Motion System Design
Networks matter for optimizing exceptional machines

Networks matter for optimizing exceptional machines

With shrinking engineering staffs and pressure to bring systems online quickly, end users rely on machine builders to deliver machines that integrate well with existing setups. EtherNet/IP is a suitable network solution here, because it simplifies control

To simplify automation and avoid risk, many machine builders and their end customers are converging network infrastructures with EtherNet/IP — for the real-time performance, resiliency, and security of a traditional field bus, plus the bandwidth, open connectivity, and global acceptance of standard Ethernet. Convergence with EtherNet/IP helps eliminate the design, integration, and maintenance of multiple networks — which reduces the Total Cost to Design, Develop and Deliver machines while boosting performance.

In fact, EtherNet/IP — with IP referring to Industrial Protocol — is the world's leading industrial Ethernet for network convergence. It is the only industrial protocol established enough to connect from the instrumentation level all the way up to end customer IT infrastructure, and across applications, including discrete, process, safety, motion, and drive control.

In addition, other industrial Ethernet protocols require proprietary chipsets and hardware, which can hinder innovation and system longevity. EtherNet/IP is the only industrial network built on standard TCP/IP technology — the same Ethernet standard as e-mail, the Internet, and commercial applications.

The value of EtherNet/IP

With EtherNet/IP, machine builders can simplify network architecture while eliminating the risks and boundaries associated with proprietary and dedicated networks.

  • During design, it removes separate motion, HMI, sensor, and safety network requirements.

  • In development, it provides a unified approach to configuring devices, and reduces the amount of debugging and interlocking code to write.

  • Once in use, EtherNet/IP natively conforms to standard factory and enterprise-network infrastructures, to simplify machine integration. Technicians can connect to it remotely for diagnostics via Ethernet-enabled text, video, voice — or order replacement parts and materials. EtherNet/IP also helps end customers converge machine data and business-level data for management.

Solutions in action

Edson Packaging leverages EtherNet/IP: The builder's latest case packer uses the network and Stratix 8000 switches from Rockwell Automation to manage real-time control and information flow from the machine to the customer's manufacturing and IT enterprise. Edson used a SERCOS interface for high-speed motion before switching to EtherNet/IP for a single machine and motion-control network.

EtherNet/IP also helps Askim Mek Verksted, a Norwegian manufacturer of cold-end glass wool production machinery: AMV's packager can be fully monitored for maintenance and rapid fault diagnosis, from the operation of pneumatic valves to the temperature of motors. EtherNet/IP also enables remote machine management over the Internet via a Virtual Private Network.

ControlLogix L7x programmable automation controllers

The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix L7x PAC provides memory, speed, and processing for myriad controls. For complex motion applications, the ControlLogix L73 and L75 PACs interface seamlessly with drives through EtherNet/IP and SERCOS network interfaces. The controllers support as many as 100 axes, simplifying motion synchronization.

PowerFlex 755 AC drive with integrated motion on EtherNet/IP

The Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 AC drive provides the simplicity of a single EtherNet/IP network for complete machine control, eliminating the need for a dedicated motion network. The ability to support variable frequency drives, servo drives, I/O, smart actuators and other EtherNet/IP-connected devices on a common network helps to increase design flexibility, improve system performance, and reduce engineering costs.

Stratix 8300 modular managed switch

Allen-Bradley Stratix 8300 Layer 3 managed switches have VLAN and subnet routing capabilities (using Cisco technology) to give IT and networking engineers familiar programming and configuration tools. Errors are reduced and risks mitigated when integrating Ethernet applications into the plant infrastructure. The switches also enable EtherNet/IP users to route all types of real-time control and other Ethernet traffic between network segments, if required by the application.

RSLogix 5000 V18 design and configuration software

This version of RSLogix5000 programming software provides integrated motion on EtherNet/IP and high-integrity add-on instructions. Machine builders can leverage integrated motion for configuring, programming, commissioning, and maintaining drives, I/O, smart actuators, and other devices on a single EtherNet/IP network. Avoiding the use of a dedicated motion network can help lower system costs and simplify synchronization of controllers and drives.

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