Future-proof Your Facility With Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus System Solutions

Future-proof Your Facility With Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus System Solutions
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Sagar Patel
4 ديسمبر 2020
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Future-proof Your Facility With Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus System Solutions
White Paper
Sagar Patel
Product Manager, LAPP
With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) a few years ago, more devices are now connected and online than ever
before. In fact, 50 billion devices are forecast to be networked via
the internet by 2020. In the consumer world, this enables activities
such as remotely adjusting the lights and thermostat from a mobile
device. In the world of smart factories and highly automated plants,
things get more complicated and the stakes are higher due to
safety and productivity benchmarks. With the Industrial Internet of
Things (IIoT), the spotlight is on manufacturing operations and data
gathering to optimize production processes and realize the potential
of truly predictive maintenance. Due to data speed and integrity
requirements, the modern factory is still heavily reliant on wired
systems—the cables and connectors that carry critical power and
data signals over long transmission runs at lightning fast speeds.
With IIoT, both the sheer number of connected devices and their
variety are increasing. This means the physical connectivity layer on
the shop floor is more important than ever before.
One of the enabling technologies behind IIoT involves adding
machine intelligence at the device level through smart sensors that
allow two-way communication with the larger plantwide system.
Such a networked system makes it possible to perform data
harvesting in real time and to use data analytics to make tweaks
to improve productivity. Because time is such a critical factor with
regard to industrial cable and connected components, we will
explore the recent development of time sensitive networks (TSNs).
These include new open protocols such as OPC UA and MQTT as
well as the new physical layer coming soon, single-pair Ethernet.
Choosing a cable specifically designed for either industrial Ethernet
or the modern fieldbus systems, depending on your plant setup,
is an important step in optimizing your industrial process control
Further, when choosing a cable supplier it is important to look
for a manufacturer that is communication system agnostic and
supports all of the communication systems available for modern
industrial environments. This means the major industrial Ethernet
systems such as EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, CC-Link IE, EtherCAT and
PowerLink as well as fieldbus systems such as DeviceNet,
AS-Interface, DeviceNet, CC-Link and CAN Open. Working with a
knowledgeable manufacturer will help you connect smart field
devices and communicate in real time with the larger enterprise
system. Rather than intelligence ending at the control system level,
it is beginning to extend into the device level with smart sensors
and actuators that send information directly to the enterprise
system. The industrial data cable that is specified must support this
activity with appropriate transmission speeds and guaranteed data
A few milestones are noteworthy to recall with regard to industrial
communication over the past few decades. Around 1980, RS485
serial communication protocols were widely used in industry. Next,
the fieldbus proponents introduced PROFIBUS around 1990 as
another step improvement. PROFINET was introduced in 2003.
In 2010, both PROFIBUS and EtherNet/IP introduced real-time
protocols—IRT for PROFINET and CIP Sync for EtherNet/IP. Industrial
Ethernet came about due to the increased network size, higher
data rates for more devices, the need for more flexible topologies
and expandability (star, tree, ring layouts), a desire for one network
for mixed services and the move toward enterprise-level and cloud
LAPP’s high-quality UNITRONIC® data network cables and
fieldbus components provide reliable solutions for applications
in industrial machinery and plant engineering. From transmission
of simple control signals to fieldbus signals in complex network
structures, LAPP offers a dependable cabling and connection
solution for almost any situation. Cables are suitable for a wide
range of uses including chemical and mechanical stress, humid
conditions, and various temperatures. Applications include:
• Measurement and control technology
• Automated manufacturing processes and industrial robots
• Bus systems
• Machine and appliance electronics
Industrial Ethernet systems such as EtherNet/IP, PROFINET and
EtherCAT were specifically developed for industrial applications,
enabling the use of one communication system throughout all
areas of your facility. These systems require fewer interfaces to
connect unlimited numbers of locations. LAPP’s ETHERLINE®
products offer the most advantages for commercial fieldbus
systems and provide dependable real-time control within
automated industrial facilities of all types and sizes. A full range
of CAT.5 to CAT.7 cable and connection options is available
across multiple protocols. Benefits include:
• High data transmission rate for fast information exchange
• Improved efficiency and workflow
• Company-wide access to data and applications
• Better monitoring and control for optimized manufacturing
• Simple, unlimited expansion possibilities
• Fast assembly due to connection technology with
field wireable RJ45 or M12
• Dynamic bandwidth adjustment with 10/100 Mbit/s,
1 Gbit up to a current 10 Gbit/s
ETHERLINE®LAPP 29 Hanover Road, Florham Park, NJ 07932 T. 800 774 3539 www.lappusa.com
However, all of these proprietary technologies led to the
development of “real-time islands” inside factories. In this context,
real time refers to cycle times below one millisecond. For example,
synchronized cycle times of roughly 62.5 or even 31 microseconds
are typical requirements for drive systems. This is where the
concept of time sensitive networks (TSNs) comes in. TSN is an open
standard that aims to enhance traditional Ethernet by improving
quality of service (QoS) in terms of bandwidth reservation (devices
and activities can easily be prioritized via switches and software),
synchronization (using perfectly synchronized clocks within each
device), low latency times and seamless redundancy (for no service
interruptions or data delays). In this scenario, mixed services are
possible, e.g., PROFINET and OPC UA. TSN is implemented on
the data link layer (where switches typically work, just above the
physical device level) and standardized in IEEE 802.1. The beauty
of TSNs is threefold: no changes in existing application software,
easy integration for device manufacturers, and the end of realtime islands. Products should be available for industrial use within
the next few years. Prototypes from different manufacturers have
already been presented and industrial Ethernet workgroups are now
in meetings to work out the details.
The next open technology to be familiar with is OPC Unified
Architecture, or OPC UA, a machine-to-machine protocol for
industrial communication developed by the OPC Foundation.
OPC UA is manufacturer neutral and supported by all major
PLC suppliers. It is standardized in IEC 61850 and designed for
communication between PLCs, and from PLCs to ERP systems. In
April 2018, OPC UA released PubSub (publisher/subscriber) for the
lowest levels of the factory floor—controllers and sensors
(1-10 ms range, i.e., for streaming real-time data). The main
advantages include end-to-end encryption for high security and
the fact that OPC UA is supported by many industrial device
manufacturers with a large installed base. Further, OPC UA can
be used in combination with the TSN for real-time communication
between machines. With regard to industrial data communication,
be sure to work with a cable supplier who is familiar with recent
industry trends in connectivity and knows where the industry is
headed. Better yet, look for a provider who is involved in the various
workgroups that are developing the standards and helping define
the specs for future industrial products.
Another modern protocol to become familiar with is message
queue telemetry transport—MQTT—a very lightweight IoT protocol
for small devices such as sensors and networks with high latency
and low bandwidth. MQTT, standardized by OASIS (Organization
for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), is best
described as an optimized solution for directly connecting devices
from the lowest field level to the cloud. For example, a sensor could
publish information such as temperature to an MQTT “broker,” and
this intermediate device could share it with a “subscriber” such as
a cloud server or an enterprise-level server within the factory. All of
this information can be exchanged without making any changes to
the PLC.
Originally used in the automotive industry, a new standard
called single-pair Ethernet is making gains in IIoT connectivity
in other industries as well. Consider that the PROFIBUS fieldbus
had two cores to connect to cable with two cores. DeviceNet
had four cores—two for data and two for the power supply. For
industrial Ethernet, four and eight cores are typically used. The
growing number of required cores was making installation more
cumbersome, so the automotive industry spearheaded the
Single pair Ethernet cables are more compact, lighter, easier to install, and cheaper than traditional Ethernet cables with four
wire pairs–and sufficient for many applications on the field level.LAPP 29 Hanover Road, Florham Park, NJ 07932 T. 800 774 3539 www.lappusa.com
movement to single-pair Ethernet, with new standards from IEEE
(such as IEEE 802.3) in 2015. So, new chips were developed for
automotive that support Ethernet communication for 10 Mbit/s,
100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s with just one pair. Benefits include
reduced installation effort and cost along with less demanding
space requirements inside vehicles.
With regard to IIoT and connected field devices in factories, the
most promising aspect of single-pair Ethernet is the ability to
transmit data at 10 Mbit/s for 1,000 meters. This is a true fieldbus
replacement because protocols such as PROFIBUS, DeviceNet and
CAN bus also cover around 1,000 meters, but at a reduced data
rate. Different user groups are now exploring single-pair Ethernet,
including various industrial Ethernet, PROFINET and EtherNet/IP
workgroups. Although it may take two or three years to see the first
devices, proactive cable manufacturers are now developing cable
and connectors to meet the requirements of single-pair Ethernet
and “Ethernet to the edge” plant designs.
Navigating the evolving world of communication protocols in the
context of IIoT can be challenging. Today’s automation environments
are still heavily reliant on wired systems including cable and
connectors to transmit data and power over long transmission
runs at incredibly fast speeds. Data integrity and speed are key. As
smart products are developed to bring intelligence to the device
level, specifying the appropriate physical layer of industrial data
communication is more important than ever. Be sure to work with
a cable provider who is knowledgeable about the various protocol
choices and has products to meet the needs of both current and
future plant layouts. For more information about specifying the best
cable for your next application, contact the engineering team at LAPP USA.
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