Processing Magazine

Industrial suppliers, ODVA define vision for industrial Ethernet

April 30, 2013
Ethernet
Founded in 1995, ODVA’s mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation.

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. 

Founded in 1995, ODVA’s mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation. ODVA sees its network protocol, the Common Industrial Protocol or “CIP” and the network adaptations of CIP — EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet — as its core technology and the primary common interest of its membership.

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 and, in the long term, expanding 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, ODVA says. 

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 group maintains. 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,” said 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."

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.