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US automotive giants opt for EtherNet/IP

01 June, 2006

America`s big three car-makers - DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors - have decided to make EtherNet/IP the standard industrial Ethernet network for plantfloor applications in vehicle assembly operations in the US. The decision was announced by the US Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which represents the three companies.

According to USCAR`s executive director Don Walkowicz, the car-makers` decision "demonstrates their confidence in EtherNet/IP and its potential to be an important enhancement to US automotive manufacturing".

For Katharine Voss, executive director of ODVA, the organisation that manages the EtherNet/IP specification, the decision "indicates that the US manufacturing sector will likely see a significant expansion in the use of industrial Ethernet, and specifically EtherNet/IP, for real-time control applications." These applications will include PLC-to-PLC communications and robotic functions such as welding, gluing, nut-running and clinching.

Following its decision, USCAR is working with ODVA to identify those aspects of network performance that have the greatest impact on the real-time control applications typical of vehicle assembly operations. They are also developing reporting criteria for specific network performance parameters.

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