It is also known as General Station Description.

GSD files are kind of data sheets for particular device. They are written in ASCII text format. It contains internal data structure of device such as

1. Vendor Name GSDML number.

2. Model Name

3. Version Number

3. Baud Rate

4. DP features

5. IO related information

6. Diagnostics Data

GSD File Extensions

GSD files are generally published by manufacture on their Official website. You can find them on internet or in form of CD’s along with your field device.

When you search on internet for specific GSD file you may come across various extensions of file. (gs*). The GSD files have language specific instructions.

The last letter specifies the language in which file is written.

GSD – Default format

GSE -English

GSS – Spanish

GSP – Portuguese

GSF – French

GSI – Italian

When device is connected on ProfiNet, GSDML files are used.

GSDML files are nothing but GSD files written in XML format (.XML extension).

How to Import GSD files into TIA portal?

1.  Open TIA portal

2. Go to Options

3. Go to Manage general service description files (GSD)

4. Click on Installed GSDs

5. Give the Source Path of GSD file

6. Select file

7. Click on Install

How to Import GSD files into TIA portal
Image Courtesy: Siemens

Naming Structure of GSD files

Consider a GSD file with name “abcd1010.gsd”

Here, abcd is Vendor Name

1010 is Unique hexadecimal number (Always 4 digits)

This number is provided by PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) on registering device.

.gsd is language version. (D by default)

Remember to select latest version of GSD files for your device!!

Author: Priyanka R. Lunge

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