EtherNet/IP: Smart Connectivity for Smart Devices

by | Jun 2, 2014 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation

Jason Leapley

Jason Leapley

Flow Instrumentation Director of Innovation

Most industrial plants have relied on either 4-20 mA or frequency outputs to deliver instrument information to their control system. These outputs have a long history of proven use but are limited due to the simple, one-way, signal. Digital protocols have been gaining acceptance and growing in adoption in automation and process applications as customers desire faster signals, two-way communication, and more information from their devices.

Early Ethernet, although available to automation engineers as a networking option, didn’t offer the depth of device data communication and control that you could find in FOUNDATION Fieldbus, PROFIBUS, HART and other protocols. Recently, Ethernet/IP has been growing in adoption for industrial applications and is fast becoming the networking technology of choice for industries like Food and Beverage and Chemical.

The ability of an Ethernet/IP signal to deliver rich data coupled with the broad standardization and familiarity of the hardware and infrastructure is a compelling reason to look closer. Organizations seeking to standardize communications across the plant floor and improve collection of information are now seeing EtherNet/IP as the technically smart, lowest-cost option.

Why EtherNet/IP?

EtherNet/IP is the industrial Ethernet protocol supported by the Open Device Vendor Association (ODVA). It uses the standard Ethernet frame as defined by IEEE 802.3 and supports ODVA’s and ControlNet International’s Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) application protocol library of objects. So, with EtherNet/IP you can easily, economically integrate Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters, similar to other Ethernet/IP devices to distributed control systems, programmable controllers and hybrid programmable automation controllers.

Smart New Module

Customers tell us they are gravitating more and more toward EtherNet/IP as they converge networks, streamline workflows and increasingly turn to business intelligence data to make decisions. In response, we developed the Ethernet/IP™ Module for Micro Motion Coriolis meters.

We designed the Ethernet/IP Module so that it can be mounted in the control cabinet, eliminating the cost for running cabling to the field and simplifying integration. This also allows customers to use Ethernet/IP with meters in hazardous areas, an unmatched functional capability. Additionally, the module can be retrofitted to devices supported by legacy, proprietary protocols, giving flexibility to be able to harness the power of smart field devices already installed and those you integrate down the road. This means that as users decide to upgrade their network, they don’t have to leave their existing reliable Micro Motion meters behind.

In addition to the advantages I’ve described, the EtherNet/IP Module helps you derive more value from automation assets like being able to continuously monitor process information flow, density and temperature. Also, the Ethernet/IP Module offers the ability to run Smart Meter Verification, a quick and easy means to verify the meter is working accurately and within its specification. Another plus: Ethernet’s longevity as a digital communications protocol means it’s familiar to automation engineers in virtually every industry.

Competition is fierce, profit margins are tight and squeezing even more efficiency out of your processes is a challenge. It takes cost-effective, smart devices, along with smart connectivity, to take automation to its highest level. We can help you get there, and welcome the opportunity to discuss whether EtherNet/IP and the Ethernet/IP™ Module for Micro Motion Coriolis meters are the best choice for you.

To learn more about Emerson Micro Motion networking devices and Coriolis meters, visit

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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