Legacy network connections

Consider these points when blending network upgrades and connecting to legacy networks.

07/27/2011


When connecting a legacy network, plan it out. Most networks can be connected, and multiple networks can be integrated. It is possible to keep existing network investments and move information to a higher-level network, such as an Ethernet protocol, according to Jeremy Bryant, industrial communications marketing manager with Siemens Industry Inc.

Look at the whole picture and consider the overall objective and the network design, he suggested, taking into account what the system needs to look like today and for the foreseeable future. Here are some additional considerations from Bryant for making legacy network connections:

  • For new projects, put everything on the new network, Ethernet when possible. Ethernet provides “a future proof concept, the potential of having just one network, and the ability to easily share data with higher level systems.”
  • Consider the cost and time involved in a full upgrade. Upgrades in pieces might be more practical. Updating the controller first then adding a gateway module to communicate with existing I/O connections allows flexibility to upgrade at a more practical pace.
  • An Ethernet backbone installation can use gateways to keep existing I/O connections with serial networks connected to long-used devices. 
  • PLC modules can serve as gateways to translate information.
  • Ethernet can add reliability by serving the backplane outside the control panel. Inside, use the network that makes sense.
  • For network selections (legacy serial networks or existing fieldbus networks), consider how many devices can be connected.

www.usa.siemens.com/automation 

www.controleng.com/new-products/industrial-networks.html

7 critical things to know about Ethernet

new-products/industrial-networks.html- Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com 



The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me