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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Germán Fernández on May 25, 2016

Electric energy operators around the world are working to increase reliability, resiliency and capacity with smart investments in new technologies. This includes Stadtwerke Karlsruhe Netzservice GmbH (SWKN), the municipal utility that provides electricity, gas, water and heating to the 300,000 inhabitants of the city of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany.

In conjunction with replacing primary electric transmission equipment with new gas insulated switchgear (GIS), SWKN wanted to improve the reliability of its substations. Doing so included upgrading the control and automation system from legacy protocols to the IEC 61850 communication standard.

There is a lot than can be learned from this real-life example of how a utility updated its systems for real-time monitoring and control, aligning with the vision of the Smart Grid. Let’s take a look at how they did it.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Jeff Lund on May 18, 2016

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing both automation systems and business systems. More and more data is flowing into and out of industrial control systems, leading to business benefits such as better asset utilization, lower energy consumption and improved supply chain management.

As I have described in a previous article, the IIoT is not a destination but a journey. What will this journey look like over the next 12-36 months?

One perspective is that of the ARC Advisory Group who published an interesting article “10 IIoT Predictions for 2016 and Beyond.”

Four of the ARC predictions in particular resonated with me. I hope that my comments about them will provide you with some insights on what to expect as you and your organization move forward towards Industry 4.0.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Oliver Kleineberg on April 27, 2016

This week a major step forward in Industrial Ethernet is being demonstrated at the Belden Booth at the Hanover Fair (Hall 9, Booth D11) in Germany.

It’s a live demonstration of Hirschmann Ethernet switches using the IEEE 802.1 time sensitive networking (TSN) standard to allow the simultaneous transmission of critical control plus best-effort background traffic. This demo signals the delivery of an important capability which is deterministic, time-critical packet delivery.

It transforms standard Ethernet from an “I’ll get it there as soon as I can” communications technology to one that provides timing guarantees for mission-critical applications.

Time sensitive networking will play an important role in communications infrastructure as greater numbers of devices are connected under the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 revolution. Read on to learn the 4 important things you need to know about it.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on April 13, 2016

Nowadays, the primary goals for many industrial engineers are maximum productivity and minimal downtime. However, some of the key components critical to reliable network communications are often overlooked. These components include cables, switches and connectors, items that are difficult and time-consuming to troubleshoot or replace.

In addition, disruptions in a cabling system are more common than you might expect. Plus, if a cabling system component or Ethernet switch fails, the repair and labor costs alone could be 15-20 times the cost of the component itself.

Investments in high-quality, rugged Ethernet infrastructure – designed specifically for use in harsh environments – can therefore provide tremendous peace of mind to network engineers and administrators. Let’s take a look at nine tests to determine if your industrial grade cable is secure and ruggedized.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Jeff Lund on March 30, 2016

The goals of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are the same goals that industry has had forever: reducing downtime, cutting costs and staying competitive.

What’s different about the next industrial revolution is how the goals will be met. This time the breakthrough in innovation involves interconnectivity and the self-regulation of machines, along with a dose of Big Data, to drive continuous improvement processes.

Getting from today’s practices to tomorrow’s cannot be done in one giant leap; it is an evolutionary process. Let’s look at the changes that are occurring and the steps you can take now to move forward on the IIoT journey.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on March 16, 2016

The future of industrial automation is being shaped by the vision of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In this vision the controllers, actuators and sensing devices used in manufacturing will be integral components of information networks. Cyber-physical interaction will lead to new products and services that we can’t even imagine today.

Every organization is at a different place in the journey towards the IIoT. Wherever you are, it is interesting and instructional to know what other companies are doing to prepare for the future.

In today’s article we look at how a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturer in Saudi Arabia modernized its industrial network with high priority on resiliency, redundancy and scalability for the future.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: on March 02, 2016

If you design industrial networks for food and beverage processors, or if you are an engineer in such a facility, you know that the cost of downtime is high. In fact it’s estimated that if a cabling system fails, the repair and labor costs alone could be 15 to 20 times the cost of the connector or cable itself -- if they can even be fixed at all. Downtime can reach overall costs of $20,000 to $30,000 per hour.

Not only are downtime costs high, operating conditions in these industries are some of the harshest around. That’s in large part because cleanliness and food safety are of paramount importance. Equipment must operate at top capacity even though it is subject to high pressure wash-downs, caustic cleaners, vibrations and extreme or varying temperatures.

What then are the guidelines for specifying or selecting the cordsets used to connect automated systems in the food and beverage industry? Let’s find out.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Germán Fernández on February 17, 2016

People in many countries take reliable electricity service for granted. That’s because over the years large, mature, highly connected electric grids have been built out.

These electric grid systems used to operate perfectly well with one-way communication from the central stations out to the ultimate users. In the last two decades though, the addition of renewable and stored sources of power made bidirectional communications a necessity.

Furthermore the drive for efficiency and resiliency has led to a demand for smart grid applications such as grid visualization, real-time load monitoring, asset monitoring, smart metering and consumer load control.

Providing two-way communications over a vast grid is a daunting challenge. Fortunately there is a straightforward and cost effective solution. Public cellular networks along with the right network design and routing equipment can be combined to deliver reliable, high data rate solutions.

Let’s examine how to develop industrial wireless networks for today’s smart grid applications.

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