CIP Networks Enhanced

A total of 46 enhancements to the Common Industrial Protocol family of network technologies during the past six months are designed to allow end-users to meet the ever-advancing scope of the automation environment.

ODVA (, the association that oversees network technologies based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), announced recently that it has published new editions of the specifications for ODVA networks, enhancing the EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet technologies. (ODVA was formerly known as the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association.)

ODVA’s biannual updates of these network specifications are designed to allow end-users to meet an ever-increasing scope of industrial automation applications. Coupled with the updates to the specifications published in November 2009, there have been 46 enhancements made over the past six months.  Among these enhancements, the ODVA identified the following as especially noteworthy:

•    For EtherNet/IP, improvements were made to the Device Level Ring (DLR) protocol to make it easier for users to locate a fault in the ring and to know what capabilities are supported by their DLR nodes.

•    In process control, newer pressure gauges can handle wider pressure ranges with much improved resolutions at both the high and low end. Accordingly, the CIP Trip Point Object has been extended to allow users more flexibility in setting the appropriate trip point(s) for their applications.

•    Numerous improvements have been made to the Electronic Data Sheet (EDS) definitions, allowing the EDS file to be a more accurate representation of devices to the software tools.

•    The ability to integrate Modbus devices into a CIP architecture continues to be improved, most notably through the inclusion of a CIP-Modbus translator device profile in the specifications, as well as through the refinement and relocation of the Modbus Object to the CIP Volume. This refinement makes it easier for vendors of a formerly Modbus/TCP (or Modbus) device with extensive Modbus data structures to put their devices directly on a CIP network. It allows vendors to make the device’s primary data available via the appropriate CIP application objects, while still providing CIP access to all of the other data in the device’s Modbus data structure.

•    Due to the ongoing availability of new field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and Network Processing Engines (NPEs) for the ControlNet Data Link Layer, diagnostic enhancements were made to make it easier for users to identify which implementation was provided in each of their nodes.

The specifications are organized as a group of publications entitled The CIP Networks Library. Each specification is made up of one or more volumes of The CIP Networks Library.  

ODVA expects that devices containing new enhancements found in the latest specifications will be available in 2010.  Specifications are available on a subscription basis, subject to a Terms of Usage Agreement. For more information on how to obtain a copy of any of the specifications, visit ODVA’s Web site at


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