ODVA, ControlNet to jointly improve safety, distributed motion specs

Ann Arbor, MI—ODVA and ControlNet International (CI) have formed two joint special interest groups (jSIGs) to help the organizations enhance their safety and distributed motion specifications.


Ann Arbor, MI— ODVA and ControlNet International (CI) have formed two joint special interest groups (jSIGs) to help the organizations enhance their safety and distributed motion specifications. The first group, CIP Safety jSIG, will complete safety enhancements to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), which is the upper-layer networking protocol shared by DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP. The second, Distributed Motion jSIG, will develop standards for commissioning and maintenance of distributed motion applications via synchronization services over CIP.

CIP Safety will allow both standard and safety devices to operate on the same open network. It will also allow safety devices from multiple vendors to seamlessly route messages across the CIP-based standard networks, DeviceNet, ControlNet and EtherNet/IP, to other safety devices with no extra programming. The jSIG is designing CIP Safety for use in safety applications up to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3 according to IEC 61508 standards.

'This jSIG is the final step in preparing CIP Safety for the plant floor,' says Dave Vasko, CIP Safety jSIG chair and Rockwell Automation’s architecture development manager. 'Once the specifications are finalized and CIP Safety products are available, plant engineers will have more flexibility for safety solutions, which will accelerate system configuration, testing and commissioning. In the end, that reduces a plant's total cost of ownership.'

The first implementation of CIP Safety will be over DeviceNet. It will be called “DeviceNet Safety,' and will provide fail-safe communication between nodes, such as safety I/O blocks, safety interlock switches, safety light curtains and safety PLCs. Other CIP Safety solutions will follow, including adaptations for EtherNet/IP, which will be known as “EtherNet/IP Safety.” The CIP Safety jSIG plans to publish the specifications as early as December 2004. ODVA expects that production quantities of DeviceNet Safety products will be available from member companies in 2005.

Distributed motion
The goal of the Distributed Motion jSIG is to specify objects for motion applications that require time synchronization, such as electronic line shafting and camming. The objects will be based on CIP Sync, a standard for precision time synchronization, which uses the IEEE-1588 standard that ODVA adopted in 2003. Because axes can be coordinated using time as the synchronizing event instead of the arrival of data, CIP Sync enables a new paradigm for motion control.

'CIP Sync will provide a mechanism to synchronize the clocks across a distributed network, which will allow companies to replace proprietary solutions with a standard solution, and custom network interface components with off-the-shelf components,' says Steve Zuponcic, jSIG chairperson and program manager at Rockwell Automation. 'This will simplify installations, as well as increase flexibility.'

Distributed Motion jSIG expects to finalize the CIP Sync specifications within the next 12 months. Initially, it will develop synchronization enhancements for EtherNet/IP, followed by other CIP networks. The jSIG also will map a CIP-to-SERCOS gateway function.

'The formation of these two JSIGs represents another important milestone for users of CIP-based networks. Our members have invested considerable resources in the development of safety and time synchronization technologies,' said Katherine Voss, executive director for ODVA. 'The organization is committed to bringing these innovations to market as open standards.'

ODVA has an agreement with ControlNet International (CI) to co-manage the CIP specification. jSIGs include members from both organizations and are created to develop specification enhancements. Participants in these jSIGs assign or license these enhancements jointly to ODVA and CI. This process ensures that vendors and manufacturers can use the technology within the CIP specification without additional licensing agreements or fees for the contributed technology.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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