ControlLogix users with high-performance or capacity networking requirements now have two new EtherNet/IP module options recently added to the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix family of controllers from Rockwell Automation. The new modules are the first products from Rockwell Automation to feature the Intel IXP465 network processor chip designed specifically for the rigorous performance demands of manufacturing environments.
"Manufacturers are dramatically increasing the use of the information and control capabilities built into the ControlLogix platform," says Joe Lee, product manager at Rockwell Automation. "By enhancing our communication products for ControlLogix, our customers can take advantage of the speed at which plant-floor information is captured and distributed throughout the enterprise."
For users running demanding I/O and bridging applications, or applications with a large volume of human-machine interface (HMI) traffic, the new modules work with existing EtherNet/IP products and provide capacity to allow for future expansion of users' networks. With connectivity now available for twisted pair (EN2T) and fibre (EN2F) cables, the new modules provide an answer for applications with high I/O, drive, peer-to-peer, and bridging traffic than was previously available with the existing Rockwell Automation 1756-ENBT product line. The new one-slot EtherNet/IP modules support twice the I/O capacity of the existing module, while accommodating four times the HMI activity. This means the modules can transport 10,000 packets per second.
The new modules also include some user-friendly features. A USB port, located on the front of the module, provides easy access to the ControlLogix system. An engineer can use a laptop computer, connected via a standard USB cable, to make updates, troubleshoot and configure their entire system, without the need for custom PC configuration. Furthermore, three rotary switches on the top of the module enable users to set their IP address as an alternative to other software methods.
The copper version of the EtherNet/IP module is available globally from November 2006, while the fibre module will follow in early 2007. For more information on these new modules or on applying EtherNet/IP please visit www.ab.com/networks/ethernet.html