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NAMUR and ODVA to collaborate to optimise Industrial Ethernet

28 November 2016

NAMUR and ODVA are collaborating to develop an EtherNet/IP proof-of-concept system for process automation in a bid to advance the adoption of industrial Ethernet in the process industries.

The focus between the two organisations will focus on further refinement of an Ethernet communication system for the process industry through joint collaboration between the Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus (WG) and the ODVA Strategic Market Requirements Team for its Process Initiative (SMRt).

This follows publication of a position paper published by the WG in February 2016 'An Ethernet communication system for the process industry' which identified EtherNet/IP as one of the minimum binding requirements for such systems along with 32 aspects that the WG identified as targets for the adoption of industrial Ethernet by the process industry for applications using classical field devices.  The WG and the SMRt have agreed to on-going discussions on the requirements for successful deployment of process field devices on industrial Ethernet spanning a wide variety of topics such as physical layer, device

The WG and the SMRt have agreed to on-going discussions on the requirements for deployment of process field devices on industrial Ethernet spanning a variety of topics, such as physical layer, device integration and diagnostics.

 
"NAMUR is formulating its strategy and requirements to adopt industrial Ethernet in process automation where possible," said Sven Seintsch, chairman of NAMUR Working Group 2.6. 
 
One area of cooperation will be the installation of an EtherNet/IP system in the process automation lab at Industriepark Höchst, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. This system will act as a conduit for shared learning between NAMUR and ODVA stakeholders on approaches to optimise the application of industrial Ethernet for the requirements of the process industry.

The system will be a multi-vendor system comprised of process field devices, control systems and infrastructure from ODVA members including Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric among others. NAMUR member Bilfinger Maintenance GmbH will assume lead responsibility for commissioning of the EtherNet/IP system.

The system will provide a hands-on environment to learn more about the benefits of industrial Ethernet for process applications in general, and EtherNet/IP in particular, as well as identifying needs for the application of Ethernet-based process field devices versus classical fieldbus-based process field devices.

In turn, automation suppliers will gain an increased understanding regarding applications and ease-of-use requirements for the process industry as it relates to Ethernet in general and EtherNet/IP in specific. Lessons learned will be fed back to the NAMUR Working Group 2.6 Fieldbus and the ODVA Strategic Market Requirements Team for its Process Initiative to help develop future roadmaps for the evolution of their respective specifications.

It is expected that installation of the EtherNet/IP proof-of-concept system will be completed in the first half of 2017. 


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