Al, this is another example I have seen in Design News of Ethernet being used in the industrial world. It is interesting to see how widespread ethernet's adoption has been. I worked with the very earliest implementations. Ethernet won the battle in the computer connectivity world because of its flexibility. It has been taking over the large scale telecom carrier world. Now, it seems to be making significant inroads in the industrial networking world. Not bad for an open standard.
Ethernet protocols have developed and gotten to the point of near domination in plant networking including high performance motion control, and there really is not a lot of competition. Device networks is still an area in the factory where there are options like CANopen, etc.
I agree. The RJ45 physical connection standard is a definite weak link. Surprised someone hasn't worked out a solution, yet. Other than that Ethernet is really good at data transfer, but I still think it's iffy for real time control.
Hosted CAD or PDM systems is an emerging technology that offers many advantages over traditional on premise workstation CAD configurations and is making many companies rethink how to deliver future CAD software solutions.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.