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EtherNet/IP card for flexible communications

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article image The new Allen-Bradley module.

INDUSTRIAL control system designers can reduce wiring, maintenance and system configuration costs with the new Allen-Bradley 1788-ENBT EtherNet/IP communication daughtercard from Rockwell Automation .

This card greatly improves the ability to exchange plant-floor information using an open, interoperable network.

Allen-Bradley FlexLogix controllers and PowerFlex 700S drives can use the new module to communicate peer-to-peer and control I/O remotely over the industry standard EtherNet/IP network.

The 1788-ENBT occupies one of two daughtercard slots in FlexLogix, leaving the other slot open for a ControlNet, DeviceNet, or second EtherNet/IP daughtercard.

"By adding the EtherNet/IP daughtercard to our existing offering, users can select precisely the network they need for their application and change networks by simply swapping out one communication card for another," said Thomas Sugimoto, FlexLogix product manager, Rockwell Automation.

"This is of particular value to OEMs who may need to offer machines with a variety of networking options. And since the same card will work with multiple Logix platforms, users are able to reduce spares and leverage their training investments."

The module supports half/full duplex 10/100Mbps Ethernet and contains diagnostic pages accessible via a web browser for faster troubleshooting and reduced downtime.

With EtherNet/IP connectivity, the FlexLogix system enables control, configuration and collection of data over a single network connection, while also supporting the concurrent use of two network cards -- DeviceNet, ControlNet or EtherNet/IP.

For example, by selecting EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet cards, I/O can be controlled remotely over DeviceNet, with EtherNet/IP used as the information link between the operator interface and the PC.

FlexLogix also supports limited bridging of messages from EtherNet/IP to DeviceNet.

For easy configuration, RSNetworx for DeviceNet can be run on a PC, with RSLinx used to bridge from EtherNet/IP to DeviceNet via FlexLogix.

EtherNet/IP is a core network in NetLinx, the Rockwell Automation open networking architecture that provides seamless, top-floor to shop-floor integration.

The networks in the NetLinx architecture -- ControlNet, DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP -- share a common application-layer protocol and a suite of communication services that enhance productivity and efficiency.

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