Networks: Industrial Ethernet gets boost from Schneider Electric/ODVA decision
An ODVA press conference at Hannover Fair announced that Schneider Electric has become a principal member of the organization, and the group showed an overview of the planned EtherNet/IP specification that supports Modbus/TCP devices on EtherNet/IP networks. Schneider Electric’s increased participation coincides with its plans to extend the CIP network specifications to provide compatibi...
An ODVA press conference at Hannover Fair announced that Schneider Electric has become a principal member of the organization, and the group showed an overview of the planned EtherNet/IP specification that supports Modbus/TCP devices on EtherNet/IP networks.
Schneider Electric’s increased participation coincides with its plans to extend the CIP network specifications to provide compatibility between Modbus/TCP devices and networks built on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). “This extension gives existing Modbus/TCP users a clear path to CIP network architectures, while protecting their automation investments,” said a spokesman.
ODVA executive director Katherine Voss said the organization “salutes Schneider Electric for putting users first in making the decision to build its network strategy with an industrial Ethernet solution that provides interoperability of multi-vendor systems and protects the customer’s investment.”
Schneider Electric joins Cisco Systems, Eaton Electrical, Omron Corp., and Rockwell Automation as principal members. According to Voss, this action “is a major indication of industry’s continued push to adopt network technologies for automation that use standard, unmodified Ethernet and Internet technologies. Users will benefit through significantly increased interoperability between the largest installed base of industrial Ethernet networks—EtherNet/IP and Modbus/TCP—as well as between automation products from a growing number of vendors.”
Adrien Scole, senior vice president of innovation for automation business at Schneider Electric, said, “Our customers want the interoperability and seamless integration of the factory floor that networks using standard, unmodified Ethernet can provide, and one network for control, information, configuration, safety, synchronization and motion. EtherNet/IP is the answer to our customers’ needs by providing compatibility with existing Modbus/TCP products and systems in combination with the complete suite of services contained in CIP.”
A member of ODVA since 2003, Schneider Electric plans to deliver its next generation of EtherNet/IP products incorporating connectivity to existing Modbus/TCP devices in 2008. EtherNet/IP was introduced in 2001 and has more than 1.125 million installed nodes. According to the most recent market study from ARC Advisory Group, EtherNet/IP and Modbus/TCP are the two most popular industrial Ethernet protocols, representing over 50% worldwide market share.