What is EtherNet/IP?

EtherNet/IP is open-source and is managed and developed by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA), a tax-exempt business league that includes a wide variety of hardware and software manufacturers. Whereas PROFINET is used mostly in Europe, EtherNet/IP is used primarily in the U.S. 

EtherNet/IP combines the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) with standard Ethernet technology. CIP is a media-independent, object-oriented communication protocol designed for industrial automation applications and based on the producer-consumer communication model. The CIP protocol incorporates a comprehensive stack of messages and services that support the integration of industrial automation applications with enterprise Ethernet networks and the Internet, facilitation of data exchange between network components, monitoring and control, synchronization, and network management. 

One of the major benefits that EtherNet/IP offers is the ability to connect legacy devices. EtherNet/IP’s structure allows the ability to connect devices from any OEM to the network, thereby enabling access to the machine data platform. This eliminates the need for proprietary protocols that require expensive investment into a single vendor’s product. 

For more information on Ethernet/IP and other industrial communications protocols, read our white paper guide to industrial communication protocols.