Cover story: Without data there can be no big data, clouds, or analytics. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) differs from the Internet of Things (IoT); IIoT’s things make IoT’s things. Open standards are an important requirement for IIoT, and Ethernet and software standards are available to deliver data for control and information for decision making.
Control engineers need to know that IT is not the enemy, and IT needs to know that Ethernet on the plant floor is not Ethernet in the office.
Implementing functional safety over a network reduces the number of components, wire, and cabinets; speeds installation and commissioning; and increases uptime. With PROFIsafe, PI’s functional safety application profile, messages are exchanged transparently between Profibus (a serial fieldbus) and Profinet (an industrial Ethernet).
When deciding among wireless industrial networking technologies, remember that there are different kinds of wireless. For industrial applications, there are at least four, and two are compared in the radar graphic shown.
A number of trends have moved users toward greater implementation of industrial Ethernet. These include: 1. Control: from centralized to distributed. At one time, PLCs (and DCSs) were big, monolithic, rare, and expensive devices. All automation projects' wires came to them. As remote I/O connections progressed from "dumb" to "intelligent," fieldbuses allowed control to move out from the central...