5 Reasons to Consider EtherNet/IP™ for Your BioProcess

A Flow Control Perspective

EtherNet/IP™ is one of the fastest growing digital communication protocols in industrial automation, continuing to gain wider acceptance as companies look to transition from fieldbus to ethernet networks. It represents the largest number of new nodes of industrial ethernet networks shipped, at approximately 25% share of the total market[i]. EtherNet/IP™ delivers the speed and precision reliability needed to manage and control information in real-time by connecting devices to a single network, allowing users to collect meaningful data that helps keep critical systems on track. In addition to basic process control, information transmitted via the EtherNet/IP™ network can be used for enhanced diagnostics, deviation alarms or predictive maintenance – all of which maximize system uptime and saves costs.

Recognizing this trend, Brooks Instrument has worked closely with key customers and automation system suppliers to bring the EtherNet/IP™ protocol to its bioprocess-leading SLA5800 Series mass flow controllers. In 2018, Brooks announced availability of SLA5800 with EtherNet/IP™ with significant value-added alarm and diagnostic features.

Why EtherNet/IP is Leading Adoption of the Industrial Ethernet Protocols

Relying on common internet and ethernet standards, key components of EtherNet/IP™’s value proposition include:

  • Various topology options, including conventional star, ring or daisy chain.
  • Compliance with IEEE Ethernet standards provides a variety of network speeds to choose from – e.g., 10, 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps – operators can monitor real-time performance and network data.
  • A flexible network architecture that is compatible with standard Cat 5 cabling and routers simplifies network setup and ensures all devices on the network communicate and exchange data with each other.
  • Broad range of rich data for process control, monitoring, diagnostics and predictive maintenance can be made available from EtherNet\IP™ enabled devices.

1. EtherNet/IP is Open, Non-Proprietary and Future-Proof

Because EtherNet/IP™ utilizes the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™), it is media-independent and therefore supported by a large ecosystem of solution providers for the automation of industrial processes. EtherNet/IP™ easily ties into a wide range of Distributed Control Systems (DCSs) and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) including:

  • Allen-Bradley
  • Emerson
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Siemens

2. EtherNet/IP™ Seamlessly Communicates with Industry-Leading Bioreactor Control Systems (Bioprocessing Equipment)

Biopharmaceutical equipment manufacturers are rapidly adopting the EtherNet/IP™ protocol because the Biotechnology industry (CMOs and end users) recognize the opportunity to reduce operational costs, improve process performance, quality, yield and throughput. Within the bioreactor, cell viability and growth are dependent on tight control of dissolved oxygen (DO) and the proper pH of the fermentation broth. The MFC controls the delivery of the critical gasses that maintain proper levels of DO and pH, so the importance of accurate and reliable instrumentation cannot be overstated. 

EtherNet/IP™ technology is being considered or implemented by leading life sciences OEMs like:

  • ABEC
  • Applikon Biotechnology
  • Eppendorf
  • Finesse
  • GE Healthcare
  • Infors HT
  • Kuhner
  • MilliporeSigma
  • Pall
  • Sartorius
  • Thermo Fischer Scientific

3. SLA5800 Features Plug & Play Integration with Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) PLCs

To further simplify integration of the SLA5800 with EtherNet/IP™ into a network, Brooks Instrument engineers worked with Rockwell Automation to create an enhanced device profile that facilitates setup and integration of the MFC into the Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) PLC. This allows for plug and play functionality of the SLA5800 with EtherNet/IP™ with one of the leading automation suppliers.

While normal setup of an MFC with a user’s automation network can take a significant amount of time to setup and program - especially when dozens of MFCs are involved - the enhanced device/add-on profile:

  • Ensures all attribute tabs and parameters are visible and available for setup or adjustment – the user merely decides which attributes make sense for their process.
  • Eliminates the need for programing expertise to get the MFC connected and communicating with the network.

4. EtherNet/IP™ is Fully Integrated into SLA5800

Our commitment to adding functionality, performance and value without sacrificing equipment space is fully realized in SLA5800 with EtherNet/IP™. To address applications where cabinet space is at a premium, Brooks Instrument engineered EtherNet/IP™ directly inside the mass flow controller – no add-on adapters or modules needed. With EtherNet/IP™ fully integrated into SLA5800, there is no change to the fit, form or function of the device. Whether you’re upgrading from an analog device to a digital protocol, or designing a new gas cabinet, the EtherNet/IP™ enabled SLA5800 maintains the same footprint as the industry-leading SLA5800. Additionally, the Brooks Instrument SLA5800 Series MFC seamlessly connects to your EtherNet/IP™ network. This allows the MFC to communicate directly with the DCS/PLC without requiring additional hardware, such as gateways, analog I/O cards or custom cabling and wires. Standard, widely available and cost effective ethernet cabling is all that’s needed to get your device running and connected to the network.

5. Web-based Interface Allows EtherNet/IP™ Network Settings to be Easily Configured into SLA5800

Another time saving feature of the SLA5800 with EtherNet/IP™ is its user-friendly TCP/IP configuration. When connecting the MFC to the user’s EtherNet/IP™ network, the web-based interface allows network settings to be easily configured into the MFC. Once on the network, the user can easily identify individual MFCs which saves time – especially if there are multiple MFCs in the system

The new EtherNet/IP™ enabled SLA5800 gives you the same fast response time, accuracy and repeatability that our customers have come to expect from our devices, with the communication and diagnostic benefits of EtherNet/IP™.

Learn more about the Brooks Instrument SLA5800 Series MFC with EtherNet/IP™ or the hose-down/wash-down suitable SLAMf Series MFC with EtherNet/IP

[i] https://www.odva.org/Happenings/News/ID/241/EtherNetIP-Continues-to-Lead-Adoption-of-Industrial-Ethernet

About The Author

Steve Kannengieszer
Director of Marketing

Steve is director of marketing, mass flow products at Brooks Instrument with responsibility for Coriolis, thermal mass flow and pressure products.

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