Siemens Adds Ethernet to Sinamics Drives to Enable Single-Plant Network
Siemens has added support for industrial Ethernet to its Sinamics S120 drive system, providing flexibility for the manufacturer that wants to deploy a single network across its facilities. (Source: Siemens)
This is a good thing especially for large manufacturing operations, EtherNet/IP and Profinet running on a single controller. I would think it would be especially useful when it comes to communications between machine cells and different OEM machines.
It's VERY surprising to see Siemens put Ethernet/IP into these drives, but very smart. It means they can be integrated tightly into a Rockwell Automation PLC. It's a great way to get their foot in the door of Rockwell's dominance in US industrial automation.
Interesting the support for EtherNet/IP in the new Sinamics drives. I'm sure this will be a good development especially for some machinery OEMs and plants that have standardized on that protocol. Increases flexibility. Could be a trend to support competing protocols, and I expect we'll continue to see more of this kind of development from other automation control suppliers as well.
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In order to keep in line with safety protocols, industrial networks need to be filtered in a semantic way so that only information related to diagnostics is flowing back to the vendor and that any communications that could be used for remote machine operations are suppressed.
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