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.
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.
mrdon, that was a few years ago so my info is out of date.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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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