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Archive For: Communications

Linking Machines to IT Systems

Linking Machines to IT Systems

Once upon a time, individual machines were stranded on an island, or just linked to other machines using a few discrete I/O and dry contact relays. Then came machine-to-machine data links such as a proprietary PLC-based network. Today, and certainly in the future, machines are being linked to IT systems.
 
PLC Communications – Coming of Age

PLC Communications – Coming of Age

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
 
Industrial Ethernet or Fieldbus Network?

Industrial Ethernet or Fieldbus Network?

With only about a quarter of the overall installed base of industrial networking using 4-20 mA and other hardwired methods, fieldbus communication systems are becoming the de facto choice for automation. Now the debate is shifting to the question of whether fieldbus-based networks will remain the standard or if it will be supplanted by industrial ... Read More
 
How to Improve Process Control by Automating Data Flow

How to Improve Process Control by Automating Data Flow

Whether you are responsible for a manufacturing facility, a utility plant or a bio-dome—you need to control and know what’s going on in your processes. Properly managing information is imperative to improving your process control—specifically controlling, monitoring and maintaining information flows into and out of your process control system. Most processes consist of the machines, ... Read More
 
Demystifying Network Communications

Demystifying Network Communications

For many, the world of communications is mystifying, shrouded in complexity and unknowns with equal parts science and magic, and 100% scary. We would like to define some common terms and show you how they fit together so you’ll find that networking is no more complicated than ordering a hamburger at a drive-through. Let’s take ... Read More
 
The Evolution of Wireless Communication

The Evolution of Wireless Communication

In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi used Morse code to communicate the letter “s”. This transmission was an analog equivalent of a “digital” signal. By 1914, the Marconi Company was engaged in experimental voice transmissions that laid the groundwork for broadcast radio. With the advent of short wave radio, costs came down and reliability went up, ensuring ... Read More
 
The Evolutionary PLC: Past,  Present and Future

The Evolutionary PLC: Past, Present and Future

Everyone knows there’s only one constant in the technology world and that’s change – inevitable change. This is highly evident in the evolution of PLCs and their varied applications. Let’s take a look at yesterday’s focus and more importantly, today’s and beyond. Preparing and equipping users to meet the challenges of technological change head-on is ... Read More
 
HMIs and PC Control: Upwardly Mobile With Upscale Connections

HMIs and PC Control: Upwardly Mobile With Upscale Connections

Remember when you had to be an artist to design HMI faceplates that resembled your process? Remember configuring your HMI software by filling in cryptic addresses and values, something resembling the Microsoft® Windows™ registry? Remember when your HMI was a dedicated system that only connected to a single process? Or when it was cool to ... Read More