ODVA: new EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet; SERCOS safety; FDT; expansion

By Control Engineering Staff December 7, 2006

ODVA made several growth-related announcements at SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg, Germany last week, including next editions of EtherNet/IP Ethernet protocol and DeviceNet industrial network protocol, SERCOS adoption of CIP Safety, DTM configuration for CIP, and a doubling in size of ODVA headquarters.

Next editions of DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP specifications , the second publication of updates in 2006, offer more than 20 enhancements to further increase ease of configuration, “allowing more comprehensive and useful information to be contained within EDS (electronic data sheet) files, adding Device Type Managers (DTM) configuration options, and facilitating deployment of these networks with increased flexibility.” EDS enhancements allow the key features and benefits of DeviceNet to be more readily exploited. The update enables variable I/O sizes to be specified within EDS files, provides a means for the contents of connection entries to be described, and allows Device Classification section of the EDS file to be used to specify whether or not a module is a DeviceNet module. Improved diagnostics increase power cable lengths from 3 to 39 m, and allows use of flat media cables and connectors.

EtherNet/IP’s specification previously defined the use of MT-RJ connectors, but the enhanced specification allows the additional use of LC sealed connectors. A DTM configuration option now has been included within the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) specification, adding the capability for using DTMs for device configuration, without removing any existing options. Another enhancement, to the wider CIP specification, removes the limitation where some text strings are English only, allowing local languages to be used. CIP include DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP, and ControlNet digital networks.

SERCOS will adopt CIP Safety as its functional safety protocol , SERCOS International (SI) and ODVA announced Nov. 28. ODVA will extend The CIP Safety Specification to include safety profiles for SERCOS devices, with published specifications and first device implementations expected in 2007. SI will develop the SERCOS III network adaptation to utilize CIP Safety. The organizations will develop and establish conformance testing for devices implementing CIP Safety on SERCOS to help ensure device interoperability in multi-vendor systems. “CIP Safety stands alone as the world’s only media-independent, truly open network protocol for functional safety,” says Katherine Voss, executive director of ODVA. SI’s technical working group has started to extend and adapt its initial “SERCOS safety” concept (published and approved by TÜV Rheinland in November 2005) to CIP Safety.

DTM configuration option has been published for CIP , say ODVA and the FDT Group . Field Device Tool for CIP Networks: Annex to FDT Specification provides the schemas required to implement the DTM configuration option for currently available adaptations of CIP-based networks. The latest publication of the CIP Networks Library of specifications also allows for DTM configuration for CIP Networks. With the increasing ability to multitask network diagnostics, prognostics, and configuration along with conventional control tasks, DTMs are said to offer new opportunities for productivity improvements in plant networks, including plug-and-play configuration for a homogenous environment regardless of networks used. Planned is inclusion of schemas in the Annex for the CompoNet adaptation of CIP.

ODVA more than doubles headquarters size , with larger testing labs, greater infrastructure for CIP technologies, and growing educational services for DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP, CompoNet, and the semiconductor industry. More than 30 member companies joined ODVA in 2006 through third quarter, building on a trend of continued ODVA growth since its 1995 inception, the group said. Overall vendor support for all CIP Networks also has grown, with the number of vendor IDs issued exceeding 1,000. Extra lab space will help with ODVA’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to develop testing methodology for measuring and reporting performance metrics of EtherNet/IP devices.

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— Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief ,Control Engineering