ODVA expands network technologies for applications using sensors and actuators

The Open DeviceNet Association (ODVA) has announced plans for a new project to develop a network targeted at simple sensors and actuators that will leverage the CIP Advantage by using the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), a single, media-independent protocol that provides the interoperability essential to open networks and systems.

The new technology will complement and expand the CIP family of networks for automation—including DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP—and is targeted at applications requiring large numbers of distributed sensors and actuators. These include electrical assembly machines and conveyor systems. The result will be a new CIP Network that will enable manufacturers to transmit small packets of data quickly between controllers and sensors and actuators, and to connect these devices using physical media that is simple to install. ODVA has named this new activity Project CipNet SA.

Omron, one of the founding members of ODVA, has developed the technology for this new network concept and has granted ODVA the right to develop the new standard.

“This new technology will expand the options available to users of CIP Networks and will empower them to choose the best network architecture for specific applications,” said Katherine Voss, Executive Director of ODVA. “In addition, this network will help us to continue meeting the needs of our members and their customers, and thus will contribute to the continued growth of the organization.”

CIP Networks allow manufacturers worldwide to integrate their automation applications—including control, safety, configuration and diagnostics, information, synchronization and motion —with enterprise-level Ethernet networks and the Internet. With an installed base of nearly 10 million nodes, CIP allows users to benefit from open, interoperable networks while protecting existing automation investments when upgrading.

The next step in creating the open standard for this new network technology is the formation of an ODVA Special Interest Group (SIG) for Project CipNet SA. SIG will create specification enhancements to add the new network technology to ODVA’s suite of network specifications. Operating under the authority of ODVA, SIG will help accelerate the adoption of CIP and the new network technology by developing and maintaining the specification for the network.

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