05 June 2006
EtherNet/IP fieldbus standard get US Council for Automotive research seal of approval
EtherNet/IP is likely to be the industrial Ethernet network of choice for plant floor applications at DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicle assembly facilities in the US.
USCAR (the US Council for Automotive Research) has agreed to support the standard, and has embarked on a series of initiatives to accelerate its adoption in members’ US vehicle assembly operations.
Says Don Walkowicz, executive director of USCAR: “The decision to support EtherNet/IP by our members – DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors – and their executive leadership, demonstrates their confidence in EtherNet/IP and its potential to be an important enhancement to U.S. automotive manufacturing.”
Its first initiative involves working with ODVA, the organisation that manages the EtherNet/IP specification. The project will identify aspects of network performance that have the most impact on real-time control applications typical of vehicle assembly operations, and will develop reporting criteria for network performance parameters.
The aim is to ensure that EtherNet/IP devices users are able to make better purchase decisions by choosing devices that best meets the performance requirements of each application using its published performance parameters.
To assist, NIST (the US National Institute of Standards and Technology) and ODVA are cooperating on R&D to develop test methodologies for EtherNet/IP device performance testing.
Introduced in 2001, EtherNet/IP is the most developed industrial Ethernet network solution available for manufacturing and is supported by over 150 vendors around the world.
EtherNet/IP extends commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet and Internet technology to the factory floor and provides a comprehensive suite of network messages and services needed for manufacturing automation applications.
As such, EtherNet/IP has the potential to improve manufacturing efficiencies in automotive assembly operations and the ability of automotive companies to respond to changes in their manufacturing requirements.
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