More answers about leveraging network building blocks, industrial Ethernet deployment

Additional answers are available resulting from the Control Engineering webcast: Leveraging Network Building Blocks and Cisco Validated Designs for Industrial Ethernet Deployment.

By Andy Banathy, Mark T. Hoske August 26, 2016

Ethernet deployment has been exploding on the plant floor with the arrival of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), according to Andy Banathy, business development manager, industrial automation, Panduit Corp. This has driven a major shift from Industrial Automation Control System (IACS) to industrial Ethernet Switch (IES) architectures, he said. As a result of increased use of Ethernet, new challenges and topologies are emerging; network building blocks based on Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) can simplify and secure industrial Ethernet deployment, as Banathy explained in a Aug. 18 webcast, "Leveraging Network Building Blocks and Cisco Validated Designs for Industrial Ethernet Deployment," archived and available for viewing for a year. Panduit sponsored the webcast.

After the webcast was a live question and answer session with the audience; below are answers to additional audience questions not addressed during the one-hour online event. The webcast covered how to transition from a system centralized around an industrial automation control system to an industrial Ethernet architecture; understanding the application of network building blocks based on Cisco Validated Designs; and best practices in physical network deployment.

Audience question: Is RSTP [Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol] or MSTP [Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol] fast enough convergence in a ring topology?

Banathy: There are two parts to convergence: The cable media and hardware recovery. I will comment on the media as this is Panduit’s expertise. The media preference for the fastest convergence is optical fiber. To gain more understanding of the network, sign-up for the free online IIPA module provided with this webinar on the resource slide and in the webcast resources area.

Audience: During thermal testing, are ambient condensation conditions considered with an air conditioner present?

Banathy: Yes. We can simulate varied humidity as well.

Audience: What is an example of something that qualifies as using the cloud for manufacturing?

Banathy: Panduit’s IntraVUE network monitoring software has a cloud feature. This facilitates more in-depth analysis as a rule are always up-to-date. [A prior webcast explains and demonstrated that Panduit IntraVUE software.]

Question: What about Modbus TCP/IP devices being on same Ethernet network as EtherNet/IP devices?

Banathy: This is not an issue. Each of these protocols is just different traffic on the network and doesn’t interfere.

Other questions answered during the question and answer session included more details about the manufacturing network fabric maturity model, how Ethernet IIoT deployment differs from other industrial Ethernet deployments over the last 10 years, and industrial Ethernet modular or zone designs.

Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

ONLINE extra

Link to the webcast: Leveraging Network Building Blocks and Cisco Validated Designs for Industrial Ethernet Deployment