Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. now offers an EtherNet/IP (EtherNet Industrial Protocol) option for its SD series of robots. The new EtherNet/IP option uses a single cable to connect the robot controller with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), simplifying integration and reducing the cost of required hardware and robot setup. The EtherNet/IP cable plugs into a dedicated port on both the robot controller and PLC, eliminating the need to individually wire and route parallel I/O terminals, resulting in significant labor savings.
EtherNet/IP is a communications link to connect industrial devices. The EtherNet/IP is a well-established industrial Ethernet communication system with real-time capabilities. It extends commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet to the CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) - the same upper-layer protocol and object model found in DeviceNet and ControlNet. CIP allows EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet users to apply the same objects and profiles for plug-and-play interoperability among devices from multiple vendors and in multiple sub-nets. When combined, DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP promote transparency from sensors to the enterprise software.
The benefits of Mitsubishi Electric Automation's Ethernet/IP option can be most realized in systems with multiple robots where it can considerably decrease setup time and reduce hardware costs.