Rockwell Automation Embeds Ethernet Device Level Ring Technology into Its Integrated Architecture
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1201 South Second Street
Milwaukee, WI, 53204
Press release date: August 6, 2009
Rockwell Automation has embedded Ethernet Device Level Ring (DLR) technology into its Integrated Architecture system for high-speed, high-performance applications needing resilient networks, and for machine builders looking for flexible, reliable, low-cost network solutions for their real-time EtherNet/IP applications.
DLR is a network technology for industrial applications that takes advantage of embedded switch functionality in automation end devices, such as I/O modules and programmable automation controllers, to enable Ethernet ring network topologies at the device level. Unlike a network- or switch-level ring topology that provides resilience to the network infrastructure, DLR technology adds device-level network resilience to optimize machine operation. When a DLR detects a break in the ring, it provides alternate routing of the data to help recover the network at extremely fast rates. Enhanced diagnostics built into DLR-enabled products identify the point of failure, helping to speed maintenance and reduce mean time to repair.
ODVA, an international association comprised of members from the world's leading automation companies, recently extended the EtherNet/IP specification to include the DLR protocol, creating a network solution for multivendor EtherNet/IP systems. By complying with a single standard ring specification, manufacturers using DLR-enabled products can achieve interoperability and numerous benefits provided by the EtherNet/IP network. DLR technology also supports the IEEE 1588 standard for precise time synchronization and standardized Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms to help prioritize data transmission.
Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory Group, commented, "Ethernet ring topologies are important for machine control, because they help keep production up and running. Using ring topology in machine designs enables machine builders to deliver more robust, easier-to-maintain machines that benefit them and their customers."