Even larger data volumes can be easily transferred
In addition to "universal" communication from the process control level to the field level, Industrial Ethernet has further advantages: The primary advantage is the very high bandwidth, compared to conventional field bus systems, that makes it possible to transmit even larger data volumes at high speed.
A universal system also offers great advantages with regards to maintenance, data backup and engineering, advantages that are generally linked with less outlay and therefore less costs. A system with open communication interfaces is also equipped for future applications. Enhancements can often be implemented without need for comprehensive modifications to the hardware.
The differences between Industrial Ethernet and "normal" Ethernet
Industrial Ethernet is not the same as "normal" Ethernet. What are the differences between the technologies?
The various solutions for real time-capable Ethernet use protocols, components and topologies that, in part, are significantly different from conventional Ethernet. But it is not just the different mode of functioning, due to real time capabilities, that is decisive in components used in the industrial environment, for example a switch.
All the other ambient conditions that are present, for example, during production, also have to be tolerated at the same time. The components must be designed for the sometimes significant stresses caused by dust, humidity, higher temperatures, shocks and vibrations.
Large data volumes, fast connections, secure results: Various points have to be considered in the interaction between measurement technology, industrial automation and Industrial Ethernet.
Measurement technology is frequently used – in machines and plants – during industrial production processes. The spectrum here is extremely diverse, ranging from simple signals acquired with low frequencies - for example, slowly changing temperature values - right up to complex measurement data, which need to be measured using higher measurement frequencies.
Industrial Ethernet and Measurement technology in industry
Ethernet enables fast connections
A fast connection, as offered by Ethernet, is a great advantage, especially in applications where very large data volumes occur during measurement. If the measurement technology used needs to be integrated in a higher-level control architecture, for example, based on PLC, the hardware used needs to provide the appropriate communication options.
In applications where large data volumes occur and where real time is also a necessity, then solutions based on Industrial Ethernet are suitable.
The manufacturers of measurement technology components and systems have therefore been offering interfaces to various Industrial Ethernet solutions for some time now. The general trend that can be seen here is that classic measurement technology systems on the one side and automation solutions on the other side are coming together at an increasing rate.
Measurement technology taking over automation tasks
Modern industrial measurement technology systems are now also capable of taking over automation tasks. In addition to controlling the measurement sequences, such modern systems can also control the machines. Industrial Ethernet also offers new possibilities in the sectors of remote maintenance and operation. Numerous measurement technology systems can be operated using a standard web browser. The measured data can therefore be displayed over the Internet with practically no limitations.
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