IDA, PNO 'talking' to each other

Hannover, Germany - IDA president Martin Müller and PNO chairman Edgar Küster told a joint press conference at Hannover Fair 2002 that their groups were collaborating on "technical subjects of mutual interest for Ethernet-based communication solutions."


Hannover, Germany - IDA president Martin Müller and PNO chairman Edgar Küster told a joint press conference at Hannover Fair 2002 that their groups were collaborating on "technical subjects of mutual interest for Ethernet-based communication solutions."

Both the IDA (Interface for Distributed Automation) group and the PNO (Profibus Nutzerorganisation) are working on real-time Ethernet TCP/IP and Internet-based automation concepts, and say they will introduce their respective solutions (IDA and PROFInet) to the market this year.

"This largely identical course of action enables the two groups to work together pragmatically with substantial benefits to both," says the joint statement, which adds they are now "pursuing the common goal of minimising differences among solutions and of preventing further divergence among standards through early co-ordination."

The two initial areas of co-operation were identified as "device integration" and "plug-and-work." It was announced that joint IDA/PNO working groups will start after Hannover Fair 2002, with a goal of presenting their initial results in September 2002. Joint status meetings of the IDA and PNO will work "above and beyond" the joint working groups to make decisions "concerning a further common course of action."

The device integration group will concentrate on defining a common standard that adheres to the IEC "Device Profile Guidelines." Their mandate is to "standardise the scaling capabilities in device integration based on existing description tools, such as XML, DD, and DTM.

As far as plug-and-work is concerned, it was noted that so-called standardised Ethernet interfaces do not ensure that products from different manufacturers can be operated simultaneously on a network, or that the configuration and diagnosis of these devices can utilise consistent mechanisms. The plug-and-work group will develop specifications for automatic address allocation by a central DHCP server as well as manual address allocation by engineering tools based on "Discovery and Basic Configuration." Diagnosis will be performed by network management systems based on SNMP.

Mr. Müller and Mr. Küster said, as a result of these efforts, "there will be an opportunity even during the market introduction of the IDA and PROFInet systems to significantly reduce expenses of both manufacturers and users by maximising the convergence of standards.

"This is good news for the users and manufacturers," they agreed. "And in this spirit we'll be pursuing additional synergies."

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Michael Babb, editor, Control Engineering-Europe

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