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    Schneider Electric becomes a principal member of ODVA

    Users can expect continued growth in global adoption of EtherNet/IP™ for factory floor to enterprise-level communication

    April 10, 2007 – Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

    ODVA today announced that Schneider Electric, S.A., a worldwide leader in power and control and a member of ODVA, will significantly increase its level of support for the organization by becoming one of its principal members, alongside Cisco Systems, Eaton Electrical, Omron Corporation, and Rockwell Automation. Schneider Electric’s increased participation in ODVA coincides with ODVA's plans to extend the CIP Network specifications to provide compatibility of Modbus/TCP devices with networks built on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™). This extension will give existing Modbus/TCP users a clear path to CIP Network architectures while protecting their automation investments.

    Schneider Electric’s increased support of ODVA reflects the company’s plans to deploy EtherNet/IP as a foundation of its network strategy. This action, by a global fortune 500 company, is a major indication of industry's continued push to adopt network technologies for automation that use standard, unmodified Ethernet and Internet technologies. Users will benefit through significantly increased interoperability between the largest installed base of industrial Ethernet networks - EtherNet/IP and Modbus/TCP - as well as between automation products from a growing number of vendors. Combined, these benefits will reduce cost, time and risk for users deploying and maintaining their network architectures.

    "Our customers want the interoperability and seamless integration of the factory floor that networks using standard, unmodified Ethernet can provide, and one network for control, information, configuration, safety, synchronization and motion,” said Adrien Scolé, Senior Vice President of Innovation for the Automation Business, Schneider Electric. “EtherNet/IP is the answer to meeting our customers’ needs by providing compatibility with existing Modbus/TCP products and systems in combination with the complete suite of services contained in CIP. For these reasons, we are eager to team with ODVA to help make EtherNet/IP the most widely used industrial network available."

    Katherine Voss, Executive Director, ODVA, agreed: "ODVA is delighted Schneider Electric is increasing its support of the organization and our technologies, most notably EtherNet/IP.  Schneider Electric is an industry leader in driving adoption of standard, unmodified Ethernet technologies on the factory floor and throughout the enterprise. ODVA looks forward to leveraging the vast experience of Schneider Electric in automation and their expertise in Ethernet and Internet technologies to continue to expand the capabilities of ODVA technologies. ODVA especially salutes Schneider Electric for putting users first in making the decision to build its network strategy with an industrial Ethernet solution that provides interoperability of multi-vendor systems and protects the customer's investment."

    EtherNet/IP was introduced in 2001 and has more than 1.125 million installed nodes. EtherNet/IP and Modbus/TCP are the two most popular industrial Ethernet protocols, representing over 50 percent worldwide market share, according to the most recent market study from ARC Advisory Group.

    “This is a big development in the automation industry,” said Harry Forbes, Senior Analyst at ARC Advisory Group. “It is unusual to see several automation majors joining in such close collaboration, especially in a strategic area such as industrial Ethernet, and it adds to the value of ODVA and its CIP Network technologies in the automation industry. Automation users of Modbus/TCP can now look forward to benefiting from CIP Networks. Schneider Electric products will also benefit from the many capabilities of CIP, but end users will be the real winners here because future CIP Networks will offer an even broader range of choices.”

    Schneider Electric plans to have its next generation of EtherNet/IP products, incorporating connectivity to existing Modbus/TCP devices, in 2008. ODVA will provide an overview of the concept planned for The EtherNet/IP Specification to support Modbus/TCP devices on EtherNet/IP networks at its next press conference scheduled for Monday, April 16, 2007 at 15:00 hr in the Dresden Room of the Convention Center at the Hannover Fairgrounds in Hannover, Germany.

    About Schneider Electric

    A member of ODVA since 2003, Schneider Electric is the world's power and control specialist. Through its world-class brands, Merlin Gerin, Square D and Telemecanique, Schneider Electric anticipates and satisfies its customers' requirements in the residential, building, industry and energy and infrastructure markets. With 105,000 employees and operations in 190 countries, Schneider Electric generated sales of €13.7 billion in 2006 through 13,000 distributor outlets.

    About ODVA

    ODVA is an international association comprised of members from the world's leading automation companies. Collectively, ODVA and its members support network technologies using the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™). These currently include DeviceNet™, EtherNet/IP™, CompoNet™, and the major extensions to CIP — CIP Safety™, CIP Sync™, and CIP Motion™. ODVA manages the development of these open technologies, and assists manufacturers and users of CIP Networks through tools, training and marketing activities. In addition, ODVA offers conformance testing to help ensure that products built to its specifications operate in multi-vendor systems. ODVA also is active in other standards’ development organizations and industry consortia to drive the growth of open communication standards. For more information, visit its web site at www.odva.org.