NI EtherNet/IP Toolkit Communication Options with PLCs

Updated Jun 27, 2019

Reported In


  • NI-Industrial Communications for Ethernet/IP

Issue Details

What are the different ways I can communicate with different PLCs using the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherNet/IP?  I would like to know my options for Allen-Bradley PLCs and other brands and models of PLCs.


NI-Industrial Communications for EtherNet/IP can do explicit messaging as a client, explicit messaging as a server, and implicit messaging as an adapter.

For Implicit Messaging the following VIs can be used:

  • EthernetIP Add Assembly
  • EthernetIP Remove Assembly
  • EthernetIP Get Assembly Instance
  • EthernetIP Set Assembly Instance

For Explicit Messaging there are different VIs for different types of PLCs:

  • For communication with any EtherNet/IP device using the generic CIP messages, you can use EthernetIP CIP Get Attribute and EthernetIP CIP Set Attribute
  • For communication with PLCs that support PCCC communication, such as the SLC 500 and the MicroLogix series, you can use the EthernetIP SLC500 Read/Write VIs
  • For communication with Rockwell PLC specifically, you can use the EthernetIP Tag Read/Write VIs