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Unitronics adds EtherNet/IP support to its UniStream PLC + HMI series

21 April 2015

UniStream, the award-winning PLC + HMI all-in-one controller now supports the ODVA’s EtherNet/IP™ Industrial Ethernet standard. Unitronics announced that UniStream successfully passed the ODVA conformance test, and has been certified as compliant with the standard and interoperable with other EtherNet/IP devices.

UniStream can function simultaneously as both EtherNet/IP I/O Scanner and Adapter, exchanging I/O data via its two Ethernet ports with other EtherNet/IP compliant devices. In addition, a single controller can contain multiple scanner and adapter definitions. 

Combining UniStream and the EtherNet/IP protocol facilitates high-performance efficient I/O data exchange in real time, resulting in much faster process control and benefitting other industrial automation applications. Via EtherNet/IP, a UniStream controller can directly read the inputs and control the outputs of I/O blocks and compatible EtherNet/IP devices produced by other vendors. Thus it is now easier to integrate the UniStream in plant wide networks and motion control applications.

No special software add-on or gateway is needed—just UniLogic, the all-in-one programming environment for UniStream, which is provided free of charge. A simple, quick configuration task enables machine builders and automation control programmers to easily integrate EtherNet/IP communication into their projects. The user enters EtherNet/IP parameters and assembly instances into an intuitive EtherNet/IP grid--no Ladder programming is required.

The benefits of EtherNet/IP are driving its worldwide popularity. It is easier and less complicated to implement than many fieldbus protocols, which commonly require specialized training and knowledge. EtherNet/IP can provide a simpler solution for many automation professionals who may not have intensive fieldbus background. 

Another benefit is the fact that it runs over standard, universally-available Ethernet and IP networking equipment and protocols. An additional advantage of EtherNet/IP is that it supports wireless transmission using industry- standard devices.

The simplicity of UniLogic, together with the EtherNet/IP, is a winning combination for the new generation of engineers and automation control personnel that may be less familiar with traditional ladder programming and fieldbus technologies.

UniLogic also offers embedded diagnostic tools, providing statistics about the EtherNet/IP communications that can aid in troubleshooting and optimizing the application.

Using EtherNet/IP for both data and information communications boosts potential Internet of Things (IoT) applications that involve the UniStream. By supporting a variety of I/O interfaces and other fieldbus protocols to connect with industrial devices, a UniStream controller can act as an EtherNet/IP gateway, allowing EtherNet/IP automation control systems to connect with other unconnected devices. 

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