More than 1 million EtherNet/IP nodes have been shipped worldwide, according to ODVA, Hanover, Germany. The milestone reinforces the popularity of Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) says Rockwell Automation.
EtherNet/IP has outpaced other Ethernet-based networks simply because its pure Ethernet, not a proprietary implementation, says Doug McEldowney, strategic marketing manager, Rockwell Automation. Leveraging the openness and availability of standard, unmodified Ethernet means tapping into the experience of a network that is well-established in the business world, making it easier to understand and connect industrial devices and machines from multiple vendors with the rest of the enterprise. End users see benefits in reduced wiring and installation costs, as well as additional diagnostics capabilities, space savings, the flexibility to reconfigure and upgrade a system as their needs change, and the comfort of not having to support yet another new fieldbus network.
EtherNet/IP uses the same TCP/IP and Ethernet technologies as the Web, needing no proprietary hardware or software stacks. As part of CIP, EtherNet/IP works with either commercial- or industrial-grade products, mixing the technologies for a tighter integration of information from the plant floor to the enterprise. The EtherNet/IP specification is managed by ODVA, an international association comprised of more than 250 of the worlds leading automation companies.
To date, more than 150 vendors around the world support the EtherNet/IP specification, promoting nearly 400 products with EtherNet/IP connectivity. Rockwell Automation alone offers more than 50 EtherNet/IP products, including a recently announced expansion of the Allen-Bradley SLC 500-Series controllers. As open networks have grown in significance on the plant floor, demand for EtherNet/IP products has skyrocketed. In an April 2005 study published by ARC Advisory Group, analysts projected that industrial Ethernet will continue to grow at a rate of 51.4 percent annually through 2009.