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Industrial Ethernet Solutions in the Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing industry majorly depends on Ethernet solutions to enhance ruggedness, real-time performance required by industrial applications. Using ethernet solutions, large data handling, maintaining faster speed in the network is possible.

What Is Ethernet?

Ethernet is the major local-area network (LAN) technology, which is used extensively used for LAN-connected PCs and workstations.  It refers to the family of LAN products covered by the IEEE 802.3 standard, and the technology can run over both twisted-pair cables and optical fiber.

Ethernet technology is easy to understand, deploy, manage, and maintain and it is low-cost and flexible.

Deploying ethernet solutions can help in increasing additional performance and network intelligence. This has made ethernet an excellent solution for industrial applications.

It supports a variety of network topologies and can be connected over any Ethernet-compliant device from any vendor.

Why and how does Ethernet work so well in manufacturing industries? There are many reasons behind its rise, but a few to note include:

a)There are various options for protocols and topologies, offered by the industrial ethernet. For instance, plants can dominate commercial Ethernet when they move outside the star topologies. In this case, using ring topologies for rapid recovery and redundancy will be helpful. Moreover, protocols such as EtherNet/IP® and EtherCAT® cover a wide range of use cases and system designs.

b) Factories such as oil and natural gas refineries, wind farms etc are often subject to harsh environmental and operating conditions. There will be a requirement for operators to respond for vibrations, extreme temperatures. In this case, they can do so by using industrial ethernet cables and connectors in their automation and control systems. This made ethernet to become a viable option for in-plant automation.

How Industrial Ethernet is useful to manufacturing companies?

To make the manufacturing processes more productive and competent, manufacturing companies are rapidly migrating to Industrial Ethernet technology. Deploying industrial ethernet enables companies to control costs by moving from costly proprietary systems to a proven technology that is more secure, reliable, and deterministic.

Ethernet solutions assist in enhancing bandwidth, opening connectivity, delivering the resiliency and network security field-bus solutions, and standardization. Organizations/manufacturing companies can control over their networked manufacturing equipments using industrial ethernet.

Migration to Ethernet solution is gaining momentum in the industry as these solutions reduce expenses, improve processes, and enhance productivity.

According to a recent ARC Advisory Group study, the worldwide market for Industrial Ethernet devices is expected to grow at a rate of more than 84 percent over the next five years.

Industrial ethernet uses intelligent switching technology that can meet the unique requirements of the manufacturing arena. And, it delivers the network security, performance, and availability required to support critical manufacturing applications.

5 key benefits of Industrial Ethernet

1)Industrial Ethernet Switches are extensively used for harsh environments. They have DIN-rail mounting capability, direct DC power, dual power inputs, shock and vibration approvals, hardened enclosures etc  to provide appropriate solutions to manufacturing companies.

2) Instead of serial (RS232, RS422 or RS485) communications, using Ethernet massively enhances the flexibility of the installed network. These solutions can also be used for voice, video, and many different types of data.

3) Using Power over Ethernet (PoE), power can be delivered over the same piece of Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables. It indicates that devices such as gas analyzers, IP cameras, and embedded computers can be placed without additional costs.  This is one of the reasons why PoE is another compelling argument for using Ethernet in distributed industrial applications.

4) Adopting industrial Ethernet provides the fast network redundancy. i.e. it is possible to build a network of devices that can continue to communicate with each other if a cable is broken or unplugged or if one of the network switches fails.

5) Ethernet solutions are capable to withstand failures in network cabling or network infrastructure.