Omron Electronics has released Ethernet/IP communication modules (EIP21) for its CS and CJ range of PLCs.
This means from the smallest CPU11 to largest duplex CS1D CPUs can now all support Ethernet/IP communications.
Ethernet/IP is an open network, promoted by the ODVA (Open Device Vendors Association), which also promotes DeviceNet and CompoNet.
Ethernet/IP uses CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) to link computers, PLC and simple remote devices together into one network.
Like all Ethernet networks, Ethernet/IP uses readily available cat5 cable with RJ45 connectors, making network construction very easy.
The producer/consumer model of communications is used in Ethernet/IP, whereby a consumer node can request data from another (producer) node.
If other consumer nodes need the same data, the producer can multi-cast its message, thereby saving considerable bandwidth.
CIP is a totally network independent protocol and therefore simplifies routing between networks and the Internet, making it much easier to get message from one node to another.
Significantly, Omron’s EIP21 units also support their FINS communications used in their existing Ethernet cards.
This means that the Ethernet/IP can in many instances be used directly in place of the standard Ethernet cards, without changing drivers or other software.
The usual send and receive instructions can be used to transfer data between PLC and other nodes.
Broadcast and ping tests are also available, as well as self-diagnosis at start-up and a date-stamped error log.