Larry Komarek, Phoenix Contact, Inc.
A successful plant floor Ethernet deployment involves increasing system performance, leveraging switch capabilities, understanding standardized protocols and making diagnostics and network management software work for you. Switch selection The decision of which switch type to use for a particular application depends on your networking needs and your plant automation strategy.
Specifications, industrial environment and network structure are factors to consider when selecting devices for an industrial Ethernet infrastructure. However, getting data from device to device is another important factor. Ethernet wiring types, categories, cabling and connection options are also important components within the industrial Ethernet infrastructure.
If you have ever opened the closet in your office where some of the IT equipment is installed, you will find many 19-inch rack-mounted Ethernet devices. Typically, each device has from 24 to 64 ports, or Ethernet connections. The entire rack may contain several hundred connections. This centralized wiring approach is similar to the PLCs in the years before remote I/O.
Why industrial Ethernet? The use of Ethernet in industrial applications is growing and changing rapidly. There is a growing need to overcome the barriers to manufacturing efficiency: The demand for industrial Ethernet is rapidly growing due to business and technical reasons. The costs associated with Ethernet technology have plummeted in the past five years, making it more affordable to embed E...