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Optimizing Industrial Ethernet Solutions for Automation Convergence

The industrial revolution occurred because producers realized that many craftsmen collaborating together were far more efficient than individual craftsman working as individuals. This breakthrough insight is the foundation of modern industrial automation today. But further breakthroughs in efficiency and collaboration are still possible, and a new revolution is occurring in industrial automation.. Today, industrial automation operators are realizing that by integrating their disparate data control, process management, security, surveillance, and other automation systems, it is possible to achieve even greater heights of efficiency, safety, and quality.

System convergence is a modern revolution in industrial automation—a revolution made possible by the convergence of many automation systems onto a single industrial Ethernet infrastructure instead of disparate fieldbus communications networks. Moxa’s comprehensive industrial Ethernet solutions are key building blocks upon which industry is achieving system convergence that creates seamless connectivity and collaboration among automation systems. Instead of dividing attention between multiple systems, automation operators can now focus their attention on a single unified interface. Convergence also allows disparate subsystems to share data and collaborate to optimize performance.

Let’s look at two case studies for a detailed breakdown of how Moxa ably fulfills the bandwidth, security, robustness, and management requirements that enable industry to harness the full potential and operational benefits of automation convergence.

Case One: SCADA Surveillance Convergence

In oil and gas operations, remote pipelines are monitored through two systems: a real-time I/O system, typically managed through a SCADA, and a video surveillance system, typically managed through a separate CCTV system. There’s little room for error when managing a lucrative pipeline, so every second counts when responding to a critical events such as SCADA I/O alerts. Integration of SCADA and video systems would allow system operators to easily connect SCADA events to relevant video footage and dramatically increase their situational awareness of remote pipeline conditions.

Challenges

The network that integrates the SCADA and video systems must be robust enough to work across a long-distance oil pipeline, in varied and demanding outdoor conditions. The actual system integration itself must be seamless enough so that it does not create more headaches than it solves; the two systems must be integrated to such a degree that system operators can use them together without a second thought and immediately react to SCADA events without wasting time looking for video footage.

Solutions

Moxa’s solutions have excelled in pipeline applications and the integration of SCADA and surveillance systems on robust Ethernet network infrastructure. Moxa’s hardware solutions are rugged and field-tested in the most demanding of conditions, and Moxa’s OPC-based solutions or optional visual control objects make it easy to closely integrate SCADA with video surveillance. With Moxa technology, the SCADA/HMI interface can immediately display pop-up surveillance video once a SCADA alarm is triggered.

Advantages of Convergence

With SCADA and surveillance integration, operators can simultaneously monitor both SCADA status and even-triggered surveillance video—including live video and pre-event footage. Moxa’s Gigabit solutions and bandwidth optimization technologies ensure that the converged network will reserve priority bandwidth for critical I/O or video transmissions, so that the two systems will not affect each other’s critical functionality. With SCADA surveillance convergence, the remote monitoring of oil pipelines is far more efficient, productive, and secure.

SCADA Surveillance Convergence

Case Two: PLC Network Convergence

Challenges

Many distributed automation systems use fieldbus protocols, which have been developed for use with specific PLC control systems. To create more efficient control and monitoring, automation systems need to consolidate diverse PLC networks into one centralized platform for all-in-one management.

Major PLC vendors have helped their control devices transition to deployment on Ethernet networks by adopting PROFINET and EtherNet/IP. PI has developed PROFINET as an Ethernet-compatible form of Profibus that can be transmitted over an Ethernet network, and the ODVA has developed EtherNet/IP specifically for use with industrial Ethernet.

Solutions

Moxa’s industrial Ethernet managed switches and gateways offer smart features that enable configurable network intelligence and seamless interoperability with EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus TCP/IP. Automation engineers can easily add these fieldbus compatible switches and gateways into Rockwell’s RSLogix or Siemens’s Step7 SCADA systems, which allow their PLC/HMI recognize and manage the registered network devices.

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Advantages of Convergence

Thanks to their integrated system, factory floor engineers can focus on a single SCADA interface. From this single control center, it is possible to directly access control and network devices, perform system-wide data analysis, and identify how to best optimized system performance. Thanks to Moxa’s EtherNet/IP and ProfiNet support and multi-protocol switches and gateways, system integrators have greater flexibility in deploying devices and don’t need to worry about how to achieve cross-network integration.

PLC Network Convergence

How Moxa Enables Automation Convergence

For any industrial network, Moxa’s solutions include unique technologies and feature that help make network convergence less complicated, so system operators can focus on harnessing the benefits of more tightly integrated automation systems and not on the headaches of systems integration.

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In the case studies outlines above, we’ve highlighted how Moxa’s bandwidth management, video integration, and fieldbus integration feature make network convergence easier to accomplish. But that’s just the start of what Moxa can bring to the table. Moxa’s industrial Ethernet solutions are packed with the redundancy, performance, security, and ease-of-use features that empower converged automation networks.

Performance: High density 10GbE/Full GbE capability for future-proof applications
Availability: Milliseconds fast resilience for non-stop operations
Security: Rigid access security across physical and virtual networks
Manageability: Easy to use from configuration, to management, to diagnostic maintenance
Interoperability: Versatile fieldbus technologies for automation networks collaboration
Reliability: Proven reliability for productivity and profitability

 

For more information visit www.moxa.com.

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