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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on June 03, 2015

Are you tired of hearing about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) of things already…. but are unsure how it is going to impact your job or what you should be doing about it?

Join the crowd!

While the IIoT is an important trend that is occurring rapidly and right now, understanding it, taking action on it and benefitting from it does not have to be difficult.

Let’s take a look at what this trend is all about and the practical steps you can take to make your communication infrastructure an efficient super highway that drives IIoT benefits.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on May 20, 2015

Installing Ethernet on the factory floor is not new. What is changing is its adoption for controlling communications to power-hungry machines, often in areas regulated by the National Electrical Code (NEC).

High powered machinery in code-regulated environments requires higher voltage cable, making the use of 600V Ethernet cables more common. When Ethernet cable is used in such a 600-volt environment, electrical safety becomes a design consideration.

If you suspect that your 600V Ethernet application needs to conform to the NEC regulations, or if you simply want to understand 600V cable safety considerations, read on.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Mike Miclot on May 06, 2015

It’s hard to imagine living our lives today without the Internet. From finding information to getting directions to learning things via YouTube, the Internet has become essential.

Now let’s try and think about how our lives will change because “things” are rapidly being connected to the Internet. It is estimated that the number of connected devices today is about equal to the world’s population, or seven billion. By 2020 that number is going to increase to about 28 billion.

The combination of IoT along with another important smart factory trend, the increasing use of industrial wireless, is transforming the plant floor. In today’s article I take a look at how current wireless network design is proving to be important in realizing benefits from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on April 22, 2015

Thirty years ago most industrial control systems (ICS) were hardwired. Often sensors and actuators came with long wires that weren’t even jacketed together. Those wires would be threaded through conduits and then wired into the system. This was a time-consuming process that required the services of an electrician, costing organizations significant time and money.

The Hannover Fair of 1985 changed all that. M12 connectors were introduced and a few years later they became the standard for ICS.

A system that is linked with M12 connectors makes assembling, testing and servicing ICS faster and less expensive. These advantages are further enhanced when a cord set is used instead of installing separate cables and connectors. Let’s take a close look at the advantages of M8 and M12 cord sets and the steps needed to select the right one.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on April 08, 2015

Ten years ago, buying a glossy magazine and reading it was a self-indulgent treat. Today, I read a wide variety of magazines on my iPad. In particular, I have gone back to National Geographic. Its digital cost is affordable, its photos and videos are spectacular, and I don’t have to make agonizing decisions about storing or recycling a great-looking document.

Over the last decade, you have likely implemented an industrial wireless application and decided afterwards that it really was not worth the cost and drawbacks that came with it. Like my old, dusty hard copy National Geographic, industrial wireless solutions may be filed in the “don’t suit me” compartment of your brain.

I would like to urge you to dust off your thinking and consider how advancements in reliability, performance, security and ease-of-use have changed the industrial wireless game.

Today, I will look at three applications for moving people or goods, and explain how they save money and make data collection and reporting easier. I will also explain how some of the earlier issues with industrial wireless have been addressed with today’s technology.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on March 25, 2015

VFD cables are used to connect Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to motors and, when specified correctly, they play a large role in mitigating harmful electrical noise. This noise can disrupt production and lead to downtime or quality control issues, which can be a major drawback to VFDs that otherwise have a quick payback.

This article gives you a preview of an upcoming webinar we are holding on parallel VFD cable. The webinar will help you specify the right cable for high-power motor and drive applications. You can register for it using a link at the end of this blog.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on March 11, 2015

Earlier this year I published our first article on the Smart Factory of the Future. It described a vision of manufacturing where systems are more intelligent, flexible and dynamic.

In the future machinery and equipment will have the ability to improve processes through self-optimization and autonomous decision-making. This is in contrast to running fixed program operations, as is the case today.

“Cyber-physical” systems will also be important, with feedback loops where physical processes affect operational programs and vice versa.

Let’s now consider the manufacturing LAN and its communication systems. How does it need to change to realize the vision of the Smart Factory?

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on February 25, 2015

VFDs, or Variable Frequency Drives, are used by manufacturers to control motors at variable speeds, thus matching the speed of the motor-driven equipment to the load requirement. This provides multiple benefits, such as longer motor life, energy savings, improved process control and higher reliability.

VFDs sound great, and they are, but there is one drawback to them. They generate electrical noise that radiates out and can disrupt electronic equipment, network systems and even instrumentation.

There is a simple way, however, to maximize the benefits of VFDs without decreasing the performance of nearby devices and systems. That way is to make sure that the cables connecting the VFDs to motors are high-performance ones. Furthermore, if the motor is high power (200 horsepower or greater), then parallel VFD cables offer a significant performance benefit.

Let’s take a look at how parallel VFD cables improve the safety and performance of high-power motors.

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