ODVA has launched an "initiative for process automation" in cooperation with major suppliers to the process industry, including Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric to further accelerate adoption of industrial Ethernet in process automation.
Based on ODVA's industrial EtherNet/IP technology, the results of this initiative will provide end users with more choices to deploy a complete Ethernet solution for process automation starting with connectivity down to the field level. In the long term, this will expand to include the full spectrum of process automation needs, including safety, explosion protection, long distances and extensive diagnostic coverage.
Industrial Ethernet, and EtherNet/IP in particular, has been accepted and widely adopted in factory automation where the automation platform is primarily characterized by discrete control. The acceptance of EtherNet/IP in discrete applications has resulted in the convergence of automation platforms between discrete and hybrid applications. The result is that EtherNet/IP is also now well accepted and widely adopted in process automation, especially in control settings typically found in hybrid industries. The adoption of EtherNet/IP in these hybrid industries has demonstrated the value of industrial Ethernet for process automation and now constitutes a critical proof point for its future deployment in an even broader class of applications for process automation.
"In hybrid industries, EtherNet/IP provides a single architecture with easy access to process information," says Dr. Raimund Sommer, managing director of Endress+Hauser Process Solutions and a member of ODVA's board of directors. "Based on the successful user experiences with EtherNet/IP in hybrid industries, ODVA's ‘initiative for process automation' is the next logical step. By fulfilling the spectrum of process industry requirements, ODVA will increase acceptance of EtherNet/IP at the field level."
"Since EtherNet/IP is already successfully deployed in hybrid industries and some pure process industries, users are looking to ODVA for additional functionality to facilitate wider use of EtherNet/IP," says Katherine Voss, executive director of ODVA. "ODVA has decided to respond with an ‘initiative for process automation' focused on providing new opportunities for integration improvements, optimized network architecture and increased ROI."
Through this initiative, ODVA will explore and adopt technology enhancements to ODVA's EtherNet/IP and Common Industrial Protocol technologies to optimize these technologies for the needs of process automation. ODVA's first action was to form a standing committee to define the strategic market requirements for new areas of technical work. This committee will be publishing a white paper describing ODVA's vision for process automation and the resulting technical approach.
CIP Networks also addressed
In a separate release also dated April 8, 2013, ODVA and the FDT Group announced that technical work is now underway in the FDT Group to develop an annex to the FDT2 specification for ODVA's family of CIP Networks. The new annex will ensure that support for an FDT-compatible Device Type Manager is possible for users of EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet who are also using the updates and enhancements to the FDT technology that are included in FDT2.
The FDT technology standardizes the configuration interface between field devices and host systems independent of the communication protocol used to transmit the data between them, allowing access to device parameters for applications where extensive device configuration may be needed. ODVA's CIP technology encompasses a comprehensive suite of services for industrial automation applications, including control, safety, energy, synchronization, motion, information and network management. When FDT is used in combination with CIP and its network adaptations, the resulting system provides users with a feature-rich interoperable environment for configuration, command and control.
Founded in 1995, ODVA is a global association whose members are comprised of the world's leading automation companies. ODVA's mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation.