Wago halts development of HCNet

Hannover, Germany - Wago Kontakttechnik GmbH said it would not continue development of HCNet, a decentralised control system based on the Wago I/O System 750.


Hannover, Germany - Wago Kontakttechnik GmbH said it would not continue development of HCNet, a decentralised control system based on the Wago I/O System 750.

The concept allowed control engineers to create standard IEC 61131 programs and submit them to HCNet, which would analyse the software and distribute run time code to various intelligent fieldbus nodes in the network. Prototypes of HCNet were demonstrated in 2001 at both Hannover Fair and SPS/IPC.

"HCNet was working in the laboratory, but there were two main problems with the software," said Wago spokesman Martin Witzsch. "First, we realised we had to develop a strategy in case of failure. We had to investigate what would happen if one of the controllers in the network failed, and that is a complex problem in a highly distributed network. Secondly, there was the issue of debugging, which is difficult for a decentralised system."

Mr. Witzsch said that, as a result of these difficulties, engineering costs were exceeding expectations and a decision was taken to stop development of the project.

But it was not a complete loss for the company, he said. "We've learned a great deal about Ethernet in the process," he said.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Michael Babb, editor, Control Engineering-Europe

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