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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on February 11, 2015

If you have ever lived in a climate with cold winters and the power has gone out, you likely realized how much we take electricity and heating systems for granted. Not only is it inconvenient on a personal level, it impacts the economy by reducing productivity and disrupting manufacturing processes.

Organizations involved with power generation and distribution work very hard to maintain system uptime of 99.999 percent or better. Achieving that involves many strategies, including maintaining a robust industrial Ethernet infrastructure for communication systems.

Analyses show that 70 percent of communication systems outages are due to failures in network components, cable and connectors.

Let’s look at a major manufacturer of photovoltaic power systems, SMA Solar Technology, which took care to make sure its connectivity systems include high-performing patch panels.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on January 28, 2015

When it comes to industrial networking today, many factories and process control facilities around the world are focused on upgrading to managed Ethernet networks. With the long, useful life of industrial devices, there is plenty of old equipment using legacy industrial protocols in active service.

Even given this reality, it is instructive to step away from current challenges and look ahead to the Factory of the Future. What will industrial production look like 5-20 years from now? What do I need to understand about where factories are going to guide my decisions today?

This article is the first in a series of articles on the Smart Factory that aim to advise you about where factory production and automation are going. It applies not only to discrete manufacturing, but also to automation in the process, energy and transportation industries.

Let’s take a look at what the Smart Factory is and what characterizes its communication systems.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on January 14, 2015

In order to enhance the reliability and availability of data communication in hazardous operations areas, many are shifting to industrial Ethernet-based network designs.

You may think that Ethernet devices are suitable for control room use only. New technology, however, now enables network managers to place them in operations areas, even those under vibration strain or excessive heat.

In this blog, we will look at four key considerations when selecting networking products for an operations area: installation needs, industry approvals, environmental conditions and timing. A downloadable Application Note is also available, which details how this approach was applied to Belden’s recent work with a major European ship engine producer.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on December 17, 2014

Every industry today is under pressure to lower costs, yet increase flexibility. A particular example is the electric power industry where on the one hand there are initiatives to increase the two-way communication of data to meet the vision of the smart grid, and on the other hand, keeping costs down is essential.

At the substation level, one way to control costs is to address the Ethernet switching needs with a value-priced, yet rugged, flexible switch. Hirschmann has just introduced a new Gigabit Ethernet switch, which is ideal for meeting this need.

If you are an engineer or system integrator in need of a substation hardened entry-level switch, this device might be very useful. Plus, it has an additional benefit – it comes with field exchangeable port modules for high flexibility.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on December 02, 2014

A huge amount has been written about the “Smart Grid” in recent years and most of it leads you to believe that every substation is communicating using high-speed Ethernet between all of its various components.

But let’s face it – the intelligent electronic device (IED) that was installed 15 years ago to monitor the status of the transformer is still out there. No one is even going to think about upgrading that IED until it or the transformer fails.

This begs the question of how to incorporate serial communication devices into a modern Ethernet infrastructure. Today, we’re going to take a look at this critical, and often times overlooked, issue.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on November 26, 2014

Every year, Control Engineering selects a slate of finalists for its Engineers' Choice Awards. This year, four Belden products are in the running. The products nominated are:

• Belden 600V Tray-Rated Cat 5e Cord Sets

• Hirschmann Lightly Managed Industrial Ethernet Switch

• Lumberg Automation PROFIBUS I/O Modules

• Tofino Industrial Networking Security Appliance

Each product has unique strengths. Let’s take a look at each of them to see why you might want to include them in your control networks – and vote for them!

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on November 19, 2014

In Part 1 of this article, I introduced the Golden Rule of Industrial Wireless Security – Deploy Securely, Monitor Regularly. Following this rule ensures that unwanted access to your wireless LAN and the rest of your network does not occur.

But, how do you deploy securely? These days, most cyber security articles talk about using Defense in Depth, or a layered approach to securing industrial networks.

By implementing measures to address these seven key questions you will be building layers of protection that contribute to Defense in Depth for wireless applications. Let’s take a look at the questions in detail.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on November 12, 2014

There are many reasons to update your network from an ad hoc design to an industrial Ethernet infrastructure. One of them is that it allows you to separate applications that generate high volumes of traffic, such as physical security systems, from other network applications such as control systems.

Good network segmentation groups devices used for a common purpose or with common cyber security requirements into segments, making network management and expansion easier.

Today I am going to take a look at how to integrate physical security systems that include cameras, video servers, client viewing stations and other equipment into a well-designed industrial Ethernet network.

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