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quote start Industrial IP is not a technology, protocol or new invention. quote end
Q. What is the Industrial IP Advantage? 

A. Industrial IP Advantage is an idea – that manufacturing and industrial companies can build more successful businesses by deploying a secure, holistic, digital-communications fabric based on standard, unmodified use of the Internet Protocol (IP). Using Industrial IP, companies can turn this vision into reality through connectivity that drives better business intelligence, increased profitability and reduced costs. Industrial IP Advantage was established in 2013 by a coalition of like-minded companies who share a vision of an educational community where best practices, successes and failures can be shared and learned from. We work together on thought leadership and promotion of standard, unmodified Ethernet and IP, together with the leading open industrial Ethernet standard, EtherNet/IP™ along with complementary services that can be used on standard Ethernet for industrial applications. This helps industries overcome their challenges and seize opportunities offered by the Internet of Things, ultimately leading more manufacturers to adopt IP and associated best practices as their company’s standards. 

Q. What is Industrial IP? 

A. Industrial IP refers to the use of standard unmodified Internet Protocol (IP) for industrial applications. It encompasses the use of advanced networking technology, infrastructure and practices to support the scalability and harmonious coexistence of the emerging Internet of Things across the entire industrial enterprise. IP enables the industrial fabric necessary to support the services of every device that depends on the IP suite for communication and interoperability. IP enables these innovative services to be applied on the plant floor in a manner that delivers optimum levels of security, performance and ease of integration. 

Q. What is Industrial IP not? 

A. Industrial IP is not a technology, protocol or new invention. 

Q. What is the Internet of Things? 

A. The Internet of Things includes every device that uses Internet Protocol (IP), the world’s defining network technology. Many of these “things” are already operating in the production facility. Today, IP-enabled microprocessors – the brains inside digital devices – seamlessly connect conventional automation equipment, such as I/O modules and variable-frequency drives. But the explosive growth of other IP-enabled digital devices – many adopted from other disciplines – is transforming the industrial landscape. Video cameras, RFID readers, digital tablets, security swipe cards – these open-standard, IP-enabled devices are helping manufacturing and process operations reach new heights of production quality, efficiency, security and safety. To take full advantage of this intelligence, all devices within a plant need to talk with one another, as well as those at the enterprise level, using a unified networking infrastructure that is IP-centric. 

Q. What technological forces are behind the need for Industrial IP? 

A. A variety of powerful technological trends are driving the need for Industrial IP. These include: the unprecedented ability to combine hardware and software over industrial Ethernet for ever-greater levels of performance and connectivity; the exponential increase in processing power, storage and bandwidth available at lower costs; the emergence of mobile and cloud computing; and the ability to analyze big data and turn it into actionable information. 

Q. What is an industrial network fabric? 

A. The industrial network fabric encompasses the hardware, software and services necessary to enable the free flow of information throughout industrial process and systems, and to provide secure access to outside resources. It starts with the physical infrastructure and cabling schemes that reduce communications losses in runtime and optimize installation costs. It encompasses the managed switches and routers that allow converged networks with appropriate segmentation; and it distributes compute power throughout the fabric and centralizes that compute power into manufacturing data centers. It enables virtualization to cut users free from hard lockstep between application software, operating system and hardware, and it provides a wired and wireless foundation for exponential growth in connected devices and for innovation with cloud services. 

Q. Who will use Industrial IP and why? 

A. Industrial operations have a tremendous opportunity to improve productivity, quality and flexibility through more effective connectivity and information flow between all of the various data-generating and data-consuming devices, processes, systems and people within the organization. Likewise, business partners (e.g. integrators, machine and process skid builders and supply-chain partners) also need Industrial IP to harness the end-to-end connectivity of the Internet Protocol software suite for every application. Islands of automation separated by divergent, incompatible networks should disappear. 

Q. What competitive advantages does Industrial IP provide? 

A. Many intelligent – and increasingly small – devices are emerging, and even more will become part of the Internet of Things over the next 10 to 15 years. The overwhelming majority of these digital things will naturally depend on IP because of its overarching interoperability. But the greatest value of IP is its ability to increase the amount of information and the level of communications associated with production processes, creating more room for agility and innovation in the industrial space. Industrial IP Advantage members will benefit from information and education on this transformation, of which we are a part. For automation, ODVA is best suited to capitalize because it supports EtherNet/IP -- the only open, standard, TCP/IP solution capable of all automation disciplines. 

Q. How does EtherNet/IP fit with Industrial IP? 

A. EtherNet/IP is the ONLY automation protocol designed to support all applications from process to motion using the Internet Protocol. In addition, approximately 50 percent of devices in the industrial-automation space will use industrial-automation protocols with the greatest benefit delivered by EtherNet/IP. 

Q. Who was involved in the development of the Industrial IP Advantage? 

A. Industrial IP Advantage was established by Cisco, Panduit and Rockwell Automation – three like-minded organizations joining together to educate the market on the benefits of Ethernet, Internet Protocol and EtherNet/IP. Industrial IP Advantage was formed in cooperation with ODVA, the organization that manages and commercializes the EtherNet/IP specification and standard. 

For more information, contact: 


Jeff Gao, Cisco

Dan McGrath, Panduit 

Paul Brooks, Rockwell Automation 

Katherine Voss, ODVA, 

For media inquiries, contact: 

Heidi Wight 

Padilla Speer Beardsley