The number of devices that implement Ethernet interfaces on the factory floor is growing at an exponential rate along with the adoption of industrial-grade Ethernet networks on the plant floor. In addition to the sheer number of devices using industrial Ethernet, the types of devices using the technology has expanded greatly as well. No longer is Ethernet being installed on just controllers and human machine interfaces, now it is being installed on motor drives, sensors, and input/output devices. As vendors develop their products, they spend a majority of their development time working through the functional requirements for the device's particular application, but often do not spend as much time designing for the device's network performance. There are a number of factors that can affect network performance causing a vendor to have to redesign their device completely. By spending time analyzing the network performance from the preliminary design or prototyping phases of development, vendors can avoid a possible costly redesign. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing an Industrial Ethernet Network Performance (IENetP) test tool capable of determining a device's network performance to aid vendors in their development process. The software is designed to use standard methodologies to test and measure the network performance of industrial devices. The first version of the IENetP test tool is an extension of the work that NIST has been doing with the Open DeviceNet Vendor Association for the past six years. It will be targeted at EtherNet/IP devices and will measure the cyclic network performance of the real-time network traffic. NIST is planning additional versions of the software to conduct more detailed analysis of the data using additional mathematical algorithms, analyze additional metrics including latency, and conduct series of active tests on the device by injecting traffic onto the industrial network.
Proceedings Title: Proceedings of the 55th International Instrumentation Symposium
Conference Dates: June 1-5, 2009
Conference Location: League City, TX
Pub Type: Conferences
industrial, Ethernet, network, performance, test tool, data analysis