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As industrial automation networks go, EtherNet/IP has more than its share of advantages. It’s fast. It’s flexible. It’s easy to set up. It’s robust. Those advantages, however, come at a price. Users have to invest in infrastructure and devices certified to work with the EtherNet/IP standard.Today, EtherNet/IP is among the most popular industrial networks, and there’s no shortage of compliant devices. Consider motion control applications, for example. There are hundreds of EtherNet/IP actuators, drives, controllers and sensors on the market today.

One persistent exception to the wide availability of EtherNet/IP devices has been optical encoders. From a networking standpoint, the benefits of EtherNet/IP may apply to all compliant encoders. But from a performance standpoint, compliant encoders are not all created equal.

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