Are there too many industrial networking protocols?

Most people would give an emphatic yes. Alternatives that use only one networking strategy (Ethernet) are at hand. Video: Bernie Anger and Carl Henning discuss one specific solution.

02/29/2012

Flash is required!

Bernie Anger (GE) and Carl Henning (PINA) discuss networking with Peter Welander.



The idea that Ethernet deployments are growing in industrial networks isn’t exactly news, but one group is saying that its industrial Ethernet protocol is ready to replace many other networking approaches, and perhaps all of them. Profinet International North America (PINA) recently sponsored a conference in cooperation with Siemens Industry and General Electric Intelligent Platforms to advance the notion that Ethernet in general, and Profinet specifically, can replace most if not all other shop-floor networking protocols. Siemens and GE both say they are doing that very thing today.

The contention is that companies can realize substantial savings and simplify maintenance if they make the transition to Profinet at all levels, from individual field devices and sensors, right up to the enterprise. There are some qualifications of course. At present this sort of approach is much more suited to discrete manufacturing than a process plant. An auto assembly context is more practical than a refinery for a number of reasons, both hardware and software related.

Moreover, the cloud and Internet are becoming standard solutions and it’s only a matter of time, and probably less than you might expect, that such things will be supporting your plant. As Bernie Anger, general manager of control and communication systems for GE Intelligent Platforms pointed out, Skype has proven that it is possible to have secure point-to-point communication via the cloud and without any infrastructure. His suggestion that by 2020 there will be 75 billion devices connected to the Internet means that some of those will undoubtedly be in your plant.

The video is a conversation with Anger and Carl Henning, deputy director, PINA, about some of the practical implications of this idea. Whether you use Profinet or some other flavor of industrial Ethernet protocol, the message is clear. The basic nature of networking is changing, and it is a major improvement.

Peter Welander, pwelander@cfemedia.com

www.allthingsprofinet.com

www.ge-ip.com

www.sea.siemens.com



Anonymous , 04/30/13 12:56 PM:

Carl makes an important point that Ethernet is not taking the place of the H1 fieldbus network level.

Ethernet with TCP/IP can be considered as an alternative to RS485-based etc. H2 fieldbuses for distributed peripherals like remote I/O, motor drives, and gateways at level 1-1/2 of the Purdue reference model, such as in marshalling rooms and MCC panels. So for every fieldbus protocol, a new generation of corresponding industrial Ethernet protocol is now available; for example, Profinet for Profibus-DP, Modbus/TCP for Modbus/RTU and EtherNet/IP for DeviceNet. HART skipped the RS-485 generation, going straight to Ethernet media with HART-IP.

However, not all components in the plant will offer Ethernet connectivity. Ethernet is not able to take the place of H1 fieldbuses such as 4-20 mA/HART, Foundation fieldbus (H1), or PROFIBUS-PA (mentioned by Carl) running into the field connecting directly to transmitters, analyzers, and valves, etc, at Level 1 of the Purdue reference model. There are several reasons why Ethernet is not taking the place of H1 fieldbuses:

• Copper Ethernet is too short distance
• Fiber optic Ethernet provides no power
• Power over Ethernet (PoE) is not intrinsically safe
• There are thousands of transmitters and valves in a plant so the number of LAN switches mounted in field junction boxes would be impractical
• Fiber optic Ethernet makes device removal/connection for replacement and calibration, etc impractical
• TCP/IP requires IT department involvement for cyber security

The H1 fieldbuses and Ethernet network layers complement each other in the control system just like USB and Ethernet complement each other on a computer – because one size does not fit all.

Cheers,
Jonas
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me