Cisco has been pushing "Ethernet to the device" for its entries into the M2M space for several years. Here's a press release that indicates other companies have been thinking the same way.
LEADING INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIERS AND ODVA UNITE TO DEFINE VISION FOR INDUSTRIAL ETHERNET IN PROCESS AUTOMATION
ODVA members, including Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric, will collaborate to evolve EtherNet/IP for process automation
Ann Arbor, Mich., USA - April 8, 2013 - ODVA has launched an "initiative for process automation" - in cooperation with major suppliers to the process industry, including Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric - to further accelerate adoption of industrial Ethernet in process automation. Based on ODVA's industrial EtherNet/IP technology, the results of this initiative will provide end users with more choices to deploy a complete Ethernet solution for process automation starting with connectivity down to the field level. In the long term, this will expand to include the full spectrum of process automation needs, including safety, explosion protection, long distances and extensive diagnostic coverage.
Industrial Ethernet, and EtherNet/IP in particular, has been accepted and widely adopted in factory automation where the automation platform is primarily characterized by discrete control. The acceptance of EtherNet/IP in discrete applications has resulted in the convergence of automation platforms between discrete and hybrid applications. The result is that EtherNet/IP is also now well accepted and widely adopted in process automation, especially in control settings typically found in hybrid industries. The adoption of EtherNet/IP in these hybrid industries has demonstrated the value of industrial Ethernet for process automation and now constitutes a critical proof point for its future deployment in an even broader class of applications for process automation.
"In hybrid industries, EtherNet/IP provides a single architecture with easy access to process information," said Dr. Raimund Sommer, managing director of Endress+Hauser Process Solutions and a member of ODVA's board of directors. "Based on the successful user experiences with EtherNet/IP in hybrid industries, ODVA's ‘initiative for process automation' is the next logical step. By fulfilling the spectrum of process industry requirements, ODVA will increase acceptance of EtherNet/IP at the field level."
"Since EtherNet/IP is already successfully deployed in hybrid industries and some pure process industries, users are looking to ODVA for additional functionality to facilitate wider use of EtherNet/IP," said Katherine Voss, executive director of ODVA. "ODVA has decided to respond with an ‘initiative for process automation' focused on providing new opportunities for integration improvements, optimized network architecture and increased ROI."
Through this initiative, ODVA will explore and adopt technology enhancements to ODVA's EtherNet/IP and Common Industrial Protocol technologies to optimize these technologies for the needs of process automation. ODVA's first action was to form a standing committee to define the strategic market requirements for new areas of technical work. This committee will be publishing a white paper describing ODVA's vision for process automation and the resulting technical approach. ODVA will be providing more information on the initiative at its media briefing to be held on April 8, 2013 in conjunction with the Hannover Fair in Hannover, Germany.