Skip to main content Skip to navigation

How to Manufacture Everything From Roof Tiles to Cars Using Only One Wire

Researcher Soo Beng Khoh demonstrates the DeviceNet Technology
Researcher Soo Beng Khoh
demonstrates the DeviceNet Technology
Originally Published 1 November 1996

Cars, computers, roof tiles - all of these require vast complicated assembly lines with immensely complicated wiring arrangements. Now there is a way to manufacture all these things using assembly lines using DeviceNet technology which cuts wiring, cuts costs, yet provides a vastly improved means of controlling and monitoring many manufacturing processes. The University of Warwick Manufacturing Group has been awarded funding from the international group Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA) to set-up the European Centre for this technology (ODVA Europe).

DeviceNet is an open low-cost communications link to connect the huge range of industrial devices required for any major assembly process (ie limit switches, photoelectric sensors, valve manifolds, motors, process sensors, panel displays, operator interfaces, etc) to a computer network which thus eliminates expensive wiring. This reduces the cost and time to wire and install industrial automation devices, provides interchangeability of like components, and provides diagnostic tools not previously available in such manufacturing processes.

The University of Warwick's Manufacturing Group had more than five years experience in various research projects in this technology, which is used in virtually all industries, e.g. automotive, manufacturing, agricultural, medical, building controls, marine, aerospace, etc.

One of the best examples of the Warwick research teams work with UK industry on this technology is their work with Marley Building Materials. The company has made use of the technology in both its tile factory in Beenham near Reading (on line end November) and its sand plant in Glasgow (on line mid November). Marley are particularly pleased that the new technology has allowed them to cut costs while introducing even better quality control and monitoring tools into their process. The company are happy for press to visit these plants (contact Mr Ian Aspley on 01675 468 427).

Note for Editors: The ODVA is an independent supplier organisation which manages the DeviceNet specification and supports the world-wide growth of DeviceNet. It has an international membership of more than 300 companies.

For further information please contact:

Richard McLaughlin,
Warwick Manufacturing Group
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 524711