In the world of technology, nothing seems to evolve faster than communication and the effects are felt across many industries with industrial automation being no exception. When you think of how much communication has changed and how many options are available today in terms of transmission media and protocols, it’s really quite astounding and that’s not taking into account the changes on the horizon. Just think to yourself how many port and protocol options you’ve come across in your career: serial, fast Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet, fiber, USB, wireless, Profibus, EtherCAT, Modbus, BACnet, and on and on.
In industrial automation, Ethernet currently holds the crown and is the primary method of communication replacing the slower serial methods of the past. As a result, suppliers of industrial automation products have incorporated Ethernet communication into their PLCs, HMIs, drives, etc. Here at AutomationDirect, we have many products available that support or facilitate Ethernet networks but we also have a host of informative articles, videos and other content to help you understand the ins and outs of Ethernet communication. If you have ever wanted to know more about Ethernet, we have what you need. So check out list below and let’s get started.
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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. 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, smart devices, etc. 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 is Ethernet used to connect the devices, controllers and HMIs—it also connects to upper level enterprise systems. Read more →
Knowing when to choose an 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. In this white paper, product manager Jonathan Griffith explores the reasons and applications where an industrial managed Ethernet switch should be used and when an industrial unmanaged Ethernet switch is sufficient. 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. Read more →
Over the years, EtherNet/IP has grown into an impressive industrial Ethernet communication network for connecting automation equipment, processes and machines. Keys to its success are the network and transport layers where explicit and implicit messaging takes place; here’s how to use these features to optimize your EtherNet/IP networks. Read more →
As technology advances, so does the speed at which it communicates. And with the advances made in industrial controls, the need for high-speed data transmission became a priority. As a result, Ethernet communication became more and more prevalent in industrial networks and prompted many industrial equipment manufacturers to implement their own Ethernet communication protocols. Read more →
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. Read more →
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 for industrial and office Ethernet networks. 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. Read more →