Legacy network connections

Consider these points when blending network upgrades and connecting to legacy networks.


When connecting a legacy network, plan it out. Most networks can be connected, and multiple networks can be integrated. It is possible to keep existing network investments and move information to a higher-level network, such as an Ethernet protocol, according to Jeremy Bryant, industrial communications marketing manager with Siemens Industry Inc.

Look at the whole picture and consider the overall objective and the network design, he suggested, taking into account what the system needs to look like today and for the foreseeable future. Here are some additional considerations from Bryant for making legacy network connections:

  • For new projects, put everything on the new network, Ethernet when possible. Ethernet provides “a future proof concept, the potential of having just one network, and the ability to easily share data with higher level systems.”
  • Consider the cost and time involved in a full upgrade. Upgrades in pieces might be more practical. Updating the controller first then adding a gateway module to communicate with existing I/O connections allows flexibility to upgrade at a more practical pace.
  • An Ethernet backbone installation can use gateways to keep existing I/O connections with serial networks connected to long-used devices. 
  • PLC modules can serve as gateways to translate information.
  • Ethernet can add reliability by serving the backplane outside the control panel. Inside, use the network that makes sense.
  • For network selections (legacy serial networks or existing fieldbus networks), consider how many devices can be connected.



7 critical things to know about Ethernet

new-products/industrial-networks.html- Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.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.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
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!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security

(copy 5)