Connecting the networking dots

Networking involves many aspects including synchronization, selecting protocol conversion solutions, and integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs.


The cover story in this issue of AppliedAutomation covers the timing aspect. By properly synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks, advanced industrial Ethernet protocols can become more effective. As the author states, "Synchronization is a key element in modern automation systems to ensure that both simple and complex devices are always synchronized to each other, to external applications, and to events in a reliable, repeatable manner. By implementing synchronization, a consistent time base can be created across applications for any number of spatially separated industrial Ethernet-connected devices and machine sections."

This issue also includes advice about selecting protocol conversion solutions. Now more than ever, industrial control devices, such as PLCs and PACs, need to communicate with many different devices, which are often on networks that are not native or compatible with the controller. As the authors state, "Industrial gateways are designed to pass control system data from one protocol to another." The authors also point out that gateways can be useful when it comes to migrating a legacy PLC system to a PAC system.

The third article discuses integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs. HMIs-local and remote-are required for real-time monitoring, control, and in some cases, data handling. The approaches for integrating HMIs with PLCs differ from those for integrating them with PACs. The author discusses both of these approaches as well as their pros and cons. However, regardless of which approach is chosen, there is at least one element in common. As the author states, "Tight integration between data gathering and presentation can help businesses improve diagnostics and overall system performance."

This article appears in the Applied Automation supplement for Control Engineering and Plant Engineering

- See the other stories in the Applied Automation supplement below.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 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...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

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.