Process Control & Industry 4.0 activities of ODVA

  • March 28, 2016
  • Feature

Highlights from the ODVA October 2015 Annual Meeting

By Bill Lydon, Editor


Last year, ODVA celebrated its 20th anniversary. On March 24, 1995, founding members OMRON, Rockwell Automation, Square D and Westinghouse Cutler-Hammer gave birth to the organization. The first ODVA open standard was the DeviceNet protocol based on CAN technology and subsequently the CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) standard. In 2001 the ODVA EtherNet/IP standard based on CIP was created based on IEEE 802.3 (Wired Ethernet physical layer, data link layer's, media access control) and TCP/IP Ethernet.

The ODVA has 305 members with a breakdown of 48% United States/Canada, 16% Germany, 13% Japan, 12% other European countries, 5% other Asian countries, 3% China, and 3% other countries. Reflecting its worldwide reach, ODVA Territory Alliance Groups and Regional Interest Communities hosted a number of local seminars, webinars, and tradeshow support for exhibits in China, Germany, Korea, Italy, and Japan.

Katherine Voss, ODVA’s President & Executive Director, said, “EtherNet/IP is ideally positioned for the fourth industrial revolution and the world of integrated cyber physical systems.” “This is something that were all going to be hearing more about with the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.”

Gratitude for Rich Harwell

During the meeting Voss extended an emotional and heartfelt thank you to Rich Harwell in appreciation for all his hard work with ODVA.  Harwell held various leadership positions in the organization since 2005, including ODVA Chief Technology Officer from 2007-2015.  Voss’ comments were followed by loud applause by the attendees in appreciation for his great leadership that resulted in many technical improvements.

ODVA Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Rich Harwell provided an update of ODVA SIG activity. Harwell noted that he believes the ODVA is on the right technical path to remain the leading organization for industrial networking. Specifications and enhancements done by Special Interest Groups (SIGs) is based on direction from the Technical Review Board (TRB). These are some of the current Special Interest Groups with the respective chairman’s noted:

  • EtherNet/IP In Process Industries – Mirko Brcic (Endress+Hauser) (new SIG)
  • CIP Safety – Bruce Brown (Rockwell Automation) (new chair)
  • IO-Link Integration – Frank Moritz (SICK)
  • DeviceNet of Things – Thomas Peter (Weidmueller)
  • Machinery Information – Rainer Beudert, Steve Zuponcic, Ludwig Leurs
  • EtherNet/IP Physical Layer – Bob Lounsbury (Rockwell Automation)
  • DeviceNet Physical Layer – Brad Woodman (Molex)
  • EtherNet/IP Infrastructure – George Ditzel (Schneider Electric)
  • EtherNet/IP System – Brian Batke (Rockwell Automation)
  • Distributed Motion – Steve Zuponcic (Rockwell Automation)
  • CompoNet – Tianbing Li (Omron)
  • Conformance – Qi Zeng (ODVA)
  • Modbus Integration – Todd Snide (Schneider Electric)
  • Energy Applications – Rick Blair (Schneider Electric)

CIP Safety - China Standard

In July of 2015, the Standardization Administration of China approved CIP Safety as a Chinese National Standard. This major accomplishment was a joint effort by ODVA staff, ODVA members, and ODVA’s standardization partner in China, ITEI.

Process Industries Initiative

Shannon R. Foos, P.E., ODVA Strategic Marketing Requirements Team Leader, described ODVA’s process industry activities. ODVA’s process initiative was launched in 2013 to proliferate the adoption of EtherNet/IP in the process industries. This includes an initial focus on the integration of field devices with industrial control systems and related diagnostic services, leading to a road map for adapting the technology to the full spectrum of process automation needs, including safety, explosion protection, and device management.

To highlight their progress, ODVA demonstrated member products in a booth at the ACHEMA Fair in Frankfurt, Germany on June 15-19, 2015. This was the ODVA’s first appearance at ACHEMA, where ODVA members and EtherNet/IP suppliers Endress+Hauser, Hirschmann, Krone, Rockwell Automation, Rosemount, Schneider Electric and Yokogawa demonstrated EtherNet/IP applied to process automation in typical applications. This included a demonstration of the integration of established process networks such as HART, Profibus PA and Foundation Fieldbus into an EtherNet/IP network.

Foos outlined the following ODVA Special Interest Group (SIG) activities for EtherNet/IP in the Process Industries:

  • Defining a reference architecture for process industries
  • Draft of input assembly structure including process diagnostic
  • Initiated HART mapping on EtherNet/IP
  • Evaluation of PoE adaptation for EtherNet/IP
  • HART Mapping on CIP


Foos went on to discuss device configuration and integration. She noted that the collaboration between ODVA and FDT organizations is logical because FDT has a strong heritage in process automation and is being adopted in factory automation. Foos then introduced Glenn Schulz, Managing Director of the FDT Organization, to present to the group.

FDT has a track record of more than 10 years with millions of devices shipped, tens of thousands of hosts installed, and supported by more than 90 companies. FDT requires no licensing or royalties to use the standard. FDT is a dominant standard related to commissioning and maintaining devices in the process industries. FDT is recognized worldwide as a standard, IEC 62453, ANSI ISA 103, and China GBT 29618. FDT currently supports 18 network protocol types and CIP Annex is under development through work with the ODVA. A release is expected in the first quarter of 2016.

Industry 4.0

Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Detlef Zühlke traveled all the way from Germany to give a presentation at the meeting. The professor is well known worldwide as an industry expert on Industry 4.0 and smart factories. Professor Zühlke is Director of Innovative Factory Systems Dept. IFS German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence DFKI Kaiserslautern and Executive Chairman, SmartFactoryKL e.V.

The professor discussed the Intelligent Factory of The Future: Industrie 4.0 and The Smartfactorykl Project. He noted the push to customer-driven manufacturing and shorter product life cycles which require shorter engineering time and the application of technology to create new manufacturing systems and techniques. Professor Zühlke described the next Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0, where products move through the manufacturing process electronically and instruct machines and workstations what manufacturing steps need to be performed. This requires an interdisciplinary approach including mechatronics, autonomous networks, and business enterprise systems integration.

Professor Zühlke emphasized the requirement of open standards. For example, Industry 4.0 has adopted the use of OPC UA and ISA95. The advances in information technology, networks, and smart objects are enabling these new systems to be built. The professor discussed Industry 4.0 demonstrations that use embedded processors with Ethernet connections providing IP communications and processing in edge devices. Data from sensors can communicate with any element in the manufacturing system using objects.  Sensors can communicate directly with the enterprise systems, collapsing traditional hierarchical system models.

He noted that Bosch Rexroth wants to evaluate the ODVA machine data model for possible use in the SmartFactory demo line at the 2016 Hanover Messe. There are a number of ODVA members that will have products running in the Industry 4.0 demo at the 2016 Hanover Messe, including Phoenix Contact, Cisco, White Miller, Bosch Rexroth, HARTING, Endress+Hauser, FESTO, Pilz, and Softing.

Thoughts & Observations

Since the ODVA was initially started with the DeviceNet protocol developed by Rockwell Automation, it has been interesting to watch the expanding base of ODVA members. Other member companies, including those with representation on the Board of Directors, includes Weidmüller Interface, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation, Balluff, Cisco Systems, Bosch Rexroth, Endress+Hauser, and Omron. It’s my opinion that participation of vendors from around the world is broadening the organization’s thinking and making it stronger.

A complete list of ODVA members can be found at:

Related Articles:


Did you enjoy this great article?

Check out our free e-newsletters to read more great articles..