As part of a continuing effort to make their organizations more efficient and productive, manufacturers are rapidly migrating to Industrial Ethernet technology.
This standards-based technology enables organizations to control costs by moving from costly proprietary systems to a proven technology that is more secure, reliable, and deterministic.
This white paper provides an overview of Ethernet technology and its benefits in the data networking environment. It discusses the benefits of using a switched Ethernet architecture in industrial networking environments, including:
*Minimal packet loss
*Broadcasts and multicast support
*Network analyzer monitoring
Industrial Ethernet applies the Ethernet standards developed for data communication to manufacturing control networks. By implementing an intelligent Industrial Ethernet solution, organizations can build a manufacturing infrastructure that delivers the resiliency and network security of traditional fieldbus solutions, as well as improved bandwidth, open connectivity, and standardization that Ethernet provides. Industrial Ethernet provides organizations substantially greater control over their networked
As manufacturers seek to improve processes, reduce expenses, and improve productivity, many are turning to Ethernet technology on the factory floor. This migration is rapidly gaining momentum. 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. Once considered a solution that was limited to corporate network environments, Ethernet technology has proven to be a robust alternative that can meet the unique needs of the manufacturing arena.
Industrial Ethernet networks that use intelligent switching technology can offer a variety of advantages compared to traditional industrial network installations.
Industrial Ethernet applies the Ethernet standards developed for data communication to manufacturing control networks. The technology can be deployed using a switched Ethernet architecture that has proven successful in multiple critical applications in different markets. Because the technology is based on industry standards, Industrial Ethernet enables organizations to save money by moving away from expensive, proprietary systems.
At the same time, it delivers the network security, performance, and availability required to support critical manufacturing applications.
To deploy this new technology, engineers on the manufacturing floor should be familiar with some of the important concepts behind Industrial Ethernet. This paper will provide a general overview of the most important traditional Ethernet technologies in use today. It will also discuss how Industrial Ethernet upgrades traditional, proprietary factory-floor networks to a low-cost, high-performance, scalable architecture. Finally, this paper will review some of the intelligent features that make Industrial Ethernet an attractive choice for manufacturing organizations.
What Is Ethernet?
Ethernet is the major local-area network (LAN) technology in use today, and is used for approximately 85 percent of the worlds LAN-connected PCs and workstations. Ethernet refers to the family of LAN products covered by the IEEE 802.3 standard, and the technology can run over both optical fiber and twisted-pair cables. Over the years, Ethernet has steadily evolved to provide additional performance and network intelligence. This continual improvement has made Ethernet an excellent solution for industrial applications. Today, the technology can provide four data rates.
*10BASE-T Ethernet delivers performance of up to 10 Mbps over twisted-pair copper cable.
*Fast Ethernet delivers a speed increase of ten times the 10BASE-T Ethernet specification (100 Mbps) while retaining many of Ethernets technical specifications. These similarities enable organizations to use 10BASE-T applications and network management tools on Fast Ethernet networks.
*Gigabit Ethernet extends the Ethernet protocol even further, increasing speed tenfold over Fast Ethernet to 1000 Mbps, or 1 Gbps. Because it is based upon the current Ethernet standard and compatible with the installed base of Ethernet and Fast Ethernet switches and routers, network managers can support Gigabit Ethernet without needing to retrain or learn a new technology.
*10 Gigabit Ethernet, ratified as a standard in June 2002, is an even faster version of Ethernet. It uses the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet media access control (MAC) protocol, the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet frame format, and the IEEE 802.3 frame size. Because 10 Gigabit Ethernet is a type of Ethernet, it can support intelligent Ethernet-based network services, interoperate with existing architectures, and minimize users?learning curves. Its high data rate of 10 Gbps makes it a good solution to deliver high bandwidth in wide-area networks (WANs) and metropolitan-area networks (MANs).
More than 300 million switched Ethernet ports have been installed worldwide. Ethernet technology enjoys such wide acceptance because it is easy to understand, deploy, manage, and maintain. Ethernet is low-cost and flexible, and supports a variety of network topologies. Although traditional, non-Ethernet-based industrial solutions have a data rate of between 500 Kbps to 12 Mbps, Ethernet technology can deliver substantially higher performance. And, because it is based on industry standards, it can run and be connected over any Ethernet-compliant device from any vendor.