ODVA's First European ‘PlugFest’ is a Huge Success | Automation.com

ODVA's First European ‘PlugFest’ is a Huge Success

ODVA has declared its first European ‘PlugFest’ dedicated to EtherNet/IP to be a huge success. Held in Neckartenzlingen, Germany, in November, the event saw over 20 participating companies exploring product design recommendations and validation tests to ensure EtherNet/IP device interoperability.

The European PlugFest was the fourth in a series held across the world by ODVA, and the first event of its kind in Europe. Participants at PlugFests work together to establish an interoperable EtherNet/IP network in a strictly controlled environment. This effort allows the participating vendors a unique opportunity to ensure interoperability in a multi-vendor environment, which ultimately aids to reinforce the strength of EtherNet/IP in customers’ systems. With the approval last year of a formalized test plan for EtherNet/IP interoperability, devices on this network that affirmatively complete a series of tests are eligible to receive a Declaration of Conformity acknowledging interoperability conformance. If issues arise during the completion of the tests, vendors receive crucial information to aid in the continuing development of their devices.

EtherNet/IP, the industrial Ethernet technology managed by ODVA, offers a global standard for using Ethernet on the plant floor. Built on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) – the same upper layer protocol used in the millions of CIP nodes installed in DeviceNet and ControlNet networks – EtherNet/IP is the most developed, proven and complete industrial Ethernet network solution available today.

ODVA EMEA Chairman Paul Brooks comments: “There has been a huge surge in the adoption of EtherNet/IP making it far and away the leading industrial Ethernet solution. For users, the key benefits are first that it is built on true open standards, but secondly that users of these products are assured of full interoperability, regardless of supplier. That makes events like the PlugFest very important for developers.”

The PlugFest came hot on the heels of a highly successful series of European EtherNet/IP Implementor Workshops, and was attended by some of biggest names in industry. Some 19 new products were submitted for the EtherNet/IP Interoperability Advisory Test, including six scanners, eleven adapters, two explicit client/server devices, four reference adapters, two infrastructure products and one network analyzer. Vendors such as Balluff GmbH, Festo AG & Co. KG, HMS Industrial Networks, SEW-Eurodrive GmbH & Co. KG, WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH, and Woodhead Software & Electronics (Applicom International products) were among the thirteen companies whose devices are eligible to receive an updated Declaration of Conformity noting EtherNet/IP interoperability.

“Having seen the success of both the Implementor Workshops and the PlugFest, we are certain to repeat the program in the near future,” says Brooks. “Users are clearly recognizing the benefits of EtherNet/IP and valuing the philosophy of open standards, so we must ensure that we keep this momentum going. The enthusiasm of ODVA members to boost the functionality of their products by incorporating EtherNet/IP connectivity will ensure we are best placed to meet future industry requirements.”

About EtherNet/IP
EtherNet/IP extends commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™) — the same upper-layer protocol and object model found in DeviceNet. CIP allows EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet™ product developers, system integrators and users to apply the same objects and profiles for plug-and-play interoperability among devices from multiple vendors and in multiple sub-nets. Combined, DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP promote transparency from sensors to the enterprise software.

About ODVA
ODVA, founded in 1995, is an international association comprised of members from the world's leading automation companies. Collectively, ODVA and its members support network technologies based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™). These currently include DeviceNet™, EtherNet/IP™, CIP Motion™, CIP Safety™ and CIP Sync™. ODVA manages the development of these open technologies, and assists manufacturers and users of CIP Networks through tools, training and marketing activities. In addition, ODVA offers conformance testing to help ensure that products built to its specifications operate in multi-vendor systems. ODVA also is active in other standards development organizations and industry consortia to drive the growth of open communication standards. For more information, visit its web site at www.odva.org.

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