- By Bill Lydon, Automation.com
- April 30, 2020
By Bill Lydon
More than 120 industry professionals from more than 50 companies attended to focus on supporting industrial digitalization through the association’s device connectivity technologies, which include the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) and the network adaptations of CIP: EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, ControlNet and CompoNet.
The annual meeting included a panel discussion titled “Can 5G and WiFi 6 Deliver on the Factory Floor?”, a technical session focused on 5G communications and a keynote speech from Amazon Web Services titled, “The Effect of Digital Transformation on the Industrial Automation Product Ecosystem at the Edge and Beyond.” Summaries of those sessions are below. Technical papers and presentations from the event are available online.
ODVA technologies include the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) — ODVA’s media-independent, object-oriented protocol — along with ODVA’s network adaptations of CIP: EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, ControlNet and CompoNet. ODVA membership grew 6.8% since the 2018 annual meeting and 5% in 2019. EtherNet/IP adoption increased too, with more than 67 new vendor IDs issued in 2019.
In an update from the organization’s leadership on the strength of and opportunities for ODVA, ODVA President and Executive Director Dr. Al Beydoun said, “With the start of ODVA’s 21st term, ODVA’s leadership team is looking forward to continuing to expand the opportunities that EtherNet/IP provides with the acceleration of Industry 4.0 and IIoT.”
Beydoun said key planned activities for next term include Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) integration, which is designed to meet these goals:
- EtherNet/IP on 10BASE-T1S to reduces cabling and physical cost and enabling in-cabinet networking.
- Enabling EtherNet/IP to meet intrinsic safe requirements in the process industry using APL.
- 1 Gb ethernet physical layer which will become important together with TSN – specifically converged traffic.
Special Acknowledgement: David VanGompel RetiresThere was a well-deserved special acknowledgment for the dedication, hard work, and contributions by David VanGompel to the ODVA retired from Rockwell Automation after over 47 years. He holds an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I first met David VanGompel at the beginning of the DeviceNet technology and the Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA) around 1995. I was involved in creating software drivers for DeviceNet products. Later the organization name became ODVA encompassing protocols including DeviceNet, ControlNet, and EtherNet/IP based on the CIP (Common Industrial Protocol). I also was fortunate to know David from my involvement in early ODVA meetings and committees. David was always logical and could work with disagreeing participants to find common ground and move the specifications forward. David grew up in Wisconsin and we share a common passion for the Green Bay Packers
Can 5G and WiFi 6 Deliver on the Factory Floor? Industrial use cases for EtherNet/IPThere was a discussion about the potential of 5G and WiFi 6 for industrial digitalization. These technologies are evolving, and both hold the promise of wirelessly delivering high dates rates with low latency. Paul Diedier said, “ the world has two dominant wireless access ecosystems in transformation today, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, which are built on the same wireless foundation.”
David D. Brandt, Engineering Fellow Rockwell Automation, Inc. and Scott T. Griffiths, Senior Network Engineer Rockwell Automation, Inc. presented a technical session titled, 5G - Not Just for Cell Phones Anymore, that was very informative. 5G is an upgrade to the cellular system that delivers higher data rates, higher device density, lower latency, increased reliability, and a push for private deployment that all combine to target a wider range of applications.
Expected usage includes “Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication” (URLLC) for real time control, “enhanced Mobile Broadband” (eMBB) for uses including augmented and virtual reality, and “enhanced/massive Machine Type Communications” (eMTC) for wide-area (usually battery powered) wireless.
Not only did the cellular industry target industrial automation in their IMT-2020 Vision, but there is a coordinated effort called 5G-ACIA ( 5G-Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation) to rally industrial automation behind 5G and to influence the 5G standards to meet industrial automation use cases and requirements.
This includes 5G intent to be the dominant force in low-power wireless devices. Much of the extended focus is on devices other than traditional cellphones, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). While each person may carry a single (relatively expensive) cell phone, they may wear multiple (relatively less expensive) devices. They may also utilize a dramatically larger number of devices in their homes, cars, and workplaces, as well as in public settings.
5G is arriving with one of the largest marketing pushes ever. In virtually every manufacturing company of any size, someone is assigned to develop their 5G vision. While wireless has been available for a long time, and applied in numerous industrial automation applications, it has not become ubiquitous. 5G may bring some new vision, or at least may deliver better capabilities to meet unsatisfied visions.
5G conclusions offered in the session
- 5G will implement a wide range of technical enhancements over 4G.
- 5G enhancements improve on prior wireless solutions and may open new market areas – including industrial automation.
- 5G has already emerged – capabilities are limited, but enhancement will continue.
- For the first time, we have a substantial set of industrial automation players pushing for a common wireless standard – 5G.
- Since 3G, the 3GPP standards have included: packet switched Internet Protocol, Ethernet connectivity, and quality of service - matching EtherNet/IP needs.
- Paradigm shifts may be either an opportunity or a threat.
AWS (Amazon WEB Services) in ManufacturingDouglas Bellin, Global Head, Business Development, Smart Factory even informative and thought-provoking presentation about the application of technologies to digitalize manufacturing and production. He noted that data is the enabler to achieve Manufacturing & production goals including more efficiency, profits, and sustainability. Bellen noted , “ manufacturing is the largest producer of data but the smallest consumer of data”. He suggested reasons why AWS is suited for manufacturing:
- AWS was born from complex automation & factory operations at Amazon.
- AWS has the most comprehensive and advanced set of cloud services & features available today.
- AWS customers take advantage of security design for the most sensitive organizations.
- AWS massive global scale reduces risk.
Bellin cited an application of AWS with Volkswagen to improve production efficiency and productivity by a goal of 30%. This is accomplished with the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud bringing together data from all machines, plants and systems in all factories. The long-term goal is to integrate the global supply chain for more than 30,000 locations and 1,500 partner companies into the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud.
A concern with cloud computing is loss of connection for critical functions. In recognizing this, the company developed AWS IoT Greengrass extends AWS to edge devices so they can act locally on the data they generate, while still using the cloud for management, analytics, and durable storage. With AWS IoT Greengrass, connected devices can run AWS Lambda functions, Docker containers, or both, execute predictions based on machine learning models, keep device data in sync, and communicate with other devices securely – even when not connected to the Internet.
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