ODVA Industry Conference and Annual Meeting

ODVA Industry Conference and Annual Meeting

The ODVA held its Industry Conference and 19th Annual meeting this week in Atlanta. Perhaps more than the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), the topic of conversation was Michael—the hurricane. We started getting rain from its outer bands in the late afternoon Wednesday. By the time I awoke at 5:30 am to get ready to catch my flight out, it was all over. Not so fortunate were the millions directly impacted. My prayers go out to them.

I have missed the last two or three of these. It was good to get an update. There was no announcement while I was there, but there were some people from Honeywell Process Solutions present who talked about using EtherNet/IP for process automation applications. These switching industry alignments are fascinating to watch. Foundation Fieldbus seems to have lost momentum recently. Will EtherNet/IP, the CIP network, absorb some of the market share?

A well organized series of speakers started Wednesday morning tech sessions with a quick update from all of the SIGs. There are many volunteers putting out an incredible amount of hours developing and updating the various specifications. I can‘t report on them all here—it would be too deep into the weeds anyway. But let‘s just say that ODVA is alive and well.

As even casual readers here know, I am a fan of Time Sensitive Networking (TSN). Yes, I know that it‘s not ready for prime time, yet. Products are beginning to appear in the market, and interest is building across the industry.

I sat in two sessions focused on TSN and CIP. There is technical work going on. The sessions and ensuing questions laid bare the engineering challenges involved in developing CIP over TSN. It‘s non-trivial, but doable. Some may still question TSN, but I‘m even more bullish.

On another front, work has begun on updating the ODVA product data sheet specifications. This work will eventually provide for more and better information to users.

FDT Group Announces IIoT Server and Extensions at SPS in Nuremberg

FDT Group Announces IIoT Server and Extensions at SPS in Nuremberg

FDT IIoT Server

FDT IIoT Server

The FDT Group announced a revised mission statement, an IIoT Server, and agreements with other organizations—OPC Foundation, ODVA for CIP, and AutomationML–at its press conference at SPS 2016 in Nuremberg.

This highlights the role of technology organizations in this connected era—they must cooperate and collaborate or die.

“FDT is the open standard for industrial automation integration of networks and devices, harnessing IIoT and Industrie 4.0 for enterprise-wide connectivity” proclaims the organization on its updated Website.

The FDT Group launched FDT/IIoT Server (FITS) for mobility, cloud, and fog enterprise applications. The FITS solution protects industry investments in FDT through advanced business logic, well-defined interfaces and common components, and enables operating system (OS) agnostic implementation of the technology while supporting today’s integrated automation architecture.

The server features robust layered security leveraging vetted industry standards and utilizing encrypted communications with transport layer security (TLS).

FITS also takes advantage of an OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) annex enabling sensor-to-cloud, enterprise-wide connectivity in industrial control systems used in the process, hybrid and factory automation markets. Together, FDT and OPC UA allow sensor, network and topology information to permeate the enterprise, including mobile devices, distributed control systems (DCSs), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, the cloud, and the IIoT and Industry 4.0.

According to Glenn Schulz, managing director of the FDT Group, the FITS solution represents the key architectural role that FDT plays in an intelligent enterprise. “The FDT Group is working with the various IIoT initiatives around the world to ensure that our new architecture meets their emerging requirements,” Schulz said. “In addition, the FDT platform is being enhanced to include operating system agnostic support for standard browsers, fit-for-purpose apps, and general web services for any potential expansion. These advancements underscore our support for the hundreds of thousands of installed FDT/FRAMES and tens of millions of FDT-enabled products in the global installed base.”

It announced the release of an annex to the FDT standard for the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA).
The FDT/OPC UA annex is intended for implementation by automation system manufacturers in FDT Frame Applications (FDT/FRAMEs). System suppliers with an FDT/FRAME embedded in their distributed control system (DCS), asset management system, programmable logic controller (PLC) or other system have the ability to include an OPC UA server in an application accessible from any OPC UA client application.

The combined FDT/OPC standards create a single system infrastructure that standardizes the connection of industrial networks, automation systems and devices. This approach enables unification of system engineering, configuration and diagnosis in Industrie 4.0, and supports Industrie 4.0 devices, but is also able to build a bridge to Industrie 3.0 networks and devices.

Also announced was release of an updated annex to the current FDT standard for ODVA’s media-independent Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). Network adaptations of CIP include EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet. The latest version of the CIP annex to the FDT specification enables the use of proven and widely implemented ODVA networks in FDT/FRAME Applications with the latest enhancements.

And a further announcement was integration of the open AutomationML data exchange standard into open, non-proprietary FDT Technology. Together, the two standards will help advance global adoption of Industrie 4.0 solutions.

First developed in 2006, AutomationML is intended to standardize data exchange in the engineering phase of production systems.

ODVA Industry Conference and Annual Meeting

Hannover News: ODVA Begins Work on CIP to the Cloud

Do we need an OPC UA replacement?

I’ve gone from one trip to another and had some allergy attacks in the middle. That’s my excuse. So I’m catching up on Hannover news plus my experience as an ERP analyst (not) at the QAD user conference

I didn’t intend to lead with this one, but for the first time in a while I’ve hit a bit of controversy. My YouTube video essay on the subject garnered my first “like” and first “dislike”. Read and listen and decide who might not like the analysis.

CIP Cloud Interface

In surely the most discussed announcement in automation at Hannover, ODVA announced a “significant” new area of technical work to develop standards for the gateway and interface technology needed to transport data between the cloud and CIP-enabled industrial control systems (ICS) populated with EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet devices. “Ultimately, this work will result in The Common Industrial Cloud Interface Specification, a major new addition to ODVA’s technology portfolio.”

This is from the press release: ODVA’s scope of work for developing the Common Industrial Cloud Interface will encompass two elements in the ecosystem for the industrial cloud: a cloud gateway appliance (Gateway) and an application program interface (API) for the transport of data from the Gateway to the cloud and from the cloud back to the ICS and its devices. Based on open and interoperable standards supported by multiple vendors, ODVA’s new Common Industrial Cloud Interface will accelerate an architectural transformation inclusive of cloud computing to support device management, process analytics, notifications, remote access, virtualization, visualization and, in the future, control.

“The Common Industrial Cloud Interface will enable an enterprise architecture inclusive of cloud computing resources, based on industry standards, and will optimize high performance, secure communications between devices, an ICS and the cloud, as well as simplify common tasks that must be performed by the Gateway. ODVA’s view of its cloud ecosystem is agnostic with respect to the deployment of cloud computing resources in off-premise, on premise, public, private and/or hybrid models. Furthermore, ODVA‘s scope of work for its Common Industrial Cloud Interface excludes services and applications within the cloud itself.“

Replacing OPC UA Embedded?

As the press conference proceeded, attendees became aware that this work is a direct attack on OPC UA. Several major automation technology vendors have voiced disappointment with the embedded version of UA seeing it a a threat to their own messaging protocols.

This is typical of the open standards movement. End users and owner/operators love them. Suppliers try to finesse them away. Only today I heard about a Microsoft response to IFTTT designed to give the same functionality while keeping users within the Microsoft ecosystem. It’s a never-ending battle for users of technology. I think for the 13 years I’ve been writing here that I’ve been consistently on the side of users. Suppliers can develop lots of value add while giving users some freedom for their own innovation.

I asked Rockwell Automation for comment since it is seen as the internal champion for this SIG. It sent this carefully constructed statement:

At Hannover last week, ODVA announced a significant new area of technical work to develop standards for the gateway and interface technology needed to transport data between the cloud and EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet devices. Ultimately, this work will result in The Common Industrial Cloud Interface Specification, a major new addition to ODVA’s technology portfolio.

ODVA’s cloud announcement does not diminish Rockwell Automation’s support for OPC – as demonstrated by Rockwell’s active role within the OPC UA Technical Advisory Committee and the Specifications Working Group. Similarly, it does not diminish Rockwell Automation’s support for other global standards, as it has experts, project leaders, conveners, secretaries and chairpersons on many of the global standards committees, such as the IEC Strategic Group (SG8) focused on Industry 4.0/Smart Manufacturing.

The ODVA announcement simply outlines ODVA’s plans to offer the best solution to connect the world of EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet with the cloud. This will further support EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet customers in configuring devices and streaming data. Because of the benefits this will bring customers, the initiative is supported by the full ODVA board, including Bosch Rexroth, Cisco, Endress+Hauser, OMRON, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, and Weidmuller.

This continued innovation is why recent studies by HMS, IHS, and others show that EtherNet/IP is the leading Ethernet network, followed by Profinet, EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Powerlink.

A couple of comments. First, notice that Rockwell’s support for OPC and other open standards is limited to participating at the technical committee level. Therefore, it learns the technology, but notice nowhere in this statement is it suggested that Rockwell will actually implement these open standards.

And, in the end, will it really matter? If you are in the Rockwell Automation ecosystem, then it becomes easy to continue to tie yourself to it. If you are not, you’ll not use it. If you’re on the fence, you’ll have to decide. Probably a little of both.

You can see my comments on YouTube or listen on my podcast. And you can vote on YouTube thumbs up or down. It should be interesting.

ODVA Enhances EtherNet/IP Industrial Networking Specifications

ODVA Enhances EtherNet/IP Industrial Networking Specifications

Katherine Voss president of industrial networking organization ODVA

Katherine Voss, president and executive director of ODVA

ODVA announced several enhancements to its EtherNet/IP and CIP specifications during the SPS IPC Drives Trade Fair in Nuremberg. The first relates to cybersecurity. The second involves time-sensitive networking.

ODVA announced that it has achieved a milestone with the pending publication of a new volume in its specifications specifically dedicated to cybersecurity. This body of work will be released under the name of CIP Security and will join the family of distinctive CIP services which includes CIP Safety, CIP Energy, CIP Sync, and CIP Motion. CIP Security will be initially applicable to EtherNet/IP.

Because EtherNet/IP relies on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies for Ethernet and the Internet, users have been able to deploy traditional defense-in-depth techniques in EtherNet/IP systems for some time, explained by ODVA as early as 2011 in its publication “Securing EtherNet/IP Networks.” CIP Security will help users take additional steps to protect their industrial control systems with industry-proven techniques for securing transport of messages between EtherNet/IP devices and systems and thus reduce their exposure to cybersecurity threats.

The initial release of CIP Security includes mechanisms to address spoofing of identity, tampering with data and disclosing of information. Mechanisms supported in the initial release of CIP Security include device authorization, integrity of message transport and confidentiality of messages. To support these mechanisms, ODVA has adapted encryption standards from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for encryption based on Transport Layer Security (TLS), Data Transport Layer Security (DTLS) and authentication based on the X.509v3 standard for certificate handling. Details of ODVA’s initial implementation of CIP Security and outlook for the future were presented in a technical paper at ODVA’s 2015 Industry Conference and 17th Annual Meeting of Members.

“The publication of the volume dedicated to cybersecurity in The EtherNet/IP Specification is the next step in providing users with methods to help them manage threats and vulnerabilities in EtherNet/IP systems,” said Katherine Voss, ODVA president and executive director. “Following this publication will be the realization of the mechanisms provided by CIP Security in ODVA CONFORMANT EtherNet/IP products.”

ODVA’s focus on cybersecurity is not only a function of increased emphasis on cybersecurity for industrial control systems but also because of the widespread adoption of EtherNet/IP in broad range of applications from manufacturing to critical infrastructure. As a result of the breadth of applications, the next edition of The EtherNet/IP Specification will expand support for IEC 62439-3 “Industrial communication networks – high availability automation networks – part 3” to include High Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) in addition to Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP). HSR is commonly used in electrical substation automation as specified in IEC-61850. Other high reliability techniques supported in The EtherNet/IP Specification include Rapid Spanning Tree (RSTP) and Device Level Ring (DLR).

Other ODVA Industrial Networking News

One area of focus will be the adaptation of certain emerging standards for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) to EtherNet/IP. In particular, ODVA will create enhancements to The EtherNet/IP Specification for frame preemption and stream reservation based on the standards being defined in the IEEE-802.1 projects. ODVA’s adaptation of TSN technologies is a straightforward evolution of the EtherNet/IP technology, which relies on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies for Ethernet and the Internet to solve demanding applications in industrial automation. Users of EtherNet/IP will be able to realize performance improvements in systems using EtherNet/IP by as much as two orders of magnitude by combining TSN with existing standards already included in The EtherNet/IP Specification, such as Quality of Service, Gigabit Ethernet and CIP Sync — ODVA’s adaptation of IEEE-1588.

To complement the adoption of EtherNet/IP in a diverse range of industries and applications, ODVA is expanding CIP to include data models to facilitate the exchange of application information within EtherNet/IP systems and between EtherNet/IP systems and supervisory systems which may or may not use EtherNet/IP. One application area where specification enhancements are underway is the adaptation of the recommendations in NAMUR NE-107 “Self-monitoring and Diagnosis of Field Devices“ to the data format and access methods needed to retrieve such process data from EtherNet/IP field devices. Another application area where enhancements to the ODVA specifications are expected in 2016 is the inclusion of a machine data model and services for machine-to-supervisory communications.   By instantiating standards for application data models for process field devices and machinery, EtherNet/IP will provide yet another way for users to decrease their reliance on proprietary implementations by using vendor-independent standards designed for multi-vendor interoperablity.

ODVA is now expanding The EtherNet/IP Specification to include standards for the integration of data between EtherNet/IP and HART and IO-Link. Joining the already-published integration of data between EtherNet/IP and Modbus-TCP, these standards will allow users to accelerate their progress towards a converged network architecture.

“Because EtherNet/IP is based on commercial-off-the-shelf technologies and uses widely accepted standards from the Ethernet and Internet, EtherNet/IP is now a major industry catalyst for the realization of the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Katherine Voss, ODVA president and executive director. “The enhancements to EtherNet/IP that are underway for 2016 are at the forefront of innovations that are driving the future of industrial automation toward the fourth industrial revolution.”

Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.