Today, classic Ethernet is the leading standard for data networks in office environments. “Industrial Ethernet” describes the enhancements allowing the use of Ethernet even for sophisticated applications in industrial automation.
Industrial Ethernet has many technical advantages:
- Transmission of real-time and IT data via a common medium
- Virtually unlimited number of participants and network expansion
- Flexible topologies which can easily be scaled and expanded
- Quick transmission even of extremely large data volumes
- Integration of web servers and IoT interfaces such as OPC UA within the device
- Simple access to field level device data without proprietary gateways
- Reliable in operation, no complex termination, simple maintenance
- Future proof
Typical Industrial Ethernet Topology
Factors such as high reliability, robust communication as well as device exchange during running operation is important for the use of Industrial Ethernet. Mainly those protocols which are already widely available as fieldbus protocols and for which integration into the DCS is straightforward are used. Apart from Profinet, this also includes Ethernet/IP and Modbus TCP.
- Communication according to IEEE 802.3 standard
- Ethernet switches coordinate data transmission and avoid collisions on the cable
- Point-to-point connection between switches
- Simultaneous communication into both send and receive direction
- Field devices with integral switch function allow line and ring topologies on field level
- 100 m cable length between network participants for twisted-pair wire connections
- Hybrid networks with different transmission systems (FO cables, Wifi...)
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