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Industrial Ethernet groups collaborate

01 May, 2002

Industrial Ethernet groups collaborate

The IDA (Interface for Distributed Automation) and PNO (the Profibus Users Organisation) fieldbus groups have announced that they are collaborating on Ethernet-based industrial communications systems. Previously, the two groups have worked independently on different Ethernet-based technologies, but they will now co-operate to minimise differences between their two systems, and to allow products that conform with their protocols to inter-operate with each other.

The IDA and the PNO have established joint working groups on various topics including device integration and the problem of products from different suppliers not being able to operate on the same fieldbus, or to be configured or diagnosed using the same software tools.

Despite the collaboration between PNO and the IDA, there will still be incompatibilities between different versions of industrial Ethernet. In North America, for example, the ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors` Association) is still developing its Ethernet/IP system independently.

Meanwhile, Profibus International (PI) has drawn up test instructions for certifying that products comply with Profinet - its implementation of Ethernet. It hopes that the test tools will be ready in time for the certification tests to take place this year.

PI has also announced standard connectors for Profinet installations. For IP 20 control cabinet environments, it has chosen the RJ 45 connector, while for IP 65/67 environments it has specified either round M12 connectors, or industrialised versions of the RJ 45 connector.

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