Rockwell Automation is now able to demonstrate how manufacturers can use standard Ethernet and the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) networking standards for motion control and other demanding applications. The CIP protocol, which is the upper-layer protocol for DeviceNet, ControlNet and EtherNet/IP networks, is said to hold the key to solving advanced communication and integration challenges for many applications.
Paul Brooks, European Product Marketing Manager at Rockwell Automation, says: "Many manufacturers choose CIP networks to create a seamless flow of information, from the smallest device up through the enterprise business system. With CIP Motion, the advantages of CIP and Ethernet now extend to multi-axis co-ordinated motion control applications, further improving machine synchronisation and information flow, reducing installation costs and increasing productivity."
CIP Motion is a strategic initiative from the Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA) that is creating a distributed motion control system using only EtherNet/IP, and includes controller-to-controller and controller-to-drive connectivity. This approach will provide high-performance axis-to-axis synchronisation with clock synchronisation jitter of +/-100 nanoseconds, a flat network architecture using standard unmodified Ethernet, and a common configuration and programming environment.
Brooks continues: "CIP Motion is the next logical step in expanding the application space served by EtherNet/IP, continuing to deliver the financial benefits of EtherNet/IP experienced by tens of thousands of users worldwide."
Concept demonstrations for CIP Motion have settled the question of whether the open, standard design of EtherNet/IP can be used for all application types, including the most demanding motion and drive applications. Rockwell Automation has demonstrated servo drive control with +/-100 nanoseconds jitter, sharing the network bandwidth with both traditional automation and commercial 'office' style devices using standard, off-the-shelf Ethernet switches.
Brooks concludes: "The beauty of CIP is its simplicity. With CIP, manufacturers save time with no special configurations to the networks. Information on a network is not abridged or upended in the configuration; it goes to the right place right away. Because it is cost-effective and requires less programming and wiring time than other networks, CIP offers an attractive solution today as well as into the future."