Network Technology

EtherNet/IP and CIP Networks

EtherNet/IP™ is the world’s leading open industrial Ethernet network capable of handling the widest range of applications, including discrete, safety, motion, process and drive control. EtherNet/IP delivers interoperable Ethernet products from more than 300 vendors, including Cisco, Schneider Electric, Omron, Bosch Rexroth and Rockwell Automation, providing more than 1,000 product lines and several million installed devices on EtherNet/IP.

EtherNet/IP and CIP Networks Defined

EtherNet/IP is designed to streamline control and information flow. How?

  • EtherNet/IP – "Ether" represents the use standard Ethernet, IEEE 802.x, technology.
  • EtherNet/IP – "Net" represents the use of the TCP/IP protocol suite used for email, the Internet and other commercial applications.
  • EtherNet/IP – "Ethernet" enables real-time performance, resiliency and security of traditional fieldbus solutions, along with the bandwidth, open connectivity and global acceptance of standard Ethernet.
  • EtherNet/IP – "IP" represents ODVA’s Common "Industrial Protocol" (CIP™), which resides at the industrial application layer and permits routing of information between networks. By using CIP, EtherNet/IP maintains the standards and common protocols typically associated with standard Ethernet installations and applications. For more information: CIP on Ethernet Technology [PDF].
  • EtherNet/IP – Standard, unmodified, future-proof.

EtherNet/IP can use readily available, off-the-shelf media and infrastructure products because it complies with IEEE 802.3 and TCP/UDP/IP standards and conventions. This helps operation and IT professionals collaborate on deploying and maintaining a secure, reliable and robust network infrastructure within the enterprise and throughout the industrial environment. As a result, you can take advantage of the ongoing advancements of standard Ethernet and TCP/IP technology, making EtherNet/IP a scalable, future-ready network architecture.

CIP is an application protocol shared by a family of industrial networks, EtherNet/IP, ControlNet™ and DeviceNet™. You can combine any of these CIP networks without the need for gateways or proxies, which increase complexity due to extra configuration and programming.

This also permits increased flexibility, assures compatibility and offers ease of device integration into new and legacy systems while giving manufacturers the power to converge their communications architecture for improved operational efficiency.

CIP provides industrial networking for safety, time synchronization, and motion control through the network extensions CIP Safety™, CIP Sync™ and CIP Motion™. As a natural expansion of ODVA's application coverage for industrial automation, ODVA has launched a new energy initiative to transform the industrial energy resources allocation model.

Single Network Infrastructure

As an equipment builder or end user, you continuously find ways to stay ahead of the competition. EtherNet/IP offers the ability to create a single network infrastructure – integrating industrial and enterprise systems, to allow for:

  • unprecedented levels of visibility
  • flexibility to change quickly as threats and opportunities emerge
  • easy ability to scale and combine functionality, technology and systems as the situation dictates

EtherNet/IP helps to enable secure, real-time information between machines, systems and enterprises so IT and operation professionals can more easily meet their business goals. Real-time data access and multi-discipline control on one network also helps to:

  • simplify network management
  • reduce network asset costs
  • optimize human skill set assets (e.g. training, experience).

As an equipment builder, standardizing on one standard network can lower your total cost to design, develop and deliver machines, while eliminating the risks and boundaries associated with proprietary and dedicated networks. Since EtherNet/IP can integrate plant-wide, you can securely connect equipment to up- and downstream operations.

EtherNet/IP uses readily available, off-the-shelf media and infrastructure products because it complies with IEEE 802.3, TCP/UDP/IP standards and conventions. This helps to allow operations and IT professionals collaborate on deploying and maintaining a secure, reliable and robust network infrastructure within the enterprise and throughout the industrial environment. As a result, automation professionals can take advantage of the ongoing advancements of standard Ethernet and TCP/IP technology, making EtherNet/IP a scalable, future-ready network architecture.

Secure Network Infrastructure

Rockwell Automation knows that everyone has something to protect. We recommend "defense in depth" practices to mitigate risks through a layered, system-level security approach. Learn more about our Security Solutions and the services we offer to help you optimized a converged network and negate the impact of an incorrectly designed or deployed network.

Collaboration that Enables You

Designing and deploying a network infrastructure can lead you outside of just the industrial space. Rockwell Automation has partnered with industry leaders to help you:

  • connect industrial networks up into the enterprise network infrastructure – Cisco Systems
  • develop a reliable, secure and safe physical infrastructure – Panduit Corp.
  • monitor and maintain your networks – Fluke Networks

Rockwell Automation, these industry leaders and other leading suppliers offer the products, tools, and implementation experience and guidelines to help you successfully deploy an EtherNet/IP solution.

Co-developed with Cisco, the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) [PDF] reference architectures provide detailed design and implementation guidance. Stemming from this document, we have worked with Cisco Systems, Panduit Corp and Fluke Networks to develop white papers, webinars and other educational material that address EtherNet/IP topics relevant to both operations and IT professionals, such as selecting infrastructure products, choosing topologies, and securing your network.

Process Device Integration on EtherNet/IP

Process control often requires specialized fieldbus networks such as FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus, HART to connect to process instrumentation. Rockwell Automation provides connectivity and tools for a number of tools for process networks. In order to capture instrumentation data and leverage it across the enterprise, an increasing number of process devices connect directly to EtherNet/IP. Recent EtherNet/IP investments from Endress+Hauser, one or our Strategic Alliance partners, coupled with our PlantPAx™ process automation system enhancements, are helping address this need.

Network Topologies

EtherNet/IP is topology independent, yet, network topology choice impacts the availability and integrity of control and information data. Since applications drive topology choice, you should address key considerations. These include application performance requirements, network latency and jitter tolerance, downtime and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) tolerance, as well as future upgrade and expansion requirements.

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