Consortium offers industrial networking advice for IIoT designers, engineers

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is looking to provide advice on industrial networking for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) system designers and network engineers, which can vary widely depending on the industry and the setting.

By Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) August 29, 2018

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced a white paper designed to provide advice on industrial networking for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) system designers and network engineers.

"Industrial networking is the foundation of IIoT," said David Zhe Lou, chief researcher, Huawei Technologies. "There are many choices of networking technologies depending on the application, the industrial network, deployment situation and conditions, but there is no universal or preferred industrial networking solution."

Industrial networking infrastructure and technologies reside at the IP layer and below, and enable industrial assets, such as machines, sites and environments, to connect to the business professionals supporting applications across a wide range of industry sectors. Industrial networking technologies provide the foundation for applications that enable manufacturing productivity and profitability.

"IIoT applications have different needs depending on the industrial application and therefore demand robust, flexible and secure networks," said Cliff Whitehead, business development manager, Rockwell Automation.

Industrial networking is different from networking for the enterprise or networking for consumers. For example, IIoT system designers and network engineers need to make decisions about using wired or wireless communications. They have to figure out how to support mobility applications such as vehicles, equipment, robots and workers. They also have to consider the lifecycle of deployments and physical conditions, such as those found in mining and agriculture. Technical requirements can vary from relaxed to demanding.

"Networking technologies range from industry-specific to universal, such as the emerging 5G, which meets diverse industrial needs," said Jan Höller, research fellow at Ericsson. "Industrial developers need guidance when devising solutions to select the right networking technologies, and this white paper is the first step to providing the missing methods and tools."

The white paper, Industrial Networking Enabling IIoT Communication, sets the stage for the Industrial Internet Network Framework (IINF), which will complement the Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF) by detailing requirements and best available technologies for the lower three layers of the industrial internet communication stack. 

Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) 

– Edited from an IIC press release by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering industrial networking stories. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is a CFE Media content partner.