Access points on industrial networks are often being PoE-powered, as well. In a warehouse, for example, with a fiber link to the access point, a PoE device can provide a conversion from fiber to Ethernet and also power the access point. The key application advantage is covering needs with just one device. Duffy said:
In the industrial market, the move to PoE is a more recent trend driven by the introduction of ruggedized switches with additional power available through the media converters,” Duffy said. “One specific feature that is useful to managing a remote device in a hard-to-reach location or a camera mounted on the top of a pole is the ability to remotely reset the power.
Utilizing PoE technology, the Giga-McBasic from B&B Electronics functions as a power source (PSE). Both copper ports are capable of sending data and 25.5W of power to the remote wireless access point and PTZ security camera. (Source: B&B Electronics)
This approach enables remote cycling of the power interface on a device such as a camera that is locked up, or to reset an unmanaged media converter. The PoE reset feature enables turning off the near end device, or the user can unplug the fiber connection and reset the power of the far end. This offers a unique feature that works well with the level of technician commonly managing industrial installations.
Previously limited to 100 Mbps, B&B's next-generation Giga-MiniMc and Giga-McBasic families were developed to meet the growing demand for PoE and PoE+ functionality in a gigabit form, where remote PD devices require power, and the ability to transmit large amounts of data. These high-bandwidth devices are typically deployed for security, kiosks, in offices, and other environments that require power for Ethernet devices.
Cabe, One reason that Gigabit is unchanged is that, until more recently with the cost curve bending, it really hasn't provided that much of an application advantage. But now especially with growing use of cameras, plus the lower cost, it is finally gaining momentum.
Very interesting post Al. Let me ask, how does the "FED" figure into the equation (if at all) when discussing band width and speed? Do they in any way hinder or provide "roadblocks" when addressing the need for additional speed in communications? I have worked in manufacturing all my life and realize the remarkable benefits of Wi-Fi provided there can be uninterrupted service. Tablets on the production floor would be a great help in monitoring processes provided usability remained reasonably high. Again==great post.
Mrdon and Ann, When I spoke with suppliers, several mentioned video cameras and streaming as a definite bandwidth user. They didn't call out machine vision but I would assume those applications also benefit from the higher speeds. Power Over Ethernet is a natural partner in these applications, and adds the ability to supply power over the network which is a big benefit for some applications such as security cameras.
Chuck, I don't know of any specific statistics quantifying usage stats. The suppliers I spoke with affirmed that the cost curve for Gigabit has come down, so the extra $ is not as significant. Plus many are concerned with future proofing networks. But I still don't think that the percentage share of gigabit is very high now. But definitely moving in that direction.
mrdon, that was a few years ago so my info is out of date. Also, I wasn't covering industrial control, but machine vision suppliers. At the time, some of them were definitely pushing GigE as the default standard for factory-floor networks, for example, Pleora.
Ann, Just wondering based on your research of GigE and its application in machine vision and inspection, do you see Industrial Control manufacturers' pushing this technology as the defacto standard for inplant networking infrastructures? Yes, very nice article Al.
Wow, it's finally happening: GigE proliferating throughout the network over Cat5. I wrote about it a few years back when I was covering machine vision & inspection and it was starting there. Thanks for the update, Al.
Weaned on the relatively effortless connectivity of today’s massive variety of consumer electronic products, automation users in the IIoT will likely not tolerate too many competing, piecemeal standards for long. And the Industrial Internet Consortium is trying to preempt history.
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