Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are now gaining information technology (IT) abilities to interact directly with the internet, creating new automation and information possibilities. Bill Dehner, a Technical Marketing Manager at AutomationDirect, authored an article for the July 2019 issue of Control Engineering titled Benefits of Connecting a PLC to the Internet. Here’s a summary, click ... Read More
Ethernet is the most widely used network in industrial plants and facilities, here’s a primer covering its foundational concepts. By: Bill Dehner, AutomationDirect Ethernet was first conceived and deployed in a research setting in the 1970s and was soon standardized in the early 1980s under IEEE 802.3. This quickly led to commercial adoption in office ... Read More
Ethernet has become a prominent method of communication in industrial automation. Its ease of use, speed, and versatility have allowed it to surpass the older, closed-off, proprietary means. Not only that, but Ethernet has also introduced automated systems to a whole new world of possibilities with connections to high-level IT systems, remote/mobile access, cloud computing, ... Read More
With the popularity of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), industrial Ethernet applications are expanding. The IIoT is helping collect data on plant floors and is using Ethernet cables, connector and switches as key components. Industrial protocols such as Modbus TCP/IP and EtherNet/IP help connect edge devices and instruments to controllers and HMIs. Not only ... Read More
Knowing when to choose a managed Ethernet switch instead of an unmanaged Ethernet switch for your industrial grade networking solution might not be obvious. Plus, the price differential between an unmanaged and managed switch is significant and can impact the overall system budget.
Ethernet is used extensively in industrial automation applications, and in the office environments of industrial firms. This leads many to believe the network security procedures used in the office can simply be applied to industrial networks. While this would make implementation easier, it’s not that simple as there are some important distinctions between security practices ... Read More
Deterministic Ethernet and Time Sensitive Network (TSN) are current industrial automation buzzwords—both related to how control data and information can flow through network pipes. A little history and understanding of industrial fieldbus communications will help explain where we are now and where we’re going with deterministic Ethernet and TSN. The history starts decades ago when ... Read More
Fieldbus technology has been around for more than 30 years and has been a great replacement for point-to-point wiring in many cases. It’s widely used for connecting sensors, solenoids and other field devices to PLCs and other controllers. Ethernet is the most popular fieldbus option and it comes in many flavors.
Industrial Ethernet is widely used in manufacturing and other applications to connect devices including advanced controllers, PLCs, I/O and servo devices—using a wide variety of configurations and hardware. Industrial Ethernet is also used for connecting upper level enterprise, manufacturing, quality and historian applications to HMIs and cell controllers. All of these connections are implemented through ... Read More
PLC communications has grown and changed over the many years since the controller’s inception decades ago. Industrial needs and technological advances have kept PLC communications evolving, and this post will explore some past and present communication standards, and what the future may hold. PLC Partners in Communications PLCs need to communicate to a number of different ... Read More