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GM standardises on Ethernet/IP

01 October, 2003

General Motors has decided to standardise on Ethernet/IP for communications in its vehicle manufacturing operations. Suppliers to more than 60 GM factories worldwide have until 1 January, 2007, to make their products Ethernet/IP-compatible.

"To meet our needs, we wanted an Ethernet implementation that is open, readily available, capable of real-time data delivery, and uses standard infrastructure devices," says Gary Workman, a GM development engineer. "The Ethernet/IP networking solution clearly meets all of these criteria."

GM will use Ethernet/IP to provide real-time communications between machine controllers, robots and process control equipment, as well as providing information to higher-level business systems. Ethernet/IP supports both the TCP/IP and UDP/IP protocols, allowing it to be used for both control and information applications.

Earlier this year, GM commissioned a factory in the US using the Japanese-developed FL-net implementation of Ethernet but emphasised that it was assessing and using other versions as well.

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