ODVA to update EtherNet/IP in 2016

  • December 02, 2015
  • News

December 2, 2015 -  ODVA announced major areas of technical work it plans to undertake in 2016 that will benefit users of EtherNet/IP.

One area of focus will be the adaptation of certain emerging standards for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) to EtherNet/IP. In particular, ODVA will create enhancements to The EtherNet/IP Specification for frame preemption and stream reservation based on the standards being defined in the IEEE-802.1 projects. ODVA’s adaptation of TSN technologies is a straightforward evolution of the EtherNet/IP technology, which relies on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies for Ethernet and the Internet to solve demanding applications in industrial automation. Users of EtherNet/IP will be able to realize performance improvements in systems using EtherNet/IP by as much as two orders of magnitude by combining TSN with existing standards already included in The EtherNet/IP Specification, such as Quality of Service, Gigabit Ethernet and CIP Sync -- ODVA’s adaptation of IEEE-1588.

Another area of focus will be on-going enhancements pertaining to cybersecurity for industrial control systems using EtherNet/IP and the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), the upper layer protocol used by EtherNet/IP as well as other ODVA networks. In its second publication cycle for 2015, ODVA introduced CIP Security which includes standards for message encryption and device authentication between two EtherNet/IP devices. In 2016, ODVA will develop enhancements to the ODVA specifications to add roles and security levels to CIP objects as well as enhancements to certificate handling for EtherNet/IP connections. These changes will enhance the usability, add granularity and extend security to all networks using CIP itself. With combined mechanisms for the secure transport of messages with techniques for securing message content, EtherNet/IP will be able to mitigate further cybersecurity risks by combining CIP Security with proven defense-in-depth techniques.

To complement the adoption of EtherNet/IP in a diverse range of industries and applications, ODVA is expanding CIP to include data models to facilitate the exchange of application information within EtherNet/IP systems and between EtherNet/IP systems and supervisory systems which may or may not use EtherNet/IP. One application area where specification enhancements are underway is the adaptation of the recommendations in NAMUR NE-107 “Self-monitoring and Diagnosis of Field Devices“ to the data format and access methods needed to retrieve such process data from

EtherNet/IP field devices. Another application area where enhancements to the ODVA specifications are expected in 2016 is the inclusion of a machine data model and services for machine-to-supervisory communications. By instantiating standards for application data models for process field devices and machinery, EtherNet/IP will provide yet another way for users to decrease their reliance on proprietary implementations by using vendor-independent standards designed for multi-vendor interoperablity.

Because EtherNet/IP has been widely accepted as a communication backbone in manufacturing applications throughout discrete, hybrid and process applications, industry has an increasing need for communication standards for the integration of non-EtherNet/IP devices with EtherNet/IP systems. To respond to this need, ODVA is now expanding The EtherNet/IP Specification to include standards for the integration of data between EtherNet/IP and HART and IO-Link. Joining the already-published integration of data between EtherNet/IP and Modbus-TCP, these standards will allow users to accelerate their progress towards a converged network architecture.

“Because EtherNet/IP is based on commercial-off-the-shelf technologies and uses widely accepted standards from the Ethernet and Internet, EtherNet/IP is now a major industry catalyst for the realization of the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Katherine Voss, ODVA president and executive director. “The enhancements to EtherNet/IP that are underway for 2016 are at the forefront of innovations that are driving the future of industrial automation toward the fourth industrial revolution.”

Across its family of specifications, ODVA’s 15 technical working groups produce approximately 50 to 60 enhancements to the specifications per year. These enhancements are incorporated into the ODVA specifications which are published by ODVA twice a year. ODVA expects that some of these major enhancements to The EtherNet/IP Specification, along with others, will be published in the fourth quarter 2016 with additional related enhancements and products to follow in 2017. In addition during this timeframe, ODVA will implement its first conformance tests for CIP Security. In total ODVA publishes five specifications encompassing the EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet, ControlNet and CIP Safety technologies.

About ODVA

Founded in 1995, ODVA is a global association whose members comprise the world’s leading automation companies. ODVA’s mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation. ODVA recognizes its media independent network protocol, the Common Industrial Protocol or “CIP” – and the network adaptations of CIP – EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet – as its core technology and the primary common interest of its membership. ODVA’s vision is to contribute to the sustainability and prosperity of the global community by transforming the model for information and communication technology in the industrial ecosystem. For future interoperability of production systems and the integration of the production systems with other systems, ODVA embraces the adoption of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and standard, unmodified Internet and Ethernet technologies as a guiding principle wherever possible. This principle is exemplified by EtherNet/IP – the world’s number one industrial Ethernet network. 

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