ODVA Process Industry Initiative for EtherNet/IP

I have business related to an angel investment and too much other travel to attend this week’s Honeywell User Group in San Antonio and Siemens Summit in Las Vegas. Trying to get to both events was both expensive and too exhausting to attempt. I had one friend, at least, who was going to both. More power to Greg. 

I’ll analyze from reports I see from those there and from press releases. I know that Honeywell Process Solutions anticipated one major security announcement at HUG, but I would have been gone had I decided to attend anyway.

Meanwhile, I’ve been writing about the Internet of Things, fieldbuses, and networks for some time. The ODVA reached out asking if I’d like an update on its process industry work with EtherNet/IP. Of course, was the reply. It has a stand at ACHEMA in Frankfurt (another place I could have gone…) and sent me this update that would be the centerpiece of its press conference there.

Along with Rockwell Automation’s entry into the process industry automation market, EtherNet/IP usage now must incorporate process industry standards to go along with factory automation (discrete industry) usage. Partner Endress + Hauser has been building out devices that are EtherNet/IP enabled. This is an interesting addition to process industry “fieldbus” market (I know, perhaps EtherNet/IP is not a “real” fieldbus, but it will be used like one).

This was ODVA’s first appearance at ACHEMA, where ODVA members and EtherNet/IP suppliers Endress+Hauser, Hirschmann, Krone, Rockwell Automation, Rosemount, Schneider Electric and Yokogawa have assembled a demonstration of EtherNet/IP to explain to visitors ODVA’s approach to the optimization of process integration. Illustrating typical process applications, such as clean-in-place, highlights of the demonstration include:

  1. Use of EtherNet/IP to connect best-in-class solutions and devices for process applications;
  2. Integration of traditional process networks, such as HART, Profibus PA and Fieldbus Foundation, into an EtherNet/IP network; and
  3. Movement of data between field devices, such as pressure sensors and flow meter, and plant asset management systems.

ODVA’s process initiative, launched in 2013, is intended to proliferate the adoption of EtherNet/IP in the process industries. Initial focus has been on the integration of field devices with industrial control systems and related diagnostic services, leading to a road map for adapting the technology to the full spectrum of process automation needs, including safety, explosion protection, long distances and comprehensive device management.

“EtherNet/IP is at the forefront of trends in convergence of information and communication technologies used in industrial automation. Although industrial Ethernet was first adopted in the discrete industries, today EtherNet/IP is widely adopted in hybrid industries and is spreading into process industries, said Katherine Voss, president and executive director of ODVA. “Because ACHEMA is an international forum for users in chemical engineering and the process industries as a whole, ODVA felt it would be helpful to the ACHEMA’s audience to broadly showcase to process users the opportunities for integration improvements, optimized network architecture and increased ROI that EtherNet/IP can afford.”

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