Characteristics of an industrial communication network

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Characteristics of an industrial communication network

Data communication refers to the transformation of information or data, mainly in digital format, from a transmitter to a receiver through a link (which can be copper wire, coaxial cable, fiber optics or any other medium) that connect these two.

Traditional industrial networks are used to allow data communication between computers, computers and their peripherals and other devices. On the other hand, the industrial communication network is a special type of network made to handle real-time control and data integrity in harsh environments over large facilities.

Industrial communications generally use Ethernet, DeviceNet, Modbus, ControlNet, etc.

The three significant control mechanisms used in the field of industrial automation include Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and Distributed Control System (DCS).

All these items refer to field instruments, intelligent field devices, supervisory control PCs, distributed I / O controllers, and HMI displays.

To provide an interconnection between these devices and also to allow communication between them, a more powerful and efficient network or communication scheme is needed. They differ considerably from traditional business networks. These industrial networks form a communication path between field devices, controllers, and computers.

The transmission means for passing the data and control signals can be wired or wireless. In the case of cable transmission, a cable is used that can be twisted pair, coaxial or fiber optic. Each network cable has its own electrical characteristics that may be more or less suitable for a specific type of network or environment. In the case of wireless transmission, communication takes place over radio waves.

A fieldbus is another local control area network used for real-time distributed control systems for complex automated industrial systems. It is a bidirectional and multipoint digital communication link between controllers and smart field devices such as smart sensors / actuators / transducers.

It replaces the conventional point-to-point communication system consisting of as many pairs of wires as there are field devices.

In the case of the fieldbus system, two wires are sufficient for many devices belonging to the same segment. This result, which represents a huge saving of cable, is profitable. Profibus and Foundation Field Bus are the two most widely used fieldbus technologies in the field of process automation.

 

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