April 2005
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International Electrotechnical Commission Approves ETHERNET Powerlink

Real-Time Industrial Ethernet protocol on track for international standardization

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The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has accepted ETHERNET Powerlink (EPL), as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). ETHERNET Powerlink Specifications were submitted by the Industrial Automation Open Network Association (IAONA) to IEC SC65C as a Real-Time Industrial Ethernet communication profile. An outstanding 96% of all IEC National Committees voted in favour of ETHERNET Powerlink. All but one of the 25 countries voting on the proposal immediately accepted the proposal. At the same time, the subcommittee approved the specification as a new work item.

This is an important step for ETHERNET Powerlink in becoming part of the IEC Standard - IEC 61784-2 "Digital data communications for measurement and control - Part 2: Additional profiles for ISO/IEC 8802-3 based communication networks in real-time applications" which is currently under development. The ETHERNET Powerlink Standardization Group (EPSG) and its strategic partners will also work on reformatting the ETHERNET Powerlink (EPL) specification to be integrated into the next revision of IEC-61158, the important field bus standard.

Among ETHERNET Powerlink’s major advantages is the fact that the protocol can be implemented on any standard Ethernet hardware and chip. ETHERNET Powerlink is the only Real-Time Industrial Ethernet solution with microsecond speed and precision which does not need support through proprietary hardware components or ASICs. Nowadays, more than 60,000 EPL-enabled devices are already in use predominantly in complex applications within the automation industry.

Today, ETHERNET Powerlink is supported by more than 300 leading industrial companies worldwide. More than 30 companies offer ETHERNET Powerlink enabled products or services.

About ETHERNET Powerlink (www.ethernet-powerlink.org)

ETHERNET Powerlink (EPL) is the only available Real-Time Industrial Ethernet protocol with microsecond precision. It is based purely on international standards with over 60,000 EPL nodes operating trouble-free in standard production machines throughout the world. ETHERNET Powerlink is managed by the EPSG (ETHERNET Powerlink Standardization Group), an open association of automation technology end users, manufacturers and research institutions. The group's objective is to offer an open standard for Industrial Ethernet, with precise, real-time response in the microsecond range, high availability and safety mechanisms. EPSG members include ABB Robotics, Altera, Alstom, Baldor, B&R, Hirschmann, KUKA Controls, KW Software, Lenze, Pepperl + Fuchs and Tetra Pak.


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