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New Wins for DeviceNet

The Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA, www.odva.org) cited specification wins and milestones at its annual meeting held in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept.

30-Oct. 1.

General Motors Control Engineer Gary Workman announced that GM’s vehicle assembly operations have standardized on EtherNet/IP for its controls architecture. EtherNet/IP is a protocol built upon standard Ethernet Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP/IP) using DeviceNet’s Common Industrial Protocol (CIP).

This decision affects about 60 plants worldwide, including body, paint and assembly shops plus metal fabrication plants. Suppliers have until Jan. 1, 2007, to support EtherNet/IP. The architecture timeline reveals that most fieldbus networks will be replaced by this Ethernet application protocol. Workman said the primary reasons for selection are the open protocol of EtherNet/IP and its conformance testing program.

ODVA Executive Director Katherine Voss predicted increased organization activity in Europe as a result of this design win. GM’s Opal unit has indicated it will take an active lead promoting the standard there.

Doug McEldowney, NetLinx strategic marketing manager in the Mayfield Heights, Ohio, offices of Rockwell Automation (www.rockwellautomation.com), announced recent shipment of the company’s one millionth DeviceNet node.

In other DeviceNet announcements, Voss detailed the coming safety network that appears to be on schedule for release next year. Another coming advancement is the release of CIP Sync, an IEEE 1588-based protocol that adds a system time block to synchronize nodes on the network and enable near real-time event recording, motion control and some process control applications not feasible before.

Rich Harwell, manager of software platforms for Eaton Electrical (www.eaton.com, previously known as Eaton/Cutler-Hammer), a Milwaukee-based provider of electrical power and automation products, announced extension of its DeviceNet enabled motor starters to NEMA Size 5. The company’s new Component Manager software product makes configuring a DeviceNet network faster and easier than before.

Hirschmann (www.hirschmann-usa.com), a Pine Brook, N.J., supplier of industrial networking products, announced two new products that bring down the cost per port of Ethernet switching devices. Spider 5TX features a list price of $199 for five ports in an industrially rated enclosure. RS2-16 is a 16-port switch, two ports of which are configurable for either fiber or copper cable.

A new module designed to connect push button stations or general-purpose input/output devices to a DeviceNet network was announced by Bob Gardner, product manager for Interlink BT (www.interlinkbt.com), a Minneapolis supplier of network connection devices.

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