Controlnet vs Devicenet

The Difference Between ControlNet and DeviceNet

When it comes to connecting floor-factory devices in a cost effective way, DeviceNet is a communication network that is open and effective. These floor factory devices include push buttons, sensors motor starters and drives as well as control systems that deliver data at fairly good speeds of approximately 125 to 500kbits/s making it the leading market device for networking. DeviceNet is also efficient for simple devices, since the length of its messages that often exchange range from about 0 to 8 bites. Additionally, in the case of sending longer messages, there is message fragmentation that makes it possible for the data to be availed in numerous packages.


DeviceNet has a clear market spot with device level communication since there is no other kind of network that has the capability to transfer controlled data and information in small packages that are also pocket-friendly. There is a considerable cost barrier when it comes to implementing IP/ Ethernet at the device level since DeviceNet, uses a cable configuration with a multi-drop. The multi-drop can allow you to connect up to 50 devices on a single cable. A switch (point-to-point) configuration is needed for Ethernet to be functional for control applications. There are up to 50 wires that run between the devices and the switch. TheDeviceNet design is common in several companies with high volume automotive production. The design is known as CAN and it is simple without the need for memory in its controller or device. This ensures a cheap outcome component that is as low as $1 and is available from various chip manufacturers. Additionally, the CPU may only need to have the CAN protocol without any additional components of communication, hence, making it rather easy and cheap to use commercially for profitable products and systems.

The Newest Mode of Transportation- Ethernet/ IP

ControlNet International published and accepted the layer application that was shared by both DeviceNet and ControlNet over Ethernet in the spring of 1998 when ControlNet applied CIP. The standard Ethernet/ IP was introduced by ControlNet International as well as other open network organizations. Ethernet users enjoyed information and control services from the open application layer.

What are the differences between the new EtherNet/ IP and the Ethernet that has been around for over 20 years?

To begin with, the major difference is that a common language must be met so as to choose products from various vendors so that they could operate hand-in-hand on the plant floor. For the last ten years, there have been several vendors who have been applying their layer of Ethernet products that have been presented to the market. Consequently, the data sent by vendor A’s product is not comprehensible by vendor B’s Ethernet product. However, when trying to take advantage of the current rich, analytical products this is not the ultimate circumstance one would like to be in.

Additionally, Ethernet/ IP gives its users the ability to control the network, acquire data diagnose capabilities as well as configure the device. It uses the TCP/IP protocol that is standard, therefore, controlling the messages and permitting information.

The commercial component availability, current architecture, and the experience of the users has led to the evolution of Ethernet/ IP. It is essential to consider the cost of the devices in that the commercial Ethernet PC card costs only $20 while the industrial controller may be more than $1,000. The Central Processing Unit and the memory are necessary in the module in order to perform the tasks of the PC, hence the difference of the costs. Also, the industrial products are made to resist increased levels of humidity, temperatures, shock, vibration, as well as electric interference as compared to the products sold off-the-shelf.

The reduced pricing of Ethernet might be connected to the training and manpower needed making it a preferable device for several IT and IS departments for many years. The extensive exposure to the Ethernet technology has led to expansive knowledge as well as unmatched resources. Besides being fast, it has a significantly high data transfer rate as compared to other networks.

Real-Time Control Using ControlNet

Why is ControlNet a common selection yet users can still have real-time control with Ethernet? It is because ControlNet offers a faster link and can handle complicated control systems such as weld control, coordinated drive systems, vision systems, complex batch control systems, motion control as well as the process control systems. This is because it has huge data requirements, and multiple controller systems and human machine interfaces. It also has the best system with multiple controllers joining all the different controllers such as PCs, robots, and welders.

ControlNet users are loyal to it because it can handle control systems that are complicated by the presence of passive taps making the network unpowered. The passive taps ensure that a loss of any of the nodes will not lead to network failure. On the losing side, Ethernet has powered switches meaning that loss of power will result in loss of network. For this reason, users will opt for ControlNet to ensure extensive media redundancy, cabling options that are safe and other features related to ControlNet.

The applicants of ControlNet would want the following advantages:

  • Multi-Media Options
  • Complete solution for product availability
  • Engineering Productivity with Deterministic Performance
  • System uptime with Media Severance
  • Designed Safe cabling for Process Control

Engineering Productivity with Deterministic Performance

The configuration software of ControlNet assists in eradicating any clashes within the configuration and errors in the device by monitoring the usage of the network bandwidth as well as the communication rates of the device by notifying users in case hitches come up. The additional software is helpful in that; Users can configure a sensor that is updated every 5ms as well as drives to update every 10ms and make confirmation that there is enough bandwidth. The sensor and the drive are updated as programmed without network interruption from activities that use the network such as messaging and configuration.

Complete Solution from Product Availability

The advancements of ControlNet and the customer requirements ensure that the clients can choose from a wide variety of products. At, there is an exclusive list of products from ControlNet International and it keeps growing in number and variety of its choices.

System Uptime with Media Severance

Physical media redundancy is standardly offered by ControlNet. There is the assurance of extra security against a cable being damaged or cut. On execution, each device has a connection to two cables and the same data is transmitted parallel on each cable. In the case that either of the cables is not functioning but the operation continues uninterrupted without the loss of communication, the alarms are sent to the management system without manual intervention.

Designed Safe Cabling for Process Control

ControlNet offers naturally safe cabling options because of its design with passive network components that can be used in dangerous situations such as I/O and other components. Additionally, fiber optic cabling makes use of barriers that segregate dangerous areas.  Using ControlNet as well as the design of the system offers a cost-effective system that is relatively simple.

Multiple Media Options

ControlNet offers flexibility with its cabling components that are used when designing an application. The trunk cable is available in optical and coaxial fiber and makes up the central backbone of the system. The users use their environments to pick out the most suitable media. Also, there are special cables used that are flexible with special insulation material and much more. In order to connect devices and gaps to the networks, a BNC connector is used. The fiber and coaxial repeaters extend the length and create a ring, star or tree configuration.

Have you chosen the Right Bus?

When looking for an effective way of transferring data from a device to the internet, it is important to select the best means of transportation. Many travelers and plant managers enjoy the freedom of choosing between a variety of travel options such as planes, buses, and trains among others. All the same, you are the one who knows the best network for your application and whether it would be DeviceNet, ControlNet, Ethernet/ IP or a blend of all these networks.