ODVA Turns 10

After two days of technical and marketing sessions highlighting the successes of DeviceNet and common industrial protocol (CIP) networks, Katherine Voss, executive director of ODVA, called the 10th anniversary general meeting to order in San Antonio on November 18.

ODVA is the acronym for the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (www.odva.org). Interestingly, this year’s conference and meeting was titled the “2004 CIP Networks Conference & 10th Annual Meeting.” The organization is now emphasizing the CIP protocol.

Association President Dave Quebbemann reviewed the association’s progress during the year. He specifically pointed to the continued implementation of ODVA’s global business plan and building on the establishment of the conformance testing lab and testing services in Ann Arbor, Mich. The association has transitioned from a “virtual organization to bricks and mortar,” noted Quebbeman, who is director of automation marketing at Omron Electronics, (www.oei.omron.com), Schaumburg, Ill.

Steve Biegacki, vice president of commercial marketing for the Automation, Control and Information Group at Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation (www.rockwellautomation.com), presented a 10-year retrospective from the beginnings of the development of the DeviceNet network through initiation and organization of the independent vendors association that assumed control of it.

Mike Wehrenberg, automation sales engineer for Rockwell distributor Kendall Electric (www.kendallelectric.com), in Battle Creek, Mich., described a successful networking application at one of his customer’s locations. His advice for others: Take time for the network design phase on projects; don’t just plug in wires and see what happens.

Scott Bump, director of fieldbus technology development with Invensys Foxboro Systems (www.foxboro.com), in Foxboro, Mass., and a member of the steering committee of the FDT Joint Interest Group (www.fdt-jig.org), described for the ODVA members what FDT is and how it will work with CIP networks. FDT (Field Device Tool) is an open standard technology for managing field devices. Device manufacturers add to their individual field devices a piece of software called Device Type Manager or DTM. The FDT message would ride atop the CIP stack in a DeviceNet or EtherNet/IP message. The FDT group and ODVA have established a joint committee to develop the interface.

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