I've got another whine about naming processes, this one more general. I don't know the specifics that resulted in the EtherNet/IP name we've been complaining about. But on the surface, it looks just like what I've seen far too many times: people who should know better coming up with a) a product/technology/protocol name that closely resembles a well-known generic term, chosen with the assumption that the resulting confusion will bring more business, b) a product or company name chosen by the founder's family members who know nothing about the business or industry, so it fails to attract potential customers, and c) a company logo only the founder--or a very small industry in-group--understands that takes 15 minutes to explain to anyone else.
TJ, Good insight on Ethernet and safety. Networked safety solutions are a definite trend over the next few years. Another way to leverage the network and reduce the need for separate hardware controllers for specific functions.
Ann, thank you for validating my EtherNet/IP naming opinion! It gets my award for the most confusing/misleading protocol name.
As an interesting aside, when I first learned about EtherNet/IP, was when I was working for a company that made stationary, industrial barcode readers. The common term for these devices are "barcode scanners", or just "scanners". Well, in EtherNet/IP, a "scanner" is a specific type of network device. Enter confusion, since our scanner can't be called a scanner anymore if using Ethernet/IP.... :)
Al, yet another aspect where designers have begun to rely on Ethernet is Machine Safety. Safety circuits are now able to communicate back to a dedicated safety controller over Ethernet. Traditional safety used dedicated, hard-wired circuits.
Ethernet safety relies on hardware that is safety rated at each end (safety inputs and outputs on a distributed I/O rack) and safety controller using them. The safety hardware constantly monitors that Ethernet connection and initiates safe shutdown if it is ever lost.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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