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A hundred schools of thought contend, so how should I choose among various industrial Ethernet protocols?

At present, the overall mainstream trend of global industrial manufacturing development is automation and intelligence. Under the guidance of this trend, the market for a series of industrial intelligence and automation equipment industries has expanded rapidly. A complete industrial intelligence and automation solution includes several different devices such as PLC, system control software, and industrial robots, and these components need to be connected by industrial Ethernet to form a unified whole. High performance, integration of factory equipment and IT systems, and demand for industrial IoT are driving the growth of Industrial Ethernet.

Annual Analysis of Industrial Networking Market by HMS Industrial Networks

According to the 2017 Industrial Network Market Share Report released by HMS, Industrial Ethernet is growing faster than in previous years, with a growth rate of 22%. Industrial Ethernet now accounts for 46% of the global market, up from 38% last year.

In specific communications, EtherNet/IP and PROFINET have the largest share, with PROFINET as the main market in Central Europe and EtherNet/IP in North America. It is followed by EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Ethernet POWERLINK.

In real-time industrial Ethernet, EPA, EtherCAT, Ethernet Powerlink, PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, SERCOS III are the main contenders.

Development direction of industrial Ethernet

The high-speed operation of the information age will make enterprises face the following challenges in the future market competition:

 1. Reduce the time to market of products, which requires enterprises to have lower product update time, higher product technology, and greater data volume;

2. Increase flexible equipment, because customized production and changing market demands require enterprises to have higher production capacity;

3. Improve product quality, which requires enterprises to conduct real-time monitoring in the production process, obtain quality data feedback in a timely manner, and make corresponding responses and decisions;

4. Improving production efficiency and higher utilization of resources and energy will become the key factors for future enterprise competition.

5. The most important point is to ensure data security, that is, information security.

And the future demand of enterprises for industrial communication will also develop in these directions with the increase of market competition and challenges:

1. Higher bandwidth, the current communication has reached 100Mbps, the future industrial communication can apply higher bandwidth, and has definite scalability;

2. The standard is unified, and the communication based on the IP standard increases greatly;

3. Flexible configuration, industrial Ethernet will be able to automatically assign the link device name and IP address;

4. Strong compatibility, fully compatible with IEEE, IETF, IEC and other related standards,

In addition, from the perspective of the development prospects of industrial Ethernet, in the future industrial communication market, from the field, control layer, workshop layer, company layer to cloud platform, from the bottom layer to the upper layer, real-time communication and open network communication will be integrated in In the same system, the overall communication is realized.

Industrial Ethernet Protocol

When Ethernet is used for industrial control, the real-time communication, the object used for system configuration and the application protocol of engineering model are embodied in the application layer. Until the 21st century, there is no unified application layer protocol.So, how did these agreements come about, what are the differences between them, what are the advantages of each, what are the limitations, etc. Before this, the editor has sorted out and published them for you, so I will not I repeat them one by one. For details, please click the following link: Read the original guide

Still can’t tell the difference between various industrial Ethernet technologies?After reading this, you will understand

Seven Elements of Industrial Ethernet

Before using industrial Ethernet in the factory production layer, you must understand its seven elements, which are also the reference requirements and considerations for the industrial production layer to choose which Ethernet technology to use. Here, we take the Profinet standard as an example to introduce you one by one.

 1. Network layout

Different from the network topology layout of the office, the industrial Ethernet architecture needs to have some additional functions, such as high-speed redundancy, because it often faces changeable unexpected situations, so the industrial Ethernet will adopt a variety of different topology network layout methods. (star, ring, tree, line), and use shielded cables, metal connectors, with higher heat and shock resistance. In addition, the switches of industrial Ethernet are generally configured and maintained by the corresponding automatic control system integrators.

 2. Communication protocol

The most important thing for control system integrators is to realize that Ethernet is just a network architecture, and to make it possible to communicate between automation devices, you need an industrial-grade communication protocol. The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard defines the wiring methods, 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 communication protocol designed for industrial applications, providing functions for distributed I/O, machine-to-machine connectivity, machine safety, and motion control.

 3. Processing power

It’s not simply how fast the network is, but how quickly and precisely the data gets where it’s supposed to go. The processing power of the network is undoubtedly one of the most critical factors, and its measurement standard is the amount of network data transmission per unit time. The only way to improve this performance is to reduce the number of cycles in the communication stack. The number of 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 dedicated an Ethernet real-time channel for some important time-critical work, while at the same time its configuration, diagnostics, routing, and “bulk data transfer” communications are all over standard TCP/ The IP tunnel is complete.

  4. Network configuration

The setup of the network is simple, but more importantly, the programming to achieve communication must not be too complicated. Profinet enables device-to-device communication through configuration rather than programming. Instead of the traditional programming and debugging method, system integrators and end users can save at least 25% of the construction and commissioning time through an object-responsive method of configuring internal communication between devices.

  5. Advance planning

It is not enough to consider the application at hand, the current Ethernet must be able to meet the needs of all possible applications in the future. Profinet enables users to implement at their own pace, using only a single Ethernet network, a highly integrated solution for different control functions such as point-to-point communication, distributed I/O, machine safety, motion control and data acquisition ) of the automatic control system. It is also prepared for possible future expansion.

 6. Retrofit of old systems

The elements of Industrial Ethernet are not limited to Ethernet itself. How to integrate and work properly with existing networks and machines provided by different suppliers 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 apply to the entire autonomous network without the need for additional high-end switches or special functions such as IGMP snooping and VLAN. Profinet also provides solutions for connecting products from different suppliers to the same network. Through XML, it handles each machine as a component, relatively independent of the internal core control system, which is the concept of automation with components as the control unit.

  7. Fees

For industrial Ethernet networks, the most important expenses are not the components of building the network, but the design, installation and maintenance parts. If you want to save money, you must work hard on these three parts. Profinet and other similar industrial Ethernet architectures use the results of IT technologies, such as OPC and SNMP, to monitor and Display the status of the network. In addition, its diagnostic function can directly reflect the state of the network on the automatic control system including plc and SCADA system. In this way, configuration settings and fault finding can be completed in the central control room, which greatly simplifies the operation.


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