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First products emerge for ODVA`s new device network

01 February, 2007

First products emerge for ODVA`s new device network

Omron has announced some of the first products to support CompoNet, the ODVA`s new bit-level network for linking large numbers of sensors and actuators on machines. CompoNet has been designed to combine simplicity with high speed, and to save time and reduce complexity for machine builders.

CompoNet is based on the ODVA`s CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) and sits at the bottom of the CIP hierarchy, below ControlNet, Ethernet/IP and DeviceNet. It is designed to compete with other sensor-level networks such as AS-i.

Omron`s initial CompoNet range includes masters for its CJ1 and CS1 PLCs, remote I/O modules with IP20 or IP54 protection, and an assortment of cables, connectors, repeaters and software tools. The IP54 modules will allow I/O to be mounted in damp or dusty environments.

The CompoNet system uses a flat cable to carry both power and data. Connections are made using displacement connectors, while branch connectors will allow devices to be added or removed easily. As an alternative, simple twisted-pair cabling can be used, with each node powered separately.

CompoNet can support up to 384 slaves with a guaranteed cycle time of less than 1ms for 1,000 digital I/O points, as well as providing acyclic message transfers to configure and monitor more complex field devices.

Repeaters can extend CompoNet`s range to up to 1.5km as well as linking sections of different cable types, allowing mixed topology networks. One network can support up to 63 repeaters. The freedom to branch the CompoNet cable anywhere is said to allow significant reductions in I/O wiring.

The network-independent CIP messaging will give users access to intelligent field devices from anywhere in a control system, without having to write any communication code. For machine builders, development times will be shortened, wiring reduced and troubleshooting and maintenance simplified, says Omron.

Setting up a CompoNet network takes a matter of seconds. The user simply selects the master communication mode and speed and it then scans the network automatically. Using a free software tool, users can access any CompoNet device via any connection path to the PLC for troubleshooting and maintenance. Omron`s CompoNet slaves contain smart early-warning functions to monitor their status and performance continuously.

"CompoNet will break new ground for machine builders, as it will decrease complexity and development time compared to conventional networks," predicts Omron`s marketing manager, Paul Downey. "It allows more flexibility to build it into their designs, as well as achieving instant troubleshooting and diagnostics."

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