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KEB Technology

ODVA-certified EtherNet/IP Drives

Mike Keefe | April 8th, 2020

While KEB has standardized on the EtherCAT protocol, we have also made it a point to support all major communication protocols, including EtherNet/IP™.  This gives machine builders flexibility when selecting products using different manufacturers.

This post will focus on the basics of EtherNet/IP and how it is integrated into KEB’s drive product line.  A future post will go into more details on the setup of EtherNet/IP with KEB drives and more advanced functionality.

What is EtherNet/IP

EtherNet/IP is the Ethernet version of the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) certified by ODVA, Inc.  It was developed to complement DeviceNet®, a CAN-based version of CIP.  Both DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP are mainly associated with products manufactured by Rockwell Automation.

The benefit of EtherNet/IP is that it is implemented over standard TCP/IP protocol and transmitted via standard CAT5 network cables.  In the EtherNet/IP network, each device is assigned an IP address.  This makes EtherNet/IP function similar to a standard Ethernet network, making it easy for IT departments and engineers to understand, install, and support.

KEB Products with EtherNet/IP

KEB has supported communication with CIP from the very beginning.  This began in the F5 series using the modular fieldbus operators to first communicate with DeviceNet and then with EtherNet/IP.  However, it is in the newest generation S6 and F6 drive series that Ethernet/IP really shines.  These drives are ODVA conformance tested and certified.  This guarantees that the S6 and F6 are built to the CIP Network specifications and can easily be integrated into a multi-vendor EtherNet/IP system.

ethernet/IP servo drive
S6 EtherNet/IP Servo Drive

Benefits of KEB with EtherNet/IP

ODVA Certified

Using KEB drives in an EtherNet/IP network offers various advantages.  First, since it is ODVA certified, it can be dropped into an existing system or designed into a new system with no worries about the ease of integration.  KEB also offers quick start guides for both the KEB drive and Rockwell PLC, so EtherNet/IP communication can be set up quickly and easily.

KEB at ODVA conformance testing in Germany

Other Fieldbus options

In the S6 and F6 drives, the EtherNet/IP communication is achieved using the same drive hardware that can communicate with other fieldbus protocols such as EtherCAT, Profinet, and Powerlink.  This allows a machine builder to use different PLC platforms but standardize on one drive hardware.  This minimizes drive set-up times and panel layout variants.  It also simplifies purchasing and stocking because only one drive SKU is required rather than needing multiple drives or network adaptors to accommodate multiple fieldbus protocols.

servo drive communications
KEB drives support major industrial Ethernet protocols

Multi-Mode Motor Control

Using the S6 and F6 also provides KEB’s best-in-class motor control.  These drives can control induction, servo, IPM, and synchronous reluctance motors with the same hardware.  They can also run in several motor modes including closed loop with feedback or KEB’s Sensorless Closed Loop (SCL) for precise speed and torque control without requiring encoder feedback.  This allows the machine builder to save time and money by eliminating the motor encoder, cabling, and installation.

ethernet/ip motor modes
KEB Closed Loop drives operate a wide variety of different motor types

Heatsinks & High-Speed Motor Control

KEB drives are offered with different heatsink options as well.  This includes fan-cooled, cold plate, and liquid-cooled heatsinks.  Liquid-cooled heatsinks are particularly interesting for high-speed motor applications where the KEB drive can output up to 1600Hz.

F6 water cooled VFD
The F6 EtherNet/IP drive is available with a liquid-cooled heatsink


Function Safety – Safe Motion

Finally, the S6 and F6 drives offer a variety of TÜV-certified safety functionality.  Both drives come standard with Safe Torque Off (STO) and offer additional safety functions that can be selected to suit the application.  For example, Safe Stop 1 (SS1) can be used in cutting applications to guarantee the saw or spindle tool comes to a stop within a set amount of time before releasing control to ensure it doesn’t move.  This can protect a user or service technician that needs to work near the machine.  Safe Direction (SDI) can be used to ensure that the motor is moving in the right direction for material handling or lift applications.  Many more Safe Motion functions can be selected dependent on the application requirements.


Supported Drive Safe Motion functions according to IEC 61800-5-2.


Interested in learning more about the EtherNet/IP protocol in KEB products?  Contact an Application Engineer today!

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