Drives and Controls Magazine
Distributed I/O technology supports three Ethernet protocols
Published:  30 August, 2012

The US industrial networking supplier Turck has developed a technology that allows one distributed I/O device to be used for three different industrial Ethernet protocols – EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP and Profinet – thus simplifying integration with host systems. The multiprotocol technology is said to provide reliable application of the protocols for all of Turck’s industrial Ethernet portfolio, minimising maintenance and making product specification and application easier.

The technology is suitable for on-machine, in-cabinet, modular and block I/O applications, and can be deployed in any application that uses a host system supporting Modbus TCP/IP (client), EtherNet/IP (scanner) or Profinet (master). When the network is powered-up, the device recognises the available protocol.
“With over ten years of design and tens of thousands of installations, the Turck industrial Ethernet product offering had become fragmented,” explains Randy Durick, director of the company’s network and interface division. “The industrial Ethernet multiprotocol project was developed with an objective to streamline our product offering and create a cohesive strategy across our distributed I/O product families, providing our customers with more comprehensive, easy-to-deploy industrial Ethernet.

“This technology was designed to assist our customers in supporting multiple protocols for their own customer base,” Durick adds. “Rather than worrying about multiple part numbers or various feature sets across diverging product platforms, the multiprotocol technology allows us to make industrial Ethernet easier for them.”

The technology will be available for Turck Ethernet products including its BL20, BL67, BLCompact and Advanced I/O (AIM) stations.