ODVA forms group for the DeviceNet of Things

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ODVA has formed a new special interest group (SIG) called the SIG for the DeviceNet of Things.

The scope of work for this SIG is to develop enhancements to the ODVA specifications that will enable expanded adoption of DeviceNet to low cost, simple industrial devices that today are typically hardwired in the command-control and communication architecture of industrial plants.

Ultimately the activity will make it cost-effective for users to connect many new types of devices into DeviceNet and to eliminate expensive and complex gateways by using a blended DeviceNet-EtherNet/IP system.

By extending DeviceNet to more types of devices, users will be able both to preserve their investment in DeviceNet and to leverage seamless connectivity with EtherNet/IP via ODVA’s Common Industrial Protocol or “CIP.” 

“The Internet of Things movement has established a basis for innovation of new smart “things” in the automation world, but the cost of Ethernet is still too high for many industrial “things” or devices,” said Katherine Voss, president and executive director of ODVA.

“Users will be provided with the unparalleled business benefit of cost-competitive connectivity today for devices previously not connected, as well as systems engineered for the future that can evolve in step with the Internet of Things as the costs of Ethernet continue to decline.”

The SIG held its first meeting in conjunction with ODVA’s 2014 Industry Conference & 16th Annual Meeting of Members. As of the first meeting, six ODVA members had signed up to participate in the SIG, including Eaton Electrical, HMS Industrial Networks, Omron, Panduit, Rockwell Automation, and Weidmüller Interface.

To achieve its business objectives to lower connectivity cost for simple, less expensive devices and to promote ease of use for network installation and commissioning, the initial phase of the SIG’s work will focus on development of the following:

  • an IP20-rated physical layer connection system that reduces device connection cost and installation time
  • an auto addressing scheme that eliminates the need to set node addresses
  • visibility into devices that until now have not had the ability to provide diagnostics.

A future phase of work will focus on enhancements for an IP67-rated physical layer connection system. In 2015, ODVA expects The DeviceNet Specification to include enhancements from the first phase of work, with products following shortly after publication of the enhancements within the specification.