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Industrial networks promote ease of use

Industrial networks proponents at NMW emphasized ease of use and other attributes at exhibits and a concurrent FieldComms International (Mooresville, N.C.) conference.ControlNet International's (Coral Springs, Fla.) Bill Moss explained that industrial users should use ControlNet, rather than Ethernet, including media redundancy, intrinsic safety, determinism, and sch...

By Staff May 1, 1998

Industrial networks proponents at NMW emphasized ease of use and other attributes at exhibits and a concurrent FieldComms International (Mooresville, N.C.) conference.

ControlNet International ‘s (Coral Springs, Fla.) Bill Moss explained that industrial users should use ControlNet, rather than Ethernet, including media redundancy, intrinsic safety, determinism, and scheduling. “Ethernet needs power and is not industrially hardened. With hubs, switches and power, there are no $50 Ethernet solutions,” Mr. Moss says.

Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA, also of Coral Springs) continued to promote KwikLink, a connect-anywhere flat cable (similar to that of the AS-i network) that cuts cabling costs up to 50%. Mr. Moss adds ControlNet and DeviceNet integrate seemlessly.

Profibus, via the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO, Scottsdale, Ariz.), touted its growing list of compliant products, which now totals 1,450 items—up significantly from the 1,220 on last year’s CD catalogue, according to Michael Bryant, PTO’s executive director.

HART remains strong as a network for process industries, says Jim Cobb, marketing resources manager for Fisher-Rosemount (Eden Prairie, Minn.). Distributed control system shipments by protocol in 2000 will be 84% analog/HART and 15% fieldbus, says Mr. Cobb. In 1996, two-thirds of smart devices were HART-compatible, he adds.

CANopen Communication Profile for Industrial Systems from CAN in Automation (CiA, Erlangen, Germany) is another controller area network (CAN) serial bus system. More than 6 million CAN-based devices, sensors, and actuators operate on CAN networks including Smart Distributed System from Honeywell, Profibus, and DeviceNet, explains Holger Zeltwanger, CiA managing director and general secretary.