Adopting Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) to Industrial Networks

November 10, 2021

Supported by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA), the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) is an open industrial protocol. Adopted by vendors globally, CIP provides a unified communication architecture for control, safety, synchronization, movement, configuration and information applications across the automation industry. This allows for integration between Ethernet networks and the Internet for enterprise-level applications. Utilized by EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, ControlNet, and CompoNet, CIP sets guidelines for routing, data management and application-level behavior for its users and network devices.

Architectures Using Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) for Industrial Networks

  1. EtherNet/IP – Developed to standardize industrial design, EtherNet/IP products recognize malfunctions in equipment and immediately pause production, preventing material loss and equipment damage. Using the tools and technologies of the traditional Ethernet, EtherNet/IP focuses on managing large quantities of data at an industrial level. Serving as the standard protocol for communication, EtherNet/IP is an open fieldbus standard based on CIP. Adopted widely throughout the industry, the EtherNet/IP network is advantageous because it provides low costs and allows manufacturers to collect more data from their devices. However, with a large amount of network traffic, it could potentially present security threats. With almost every industry using EtherNet/IP to a degree, EtherNet/IP is compatible and easy to implement in most settings.

  2. DeviceNetDeviceNet devices serve as a communication network between industrial controllers and I/O devices. Providing low costs, high reliability and the use of bandwidth with power on network, DeviceNet offers many advantages throughout CIP applications. Some drawbacks could be its limitations on bandwidth and message size. With DeviceNet being a part of a connection-based network, the protocol calls for different relationships to exchange data. For example, an industrial network might use a DeviceNet protocol to link network devices and transfer data between those devices back to the controller. From here, the CIP manages all those connections by translating inputs and outputs into easily understood messages. The messages are delivered to an established application-level object such as a driver or controller.

  3. ControlNet – Using CIP, ControlNet provides a serial communications system that rapidly transmits time-sensitive I/O and messages through a digital network. For example, the ControlNet interface could meet the messaging demands for applications like coordinated drive systems, weld control and motion control. With the ability to operate at a high speed, follow a strict schedule, have redundant cable support and facilitate proper data transfer, this architecture offers several advantages for manufacturing automation applications. However, users should consider the associated cost of hardware, the difficulty to troubleshoot and that it only allows for signal-based communication. Different from the Source Destination model, all nodes can access the same data from a single course.

  4. CompoNet – Providing a high-speed communication solution for smart sensors, actuators and remote I/O, CompoNet is another important segment within the CIP network. Thanks to its simple installation, comprehensible design and efficient data exchanges, this protocol ensures the fastest communication speeds in the industry. For example, CompoNet could be implemented to analyze temperature sensors on heavy machinery and configured to promptly shut down the equipment to prevent overheating. With its short development time, wiring reductions and simplified troubleshooting, CompoNet may also have the potential to reduce system costs and general upkeep. However, this solution requires understanding data requirements, multiple controller systems and the shortcomings of human-machine interaction. All things being equal, CompoNet offers an ideal mix of user-friendly data transfers at high speeds, which can enhance overall performance and simplify the engineering design.

By establishing a CIP protocol specification, organizing, representing and managing messaging became possible in the industrial space. Enabling a universal language for industrial applications has not only enhanced legacy engineering design but set a foundation for future advancements.

Network Adaptations of CIP – Source: ODVA, PUB00123R1

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