Let’s pause as a generation of industrial product developers and control engineers’ glance at the mirror to contemplate where the last 20 years have gone.

On January 16th 2002, before many of you had contemplated an exciting career in industrial automation, the first EtherNet/IP device was born. The delivery was carried out at the University of Michigan. The device was a SICK barcode scanner, and the EtherNet/IP source code was proudly provided by RTA. Conformance at that time was defined as receiving and properly responding to 10,000 messages!

Jamin Wendorf, just three years out of college, authored a stack that would come define the next twenty years of his career and make him an international expert on the leading industrial Ethernet protocol in the world.

I remember being excited to see my code go through first. I think they pushed us thru just before Rockwell to position the openness of the organization. I had no idea that day would be end up being one that has defined my career and RTA as a company.

Jamin Wendorf

In 20 years EtherNet/IP grew from a handful of certified devices to one of the most widely utilized industrial automation protocols. It commands a 25% market share of automation protocols and measures devices deployed in the tens of millions. The juggernaut started life humbly 20 years ago today.

It’s our daily pleasure to help new customer bring new EtherNet/IP devices to life. We look forward to supporting those endeavors for the next 20 years.

EtherNet/IP, Happy Birthday. You’re impact on manufacturing has been immense. Keep up the good work, we’ll be the first to buy you a beer on your 21st birthday.