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Special interest group

Devicenet of Things

ODVA has announced it has formed a special interest group (SIG) called the SIG for the Devicenet of Things. The group’s scope of work is to develop enhancements to specifications that will enable expanded adoption of Devicenet to low cost, simple industrial devices.

THIS ACTIVITY AIMS TO MAKE IT COST-EFFECTIVE for users to connect new types of devices to Devicenet and to eliminate gateways by using a blended Devicenet-Ethernet/IP system. By extending Devicenet to more types of devices, users will be able both to preserve their investment and to enable connectivity with Ethernet/IP via ODVA’s Common Industrial Protocol “CIP.” To achieve its business objectives to lower connectivity costs for simple, less expensive devices and to promote ease of use for network installation and commissioning, the initial phase of the SIG’s work will focus on development of an IP20-rated physical layer connection system that reduces device connection cost and installation time, an auto addressing scheme that eliminates the need to set node addresses, and visibility in devices that until now have not had the ability to provide diagnostics.

A future phase of work will focus on enhancements for an IP67-rated physical layer connection system. In 2015, the organisation expects The Devicenet specification to include enhancements from the first phase of work, with products following shortly after publication of the enhancements within the specification. “The Internet of Things movement has established a basis for innovation of new smart “things” in the automation world, but the cost of Ethernet is still too high for many industrial “things” or devices,” said Katherine Voss, president and executive director of ODVA. “Users will be provided with the unparalleled business benefit of cost-competitive connectivity today for devices previously not connected, as well as systems engineered for the future that can evolve in step with the Internet of Things as the costs of Ethernet continue to decline.”

The SIG held its first meeting in conjunction with the organisation’s 2014 Industry Conference & 16th annual meeting of members. As of the first meeting, six ODVA members had signed up to participate in the SIG, including Eaton Electrical, HMS Industrial Networks, Omron, Panduit, Rockwell Automation, and Weidmueller Interface. Founded in 1995, ODVA is a global association whose members are comprised of the automation companies. Its 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.