HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Page 1/2  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Progress in the IT and controls war
Rob Spiegel   1/18/2012 9:55:51 AM
NO RATINGS
Excellent article, Al. For years, a big stumbling block in the progress toward the networked plant has been the cultural differences between IT and the plant controls group -- as you mentioned, The war between the two groups seems to be easing. Sounds like Cisco and Rockwell are helping by serving both groups. I woldn't be surprised if vendors helped broker a peace. Some of the issues are throny. IT can reboot the office computers overnight to load a patch, but they can't do the same with the plant PCs.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
A Common Base
naperlou   1/18/2012 10:17:42 AM
NO RATINGS
Great article and interesting developments in the industrial controls world.  Of course, Ethernet does not require IP.  There are other protocols that are appropriate for the shop floor that utilize Ethernet as a transport, such as EtherCAT.  By standardizing on Ethernet, organizations can lower their support costs.  By designing devices that use Ethernet as the transport, engineers can develop systems that are more flexible.  For example, while EtherCAT is great for idustrial contol, there are functions that are better done with IP.  If these can be supported on the same device, then the system can become more flexible and more efficient.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Progress in the IT and controls war
Beth Stackpole   1/18/2012 10:49:49 AM
NO RATINGS
As I think Rob pointed out in his article on top automation trends for this year, many of the same technologies that are a force in the enterprise IT world are now a force in the world of the factory automation folks, which makes it easier and more natural for them to "lay down their swords" and collaborate. It can only benefit companies' quest for lean operations to employ technologies that keep the plant floor and the IT systems backbone in sync.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Progress in the IT and controls war
Rob Spiegel   1/18/2012 11:14:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Beth. That hadn't occurred to me. That certainly means that the plant technology is not foreign to IT.

Another trend that is helping matters is the formation of mixed groups that include members of both IT and control. These groups lead technology adoption and thus the needs of IT and control are both represented throughout the process of add new technology. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
What's the typical backbone data rate?
Ann R. Thryft   1/18/2012 12:37:40 PM
NO RATINGS

Al, I noticed a mention of higher backbone data rates. Any idea what's typical now--10 Gbps, as in 10-GbE? Or has the shift begun to 40-Gbps?


Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A Common Base
Alexander Wolfe   1/18/2012 5:44:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Agreed; a great article. I think the most important element of the rise of Ethernet is that it's going to force vendors towards commonality, at least as far as intercommunications are concerned. OTOH, this won't eliminate vendor lock-in as much as one might suppose, because there are other proprietary elements involved in, for example, the tools chain used to program your PLCs. Writ large, we have a battle for control of the factory between the high-end (i.e., expensive), high-value vendors, and the low-cost, buy it online and do it yourself world.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Across-the-board Ethernet?
Charles Murray   1/18/2012 10:24:18 PM
NO RATINGS
With Rockwell saying that 60% of their business is Ethernet-based, we can only assume that there are a lot of people out there still using proprietary protocols. Any idea if we will ever see across-the-board Ethernet, Al?

thingstodo
User Rank
Iron
Re: Across-the-board Ethernet?
thingstodo   1/19/2012 10:42:18 PM
NO RATINGS
I guess I must be old.  I look at a the combined Rockwell/Cisco proposed 'Campus netowrk, a single robust network infrastructure'  where everything is connected as:

- cryptography - makes it harder to troubleshoot

- layers of firewall with many rules, which should be consistent but are REALLY easy to mess up

- selected services enabled 'by exception only' filtering unknown data at multiple points

- edge ports disabled by default, making troubleshooting more difficult

- a complex backup system required for the various switche configuration, with their various VLANS

- administration to keep the versions of all the switches synchronized and working together

I need data to flow in a timely manner to keep my mill running.  If a problem arises, I need tools to figure out what is wrong, so the failed component (or errant rule) can be located and rectified.

Getting coherent log data out of a Cisco network, in my opinion, requires a lot (400 hours? per year) of training in Cisco classrooms.  And personnel dedicated to network support. 

Or I can put in dedicated IO networks (Profibus, Controlnet, Devicenet, Modbus Plus, and all the old ways) and I can troubleshoot them, one at a time, isolated.

Fixing an IO network is, compared to fixing an ethernet network, a piece of cake.

Right now, our over-worked but pretty well trained IT guys, can't tell me why it sometimes takes 2 minutes to open a 5K text file from our head office via Lotus Notes.  I am quite technical on control systems, but not on ethernet - I already have a job.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
The smallest of things can derail your network
TJ McDermott   1/27/2012 10:21:11 AM
NO RATINGS
I like this trend; I'm wholeheartedly behind it and reach for Ethernet/IP whenever possible in my projects.

(You can hear the BUT coming, can't you?)

This trend is riding on a venerable but misused component.  Industrial networks should not be relying on RJ45 connectors.  They're not robust and were never intended for the factory floor.  I'd like to see a new standard industrial connector for Ethernet, and I'd like to see the companies involved for once agree quickly on it.  M12 Code D would be nice, but I won't insist on it.  But something better than what was originally designed for office and home use has to get onto the factory floor.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Rise of Ethernet
apresher   2/2/2012 4:04:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck,

Changes in industrial networking have always been "life in slow motion" especially with the amount of legacy systems running older proprietary protocols.  It's not going to happen overnight. But except for simpler device-level networks, Industrial Ethernet protocols are the 800 lb gorilla in the room at this point when it comes to industrial control/factory enterprise networking and connectivity.  The other networking technology to keep an eye on is WiFi.

Page 1/2  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


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.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service