ODVA announces EtherNet/IP enhancements
In two announcements last week, ODVA said that it has published enhancements to the EtherNet/IP Specification — one that outlines how to integrate devices built to the IO-Link Communication Standard into CIP architectures, and the other outlining the integration of NAMUR NE 107 diagnostics for process automation.
The addition of the IO-Link capability allows for IO-Link sensors and devices at the lowest level of the network to be better connected with EtherNet/IP controllers and devices at higher levels of the network.
“IO-Link device integration with CIP provides seamless communications between CIP originators and IO-Link devices through the intermediate IO-Link master, all using existing IO-Link hardware and standards,” said Dr Al Beydoun, President and Executive Director at ODVA.
IO-Link to CIP connectivity reduces engineering effort and eases the acquisition of data and information, leading to a more efficient, connected plant that is better able to meet the demands that IT/OT convergence are bringing to the factory floor. IO-Link devices can now be recognised within EtherNet/IP without the end user having the burden of data conversion.
From the perspective of EtherNet/IP, an IO-Link device is viewed as a native CIP device sitting on a (virtual) subnet. The IO-Link Master provides the CIP capability for the IO-Link device, transparent to the originating CIP application. All three types of IO-Link communication (cyclic, acyclic and events) are mapped to CIP communication types. CIP to IO-Link communication is possible with an unchanged IO-Link master and device specification that is standardised within IEC. Direct communication is enabled via translation between CIP originators and IO-Link devices through the intermediate IO-Link master. All IO-Link devices are treated as if they were CIP Connection target devices (I/O adapters) on a virtual IO-Link subnet.
The addition of diagnostics for process automation into CIP architectures provides industry-standard diagnostic information for process users while leveraging the benefits of industrial Ethernet.
“The integration of NE 107 diagnostics is another step in fulfilling ODVA’s vision for the optimisation of process integration,” said Dr Beydoun.
The process diagnostics update to EtherNet/IP creates a CIP Process Device Diagnostics Object, which provides a known, public interface to a device’s current diagnostics and NE 107 status according to the NAMUR recommendation NE 107 for Self-Monitoring and Diagnosis of Field Devices. The NAMUR NE 107 status signal that is now available with EtherNet/IP provides the following status information: Failure, Function Check, Out of Specification, Maintenance Required or None. The CIP Process Device Diagnostics Object expands the amount of useful data available with EtherNet/IP by providing access to the current NE 107 diagnostics information of a field device from different vendors.
In addition to the status signal, the CIP Process Diagnostics Object maps up to 64 diagnoses from a device, such as flow, pressure or temperature status, that the user can group as desired.
“The integration of NE 107 diagnostics was designed to meet the needs of application programmers, operators and maintenance technicians from both a process optimisation and IIoT perspective,” said Dr Beydoun.
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