ODVA Focuses on Ethernet in the Process Industries

April 18, 2013
Along with Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric, ODVA launches a process automation initiative.

Reflecting on Hannover Fair’s central theme this year of “Integrated Industry”, Kevin Davenport, Cisco’s global solutions manager for industrial intelligence, notes that the key technology enabling this convergence is the use of Ethernet—particularly unmodified Ethernet—on the plant floor.  In support of Ethernet use on the plant floor over the past decade, Cisco has served as a founding member of ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors Association), an international organization that supports networking technologies based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), which includes DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP, CIP Safety and SIP Sync.

In line with this focus comes news from Hannover Fair of a process automation initiative involving Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric. This initiative is designed to “further accelerate adoption of industrial Ethernet in process automation,” says Craig Resnick of ARC Advisory Group.

Resnick says that, through this initiative, 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.”

The first step taken by ODVA for this initiative has been to form a standing committee to “define the strategic market requirements for new areas of technical work,” Resnick says. “The committee will be publishing a white paper describing ODVA's vision for process automation and the resulting technical approach.”

Ultimately, the goal of this initiative is to provide end users with more choices to deploy a complete Ethernet solution for process automation starting with connectivity down to the field level, Resnick says. “In the long term, this will expand to include a wide spectrum of process automation needs, including safety, explosion protection, long distances and extensive diagnostic coverage,” he adds.

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