What is Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE)?

| Ryan Shenk

This is the fourth part of our blog series on important acronyms (Part 1: NAT, Part 2: DHCP, Part 3: HMI and SCADA, Part 5: REP or DLR)

CPwE Converged Plantwide Ethernet

EtherNet/IP has been readily adopted as a network solution for control and information exchange in industrial applications. Part of this adoption includes a focus on globalizing your operations, standardizing devices, normalizing network processes, and closely integrating IT/OT with existing automation systems. Developed by Rockwell Automation® and Cisco®, Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) encompasses all of this and more.

Your CPwE Project: A Challenge and an Opportunity

Converged Plantwide EthernetAny project that requires standardization, normalization, and integration will have challenges. A robust, modern network increases visibility, minimizes risk, and helps achieve overall profitability. The benefits are truly immense. If you are thinking about or planning to converge Ethernet networks in your plant (or plants), you may be looking for support.

Are you interested in best practices to deploy scalable, robust, secure, safe, and future-ready industrial network architectures? Do you need design guidance?

CPwE Project: Support Systems

There is support available at each stage in your journey.

  • Early Planning? Contact one of our specialists to learn more about resources available to both operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) professionals, and guidance for getting both of those departments collaborating early in the project timeline.
  • Getting Ready to Deploy? Check out the CPwE logical model (based on the Purdue model). Learn about the various levels of the network and how they function. Make sure you are properly classifying your infrastructure and equipment. Why would a server be at level 3? Why is a sensor level 1 but batch control considered level 2?
  • Executing? CPwE is big. It is involved. If you want to take a deep dive, Rockwell Automation has published a 500+ page document. Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) Design and Implementation Guide. This is helpful for established users but might be overwhelming for someone in the early stages of a CPwE project. This guide provides reference architectures and best practices to successfully deploy the latest technologies. And much more!
  • Continuous Improvements? CPwE is always evolving. Educate yourself with this library of CPwE white papers. Topics include security, mobility architecture, lightly managed Industrial Ethernet switches, use cases, FactoryTalk® software applications, identity services, deploying mobile devices, device level ring consideration, and FactoryTalk Cloud Connectivity.

Next Level CPwE: Advanced Support

Are you looking at a large network and finding the challenges and the immense amount of information to be overwhelming? You likely have critical questions and want to get a human answer to those questions. The team at Horizon Solutions – partnered with Rockwell Automation Industrial Network Services – can help you design, deploy, and manage your network infrastructure:

CVD: Cisco Validated Design

Yes, we snuck another acronym into this post. But CVD is an important one for any true CPwE effort. Technology is constantly changing and that means constantly navigating new, innovative solutions. What new technology is available? Cisco Validated Design along with Rockwell’s experience in the automation world helps you balance proven success versus new opportunities when it comes to networking. What solutions are the best fit for your existing hardware/software, current plant infrastructure, available resources, and your time? Our knowledgeable and well-trained team can help you answer those questions.

Design and Implementation Guide

Horizon Solutions is an Authorized Allen-Bradley Distributor in North America and offers Rockwell Automation industrial network services. Together, we are committed to improving your business performance by bridging the technical and cultural gaps between your production and business systems. Rockwell Automation and Cisco are engaged in a strategic alliance to deploy best practices in both IT and OT systems. This includes four key initiatives:

  1. Common Technology View
  2. Converged Plantwide Ethernet Architectures
  3. Joint Product and Solution Collaboration
  4. People and Process Optimization

Interested in learning more? These four key initiatives are covered in the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) Design and Implementation Guide (500 page PDF, 18 MB file size). The digitization of manufacturing requires the connection of isolated production systems and processes to support modern IoT technologies. Rockwell Automation and Cisco work closely to leverage best practices from both operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) with jointly developed resources, products, and training.

Industrial Networking eBook