'Bus wars' expand to Ethernet; Sun touts Jini networkingHouston, Tex.— Shutting down Ethernet as a possible universal industry protocol, factions in the ongoing "bus wars" are creating competing Ethernet versions. Modbus and ControlNet now have different Ethernet application layers, while Fieldbus Foundation and Profibus organizations are working on versions of the same.
'Bus wars' expand to Ethernet; Sun touts Jini networking
Houston, Tex.— Shutting down Ethernet as a possible universal industry protocol, factions in the ongoing "bus wars" are creating competing Ethernet versions. Modbus and ControlNet now have different Ethernet application layers, while Fieldbus Foundation and Profibus organizations are working on versions of the same. In related news, Sun Microsystems (Palo Alto, Calif.) and other Java proponents touted the Sun Jini networking technology, a "plug-and-participate" network operating system that also runs over Ethernet TCP/IP.
Siebe Y2K fix; OA encapsulates; TAVA remediates
Houston, Tex.— Foxboro (Foxboro, Mass.), a Siebe Intelligent Automation company, offered its Year 2000 Tune-Up Kit, replacing legacy system core elements from Bailey, Fisher, or Honeywell, with Y2K-compliant, I/A Series Automation. By retaining existing field wiring, I/O terminations, enclosures, and power supplies, Foxboro says users can save 30-60% compared to complete or system replacement. In the software area, Object Automation (Santa Ana, Calif.) reports its OAframework encapsulates legacy technology so it appears as a compatible object, as a means to migrate from old control systems. TAVA Technologies (Englewood, Colo.) says its Plant Y2kOne methodology halves the time for Y2K remediation planning.
Use of Windows CE expands rapidly
Houston, Tex.—Windows CE, a small-sized, Windows NT-compatible Microsoft operating system, is being implemented for additional applications in automation and control (see also p. 103). Companies announced or showed Win CE-compatible software extensions, single- board computers, handheld instrumentation, and human-machine interface products, such as Pocket GraphWorX CE, a real-time, remote, graphical human-machine interface from Iconics Inc. (Foxborough, Mass.). Other innovative Win CE applications included products from Afcon Control & Automation, Annasoft Systems (Intrinsyc), Arcom Control Systems, Dynapro Technologies, Hathaway Process Instrumentation, Intellution, Object Automation, QSI Corp., SST, Total Control, VMIC, and Wonderware . (For more details, visit www.controleng.com .)
eMore players join Internet-based movement
Houston Tex.— Total Control Products Inc. (Melrose Park, Ill.) unveiled a new "web-centric" strategy on Oct. 20. FactoryWeb will aid design, development, and delivery of factory automation products. Among web-based highlights at ISA Expo/98: Schneider Automation 's (North Andover, Mass.) Transparent Factory expands with web-enabled servers added to the Premium and Quantum PLC products; Siemens Energy & Automation (Alpharetta, Ga.) has web enabled its S7 PLC; and Intellution 's (Norwood, Mass.) adds FIX Web Server to its Fix Dynamics product.