Industrial networks

Non-Ethernet networks might be specified for an industrial project for various reasons. See advice from five sources, including two system integrators, on what to consider when choosing an industrial network, including wireless.

06/09/2013


Industrial networks coverage in Control Engineering June 2013 North American print and digital edition includes summaries of two longer online articles and references three other industrial communications articles, recently posted on the Control Engineering site. Descriptions and links to each follow, below, to help with industrial network selection.

This control cabinet, with the master controller for a NYC tunnel boring machine, shows three CC-Link networks. Fieldbus networks, such as CC-Link, do not require switches to guarantee control system determinism and can be laid out in multiple configurati7 reasons to consider a non-Ethernet industrial network

Here are seven reasons non-Ethernet networks might be specified for an industrial project, to help determine if an Ethernet, fieldbus, or a device or sensor-level network should be considered. These are simplicity, flexibility, familiarity, consistency, policy, experience, and compatibility, even if logic might suggest otherwise. Learn more about how each impacts network selection.

From RS-485 to Ethernet IP, we have had 50 years of Industrial networking. Courtesy: TriCoreIndustrial Ethernet alternatives

When choosing between an industrial network or another option, such as industrial Ethernet network or industrial wireless, sort out the cost and timing of legacy upgrades. Selection of networking solutions depends on how many legacy devices and networks are in the existing automation infrastructure and the effective remaining lifecycle of components within that infrastructure. This latter part is particularly important. 

ONLINE extras

Industrial wireless can be easier to implement when referencing a reference architecture, which can serve as a critical infrastructure integrity monitoring (CIIM) model. Courtesy: SAICIndustrial wireless monitoring and sensing

Applying industrial wireless applications to monitoring and sensing can serve as a risk management policy. Strong communications address many challenges facility operators face during process transformations. Before taking on such a project, facility operators need to be aware of the challenges from rapid prototyping of wireless sensors in an industrial environment and the best practices for radio frequency (RF) design in complex or harsh RF environments, such as manufacturing, industrial, or power generation facilities. By leveraging wireless technologies, operators can acquire critical component monitoring data in significantly higher volumes, reduce staff impact of making collection rounds, and focus those resources on data analysis and prognostics of issues. By implementing a wireless infrastructure and using it for the rapid deployment of new sensor types, operators can create significant advances in critical component monitoring.

The ease of configurability of wireless networks for new assembly lines makes wireless very attractive to the automotive industry, which often introduces new models every year. Courtesy: Honeywell Sensing and Control (S&C)How wireless networks are changing industrial environments

IEEE 802.15.4-based wireless networks can be reliable, robust, and cost effective for many industrial, warehousing, and facility applications. These wireless networks transmit through walls and floors, reducing wiring and routing challenges, and making equipment placement more flexible and productive. Those working in warehouses, factories, and industrial facilities are discovering that wireless networks can greatly reduce network installation and maintenance expenses. Because IEEE 802.15.4 wireless can transmit data throughout a plant, penetrating walls and floors, it eliminates wiring costs and cable routing problems, while placing fewer restrictions on the location and placement of equipment.

ctl1306-f4-networks-Turck-x1-plant-floor-w.jpgBy combining the administrative and plant floor functions onto one network, users can achieve greater efficiency and control over the entire automation operation. Courtesy: TurckIndustrial networking: One network for full enterprise connectivity

Industrial networking goes beyond connecting the back office to the plant floor. Today‚Äôs networking technology delivers fast, secure, and reliable data transfer factory-wide, so users can proactively improve efficiency and productivity. With the migration away from traditional point-to-point fieldbus, advanced networking architecture ensures connectivity, collaboration, and integration from the device level to enterprise business systems. Examine all options before implementation. Look at performance capabilities and application suitability of network protocols. The also should understand the various environmental challenges, cabling types, and traffic issues to select the ideal networking solution for continuous, complete control over all production components. 

Control Engineering Wireless articles

More wireless coverage is available in the link above. 

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me