Optimising PLC network performance and management
By G Chang, Moxa
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Electricity+Control, May 2013 (pages 12 – 16)
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Industrial automation networks will require different types of gateways and switches for different applications; listed are a few types of application-specific requirements:
- Wide-temperature operation is necessary for many outdoor environments, where temperatures can dip well below -30°C at night and rise to well over 70°C in the daytime.
- Gigabit PoE can be deployed to combine control-level communication with video surveillance of the factory floor, eliminating the need for external power cords.
- Fibre is a media commonly used to provide long-distance communication between remote networks. Also, electro-magnetic interference (EMI) immunity makes fibre the choice for many power industry applications.
- 10GbE and Layer 3 switching are required in control rooms with large-scale surveillance systems to provide the data rates required for HD-quality video transmission.
- M12 connectors are required for severe outdoor applications, such as mining and transportation industries, where intense vibration and dust can compromise network communication.
- Ingress protection (IP) is important for application environments where contaminants and high humidity can cause device malfunction and even failures
- Integrating industrial fieldbus with industrial Ethernet does pose challenges.
- Often, multi-vendor networks may not work as a cohesive whole.
- Industrial automation networks will require different types of gateways and switches for different applications.