Design partners aid EtherNet/IP product development
Mayfield Heights, O. - Rockwell Automation announced Feb. 28 that IXXAT Automation GmbH (Weingarten, Germany; Northampton, Mass.) and Pyramid Solutions (Troy. Mich.) have become Value Added Design Partners (VADPs) for Rockwell's EtherNet/IP technologies. This designation will allow them to design and develop products for companies using Allen-Bradley EtherNet/IP Master Library.
Mayfield Heights, O. - Rockwell Automation announced Feb. 28 that IXXAT Automation GmbH (Weingarten, Germany; Northampton, Mass.) and Pyramid Solutions (Troy. Mich.) have become Value Added Design Partners (VADPs) for Rockwell's EtherNet/IP technologies. This designation will allow them to design and develop products for companies using Allen-Bradley EtherNet/IP Master Library. VADPs also can sublicense the network protocol library to other, third-party product developers.
This partnership is expected to simplify development of EtherNet/IP-enabled devices, such as controllers, drives, robots, weigh scales, operator interfaces and supervisory control stations. Consequently, manufacturers will have the industrial tools they need to leverage the benefits of Ethernet on the plant floor, such as integration with business-level systems and the Internet.
"IXXAT and Pyramid Solutions are recognized leaders in communication technologies, development tools and products," said Tim Daily, Rockwell's technologies business manager. "Both companies have been extremely effective in helping product developers connect their devices to DeviceNet, ControlNet and other industrial networks. We expect them to enjoy the same success with the EtherNet/IP technologies."
Ethernet's emergence on the factory floor has been fueled by its widespread adoption, increased speed and reduced deployment costs. To take advantage of these benefits and ensure interoperability of industrial devices, Rockwell reports that EtherNet/IP extends commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet with a contemporary, open and robust protocol targeted at industrial automation. This is the same application-layer protocol, Control and Information Protocol (CIP), found in DeviceNet and ControlNet. Consequently, the networks also share the same object library and device profiles.
Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA, Boca Raton, Fla.) owns and maintains the EtherNet/IP specification. IXXAT, Pyramid Solutions and Rockwell Automation are all members of this organization.
Rockwell's Allen-Bradley EtherNet/IP Master Library is a communication stack that gives developers a complete set of functions for CIP connectivity over Ethernet TCP/IP, which is defined in the EtherNet/IP specification. These functions allow companies to build EtherNet/IP products without having detailed knowledge of the Ethernet protocol or the specifics of the CIP-based application layer.
Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor