ODVA 2003: General Motors standardizes on EtherNet/IP

Ann Arbor, MI—The Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) announced Oct. 1 that General Motors Corp. has standardized on EtherNet/IP fieldbus protocol for its vehicle manufacturing operations.

10/07/2003


Ann Arbor, MI— The Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) announced Oct. 1 that General Motors Corp. has standardized on EtherNet/IP fieldbus protocol for its vehicle manufacturing operations. EtherNet/IP network will provide real-time communication between GM’s machine controllers, robots and process control equipment, as well as provide information to higher-level business systems.

Suppliers to more than 60 of GM’s factories in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East have until Jan. 1, 2007 to make their products EtherNet/IP-compatible.

'To meet our needs, we wanted an Ethernet implementation that is open, readily available, capable of real-time data delivery, and uses standard infrastructure devices,' says Gary Workman, GM’s staff development engineer. 'EtherNet/IP’s networking solution clearly meets all of these criteria.'

Introduced in early 2000, Ethernet/IP is based on commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet (compliant with IEEE 802.3) and the TCP/IP suite, rather than modified, proprietary implementations. EtherNet/IP also leverages standard User Datagram Protocol/Internet Protocol (UDP/IP), which is part of the TCP/IP suite's transport services, which provides higher performance and multicast functionality for real-time messaging.

Because it leverages both TCP/IP and UDP/IP protocols, GM and other manufacturers can use EtherNet/IP for both information and control applications. EtherNet/IP also provides the advantage of seamlessly integrating with DeviceNet, GM's preferred device-level network in North America. GM standardized on the networks to achieve a high level of consistency in designing and operating its assembly plants, regardless of the brand of products used.

EtherNet/IP uses the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) as its upper-layer protocol and object model. ODVA reports that this proven, open protocol offers users numerous benefits including ease of configuration, rapid product and network integration, and multi-vendor interoperability. CIP also allows users like GM to seamlessly transport data from the factory floor to enterprise systems without specialized devices or software.

'The year-over-year node count growth for EtherNet/IP has averaged well over 30 percent,' says Katherine Voss, ODVA's executive director. 'This high rate of adoption is evidence that EtherNet/IP matches the needs of industrial automation users looking to build information-rich, cost-effective and integrated facilities.'

EtherNet/IP extends commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet to the CIP, which isDeviceNet and EtherNet/IP promote transparency from sensors to the enterprise software.

ODVA is an international association comprised of members from the world's leading automation companies. Collectively, ODVA and its members support network technologies based onsure that products built to its specifications operate in multi-vendor systems. ODVA also is active in other standards development organizations and industry consortia to drive the growth of open communication standards.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com





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