IAONA pledges support of ODVA's EtherNet/IP

A coalition of networking associations and manufacturers agreed Dec. 14 with the Industrial Automation Open Networking Alliance (IAONA) to co-promote EtherNet/IP networking protocol. This and other efforts to integrate Ethernet may help unify, and perhaps simplify, plant communications with the enterprise and supply chain.

01/01/2001


A coalition of networking associations and manufacturers agreed Dec. 14 with the Industrial Automation Open Networking Alliance (IAONA) to co-promote EtherNet/IP networking protocol. This and other efforts to integrate Ethernet may help unify, and perhaps simplify, plant communications with the enterprise and supply chain.

Representatives from IAONA, the Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA, Boca Raton, Fla.), and the Interface for Distributed Automation (IDA) group will cooperate to advance EtherNet/IP, IDA, and other Ethernet TCP/IP-based communication technology for industrial automation. EtherNet/IP is the name given to a protocol stack developed by ODVA and ControlNet International, and should not be confused with the commercial Ethernet and TCP/IP.

"EtherNet/IP is designed to deliver information and real-time control on the same, open Ethernet network," says Bill Moss, ODVA's executive director. "Collaborating with other leading organizations will only strengthen EtherNet/IP technology and bring additional benefits to end-users."

With IAONA as a neutral umbrella association, this new networking coalition aims to define common levels of functionality and interoperability for industrial Ethernet solutions. Starting in 2001, the three organizations—IAONA, IDA, and ODVA—will form technical working groups to study and address common:

  • Strategies for plug-and-play interoperability to be used for IP-addressing, device descriptions, and backup/restore mechanisms;

  • Solutions for network diagnosis;

  • Guidelines for using web technology; and

  • Requirements for conformance tests.

The coalition also set a long-term goal of producing a minimal application interface that would eliminate significant differences between protocols. Results of these efforts will be published as IAONA standards and incorporated into EtherNet/IP and IDA specifications. IAONA also hopes to include other emerging Ethernet standards in the future.

"Universal topics are within the scope of most industrial Ethernet specifications, but not specifically addressed," says Andreas Kraut, president of IAONA-Europe. "The automation industry would be best served if these 'white spaces' are resolved cooperatively. To start this process, we will pool resources with two of the leading organizations and technologies in the Ethernet-for-automation market."

For more information, visit www.odva.org , visit www.iaona.com , and visit www.iaona-eu.com or www.controleng.com/freeinfo .





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