Industrial Ethernet applications: seven elements that must be understood in designing a production floor plan

Industrial Ethernet applications: seven elements that must be understood in designing a production floor plan

Before using industrial Ethernet at the factory production floor, you must understand its seven elements.

Network layout

The network topology of the office is not suitable for the factory production floor, where the factory/machine Ethernet topology is used. The infrastructure of office Ethernet is usually built from commercial-grade products that work well in a constant-temperature environment and a switched topology built by a star topology; in contrast, industrial Ethernet architectures often face many It has changed unexpectedly, so it needs to have some extra functions, such as high-speed redundancy. Industrial Ethernet uses a variety of different topological network layouts (star, ring, tree, line) and uses shielded cables and metal connectors for higher thermal and shock resistance. In addition, industrial Ethernet switches are typically configured and maintained by the corresponding automation system integrator.

2. Communication protocol

For control system integrators, the most important thing is to realize that Ethernet is just a network architecture. To enable it to communicate between automation devices, you need an industrial-grade communication protocol. The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard defines the wiring, data read and write rules, and the structure of the Ethernet architecture. Although different devices using this network standard can communicate on the same network segment, the premise is that they must use the same network protocol, or "communication language." Profinet is a communications protocol designed for industrial applications that provides distributed I/O, machine-to-machine connectivity, machine security, and motion control.

3. Processing capacity

This is not simply determined by the speed of the network, but how quickly and accurately the data is transferred to where it should go. The processing power of the network is undoubtedly one of the most critical factors. Its metric is the amount of network data transmitted per unit of time. The only way to improve this performance is to reduce the number of loop cycles in the communication stack. The number of loop cycles in the Profinet communication stack is ten times less than a standard Ethernet TCP/UDP tool. This is due to the fact that Profinet has set up an Ethernet real-time channel for important tasks that have time-critical requirements, while its configuration, diagnostics, routing, and "large-capacity data transfer" communication are all via standard TCP/ The IP channel is completed.

4. Network configuration

The simple setting of the network is one aspect, but more importantly, the programming work to implement communication must not be too complicated. Profinet enables communication between devices through configuration rather than programming. System integrators and end users can save at least 25% of the time spent building and tuning the test vehicle by means of an object-interactive method of configuring internal communication between devices, rather than traditional programming and debugging methods.

5. Advanced plan

It is not enough to consider only the immediate application. The current Ethernet must meet all possible application needs in the future. Profinet enables users to achieve a highly integrated and adaptable control function (such as point-to-point communication, distributed I/O, machine security, motion control, and data acquisition) using a single Ethernet network at their own pace. ) automatic control system. It also prepares for possible future expansion.

6. Old system transformation

The elements of Industrial Ethernet are not limited to Ethernet itself. How to integrate and work with existing networks and machines from different vendors is one of the issues that must be considered. Since Profinet uses standard Ethernet switches and uses TCP/IP protocol components, Profinet-based systems should be able to adapt to the entire automation network without the need for additional high-end switches or special features such as IGMP snooping and VLANs. Profinet also offers solutions for connecting products from different vendors to the same network. Through XML, it treats each machine as a component, relatively independent of the internal core control system, which is the automation concept of component-based control units.

7. Fees

For industrial Ethernet networks, the most important expense is not the components that build the network, but the parts that are designed, installed, and maintained. Profinet and other similar industrial Ethernet architectures use the results of IT technology, such as OPC and SNMP, to monitor and display the state of the network. In addition, its diagnostic capabilities reflect the state of the network directly on automated systems including plc and SCADA systems. This configuration setup and troubleshooting can be done in the central control room, greatly simplifying operation.

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