Ethernet standards may aid users, fuel market growth

A slightly lawless Wild West scenario is facing users, developers, and manufacturers trying to implement Ethernet and fieldbus-based networks. [See this issue's "What's Left to be Said About Industrial Ethernet?" article for more coverage.] To provide some degree of uniformity, several organizations and companies are trying to draft useful standards, strategies, or specifications for Ethernet...

05/01/2001


A slightly lawless Wild West scenario is facing users, developers, and manufacturers trying to implement Ethernet and fieldbus-based networks. [See this issue's 'What's Left to be Said About Industrial Ethernet?' article for more coverage.]

To provide some degree of uniformity, several organizations and companies are trying to draft useful standards, strategies, or specifications for Ethernet's physical, software, data link, and other layers. These include:

  • Industial Automation Open Networking Alliance (IAONA) Europe and IAONA America are becoming facilitators by establishing a technical steering committee (TSC) consisting of IAONA board members, cooperative partner representatives, and TSC's joint technical working groups' (JTWGs) members. Some JTWGs will deal with industrial Ethernet's real-time aspects; wiring, cabling, and installation; web services; safety; device profiles; and conformance.

IAONA, Interface for Distributed Automation (IDA), and Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA, Boca Raton, Fla.) recently agreed to co-promote ODVA's EtherNet/IP networking protocol, IDA, and other TCP/IP-based communication technologies.

  • IDA was founded in March 2000 by Phoenix Contact, Sick, Lenze, Kuka, Jetter and AG-E, which were joined by Schneider Electric (Paris, France) in August 2000. IDA's technical focus groups are also developing interface specifications. IDA was also joined by Real-Time Innovations (RTI, Sunnyvale, Calif.), which is helping IDA build open services based on RTI's real-time, publish-subscribe model.

  • EtherNet/IP, established by ODVA and ControlNet International (Boca Raton, Fla.), is a protocol stack that uses DeviceNet and ControlNet's Control and Information Protocol (CIP) for object modeling. Rockwell Automation recently unveiled a series of products with EtherNet/IP capabilities.

  • FOUNDATION fieldbus' High-Speed Ethernet (HSE) maps technologies from its existing H1 standard into Ethernet, such as scheduling, publisher/subscriber services, and the object model. HSE's Testing Kit was recently released, while further integration with data servers, and registration of Ethernet field devices are expected this year.

  • ProfiNet, developed by Profibus International, is an industrial Ethernet networking strategy that was expected to be formally released and demonstrated last month at Hannover Fair 2001. ProfiNet is based on Microsoft's DCOM protocol.


Hardware standards coming

Though much effort is focused on drafting standards for Ethernet's application layer, other initiatives are addressing cables, connectors, and other physical equipment. For example, the Telecommunication Industry Association/Electrical Industry Association (TIA/EIA) has defined electrical performance qualifications for RJ-485 connectors, and is expected to extend that standard to address industrially hardened Ethernet components in a couple of months.

Meanwhile, a six-company consortium arising from EtherNet/IP and ODVA, is working to define open specifications for Ethernet components, and may even release a standardized RJ-45 connector in June. Consortium members include Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, Wis.), Anixter (Skokie, Ill.), Panduit (Tinley Park, Ill.), Siemon (Watertown, Conn.), Belden Wire & Cable (Richmond, Ind.), and CommScope (Hickory, N.C.).

In addition, M12 connectors, normally used for sensors, are now being used to harden Ethernet for industrial applications.

Jim Montague, news editor jmontague@cahners.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing advancements; Machine vision enhances robotics; Fieldbus evolution; Process safety; Advice from System Integrators of the Year; Road to IANA
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
click me