Manufacturers looking for ease of maintenance, upgradability and employing the IIOT (Industrial Internet of things) will need to upgrade to Ethernet/IP networks to ensure their equipment will be viable into the future and capable of taking advantage of the next generation of industrial control.
CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) is the protocol used in ControlNet, DeviceNet as well as Ethernet/IP. ControlNet and DeviceNet were employed before Ethernet/IP became robust enough for repeatable, deterministic control in an Industrial environment. At the time, Ethernet/IP was considered an “information only” network. ControlNet was a scheduled network which guaranteed control packets to arrive at the requested time. DeviceNet was a device-level network with an open protocol for multivendor support.
Both ControlNet and DeviceNet required external software to configure, schedule and map control points for proper hardware operation which, in many cases, is above the “skill set” of the support staff especially when replacing existing failed hardware.
With the advent of better switching technologies, unicast messaging and flexible topologies, Ethernet/IP networks are now very robust and repeatable for the industrial environment. Ethernet/IP is now the network of choice for both control and information.
Sales of ControlNet and DeviceNet are almost non-existent and many customers are converting these networks to Ethernet/IP for ease of maintenance. While there are currently no plans to obsolete these networks, costs to maintain such networks continue to rise as sales volumes decrease.
Get in contact with JCS today to learn more about upgrade opportunities and customer success stories.