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ODVA continues on the path of collaboration and partnership

17 April 2013

At Hannover Messe 2013, ODVA announced the launch of an initiative for process automation – in cooperation with ODVA members including Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric – in a bid to accelerate adoption of industrial Ethernet in process automation; and a machine integration initiative.

The process initiative will focus on providing new opportunities for integration improvements, optimised network architecture and increased ROI.

Commenting on the initiative, Catherine Voss, executive director of ODVA said: “Based on ODVA’s industrial EtherNet/IP technology, the results of this initiative will provide end users with more choices to deploy a complete Ethernet solution for process automation, starting with connectivity down to the field level and, in the longer term, expanding to include the full spectrum of process automation needs, including safety, explosion protection, long distances and extensive diagnostic coverage.

Through this initiative, ODVA will explore and adopt technology enhancements to ODVA’s EtherNet/IP and Common Industrial Protocol technologies to optimise these technologies for the needs of process automation.

Also announced at Hannover Messe was the formation of a new special interest group for machine information to develop standards for the exchange of information between machines, and between machines and supervisory systems.

“The resulting standards will provide data models and network services to optimise the exchange of machine information for purposes such as production, energy, or condition monitoring, business intelligence, batch and recipe management, and multi-machine line control,” said Voss.

The main focus of the group will be the development of data models for logical grouping of machine attributes along with services necessary for exchange of the data between machines and other machines or supervisory systems. To simplify communication between heterogeneous systems using EtherNet/IP and CIP, sercos III and/or OPC UA, whenever possible the approach will be to adopt protocol neutral data models which can be adapted to any of the three technologies.

“Without such standard reporting methods and tools, manufacturers must rely on customised, and often proprietary, solutions in order to exchange machine information across systems or transmit data back and forth with the machine,” said Voss.”
The machinery initiative was first announced in 2011 and was the result of several collaborations, including the increased participation of Bosch Rexroth, as a principal member of ODVA.

“The initiative first bedded out a vision for an open, interoperable framework in an environment characterised by heterogeneous systems,” said Voss. “We imagined that the machinery environment would include SERCOS, Ethernet/IP and OPC UA systems and it would be good if they could all work together.
 
“We have members that share that vision so, in 2012, we were able to define a blended infrastructure that would allow Ethernet/IP and SERCOS 3 devices to be used on the same physical infrastructure to support machinery connectivity. Next, we conducted a technical investigation with principal members and alliance partners of OPC Foundation and SERCOS to identify potential areas where we could work to support the use of cases for machine communication including machine supervisory communication and machine-to-machine communication.

“We are now forming the special interest group for machinery information. Initial work within this group with focus on machine supervisory communication. The deliverables from the initial phase of work are expected to include data models for energy, condition monitoring in the machine context. It is hoped that we can then harmonise data models between CIP and SERCOS and map the harmonised data models, in a consistent manner, to OPC UA.”


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