ODVA Welcomes Endress+Hauser

Oct. 22, 2012
At the recent 15th annual meeting for ODVA networking group held Oct. 16-19 in Atlanta, Ga., the organization officially welcomed Endress+Hauser as a principal member and pointed towards a bigger process automation play for EtherNet/IP and CIP technologies.

Back in April of this year, Ann Arbor-based ODVA (www.odva.org) announced that Endress+Hauser became a new principal member of the networking group and this addition signaled a major push by the organization to include more EtherNet/IP-enabled field instrumentation technology to the process industries.

After Endress+Hauser was formally introduced in the general session meeting, Dr. Raimund Sommer, managing dir., Endress+Hauser, said, "The company has always had a strong commitment to 'openness' and we offer products and solutions, not ideologies. However, we do see a big opportunity to have EtherNet/IP-enabled field devices in the process 'hybrid' industries." These hybrid industries, identified by ODVA and Sommer, were food and beverage, life sciences and environmental.

Sommer added that customers in the hybrid industries have "different requirements and E&H's North America customers are asking for more EtherNet/IP enabled devices. Demand for these devices are coming primarily from North America but Europe will come on board, soon." Katherine Voss, executive dir. ODVA, added, "ODVA will define its strategic market requirements for an EtherNet/IP based process strategy starting with the next term of ODVA, the 16th term—which offically started after general session meeting this week." ODVA's "terms" are defined by eighteen month intervals.  

ODVA Update
The general session kicked off with an update from Katherine Voss, where she documented ODVA's global distribution of membership by principal place of business. A slide showed documented 44 percent in North America, 17 percent in Germany and Japan, 13 percent in other European countries and 9 percent for the rest of Asia. Voss added growth in Europe was a key strategy driver in the group's 15th edition and so it has now restructured its Territory Alliance Groups (TAGs) for Europe. The organization used to have one umbrella group for Europe, Middle East and East Africa, called EMEA. Now, ODVA will create TAGs for individual countries in Europe; specifically, France, Germany and Italy. These TAGs are currently in development, including one in Brazil. 

Rich Harwell, cto, ODVA, also spoke and reported on some of the technology highlights of the 15th term: Energy Phase 1 and 2a - Improve Efficiency in Idle State; Ethernet and Switch Object; SNMP and RTSP Object; Added redundant gateways on DLR; and Sealed M-12L connector. 

Feedback from IT
The general session also included multiple user perspective case studies from various integrators and end users. One presentation, given by Peter Anderla, ITS Consultant for MOSAIC, Kimberly-Clark, stressed that products are not being built with secure communication in mind and do not come with clear explanations on how a component can be effectively secured against vulnerabilities."  But, Anderla added, his biggest challenge is my users (operators) and the need to educate users about how easy security intrusions can happen. 

The general session and conference ended with "three pillars of growth" for the organization: acclerate the adoption of EtherNet/IP; expand the ecosystem and build industry awareness. 

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