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ODVA publishes updates to EtherNet/IP to integrate IO-Link devices


December 3, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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ODVA, the organization for international standards development, has published enhancements to the EtherNet/IP specification, which outline how to integrate devices built to the IO-Link communication standard into CIPTM architectures.

This capability will allow IO-Link sensors and devices at the lowest level of the network to be better connected with EtherNet/IP controllers and devices at higher levels of the network.

“IO-Link device integration with CIP provides seamless communications between CIP originators and IO-Link devices through the intermediate IO-Link master, all using existing IO-Link hardware and standards,” says Dr. Al Beydoun, president and executive director at ODVA, in a release.

IO-Link to CIP connectivity eases the acquisition of data and information, leading to a more connected plant that is better able to meet the demands that IT/OT convergence are bringing to the factory floor.

IO-Link devices can now be recognized within EtherNet/IPTM without the end user having the burden of data conversion. From the perspective of EtherNet/IP, an IO-Link device is viewed as a native CIP device sitting on a (virtual) subnet.

The IO-Link Master provides the CIP capability for the IO-Link device, transparent to the originating CIP application. All three types of IO-Link communication (cyclic, acyclic and events) are mapped to CIP communication types. CIP to IO-Link communication is possible with an unchanged IO-Link master and device specification that is standardized within IEC.

Direct communication is enabled via translation between CIP originators and IO-Link devices through the intermediate IO-Link master. All IO-Link devices are treated as if they were CIP Connection target devices (I/O adapters) on a virtual IO-Link subnet.

ODVA is continually enhancing EtherNet/IP to address new network architectures and methods of communication brought about by the advent of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things. The organization says that further EtherNet/IP developments are underway.