A recent study conducted by the Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA), Boca Raton, Fla., found more than 80 vendors are developing hardware and software for the EtherNet/IP specification, verifying significant support for the first open Ethernet-for-automation network with real-time controls.

As companion networks, DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP use the same application-layer protocol. Consequently, the networks also share device profiles and an object library. This allows EtherNet/IP developers to use the DeviceNet objects and profiles for plug-and-play interoperability among devices for multiple vendors. Combined, DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP promote transparency from sensors to the enterprise software.

End-users can expect vendors including Woodhead Connectivity/SST, Rockwell Automation, OMRON, and Cutler-Hammer to introduce EtherNet/IP products in the second half of 2001.