Integrating Field Bus and Serial Technologies With Ethernet
Since the early 1960’s both manufacturing and process industries have relied on analog serial and Fieldbus networks to monitor and control devices such as motors, pumps and valves. As the size of these networks grew, more bandwidth was needed to process all of the information coming from and going to control devices in real time. Furthermore, systems operators and managers required end devices to send and receive more status data which added to the bandwidth bottleneck.
As digital communication options became available in the 1970’s and 1980’s information exchange between master and slave devices grew more efficient relieving bottlenecks. During the 1980’s and 1990’s Ethernet grew as the de facto commercial communications technology for data exchange. Ethernet is standardized and scales easily allowing for network growth. Additionally Ethernet can handle very high data rates up to 10 Gigabits per second.
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Manufacturing and Process systems designers are now implementing Ethernet in their designs. Ethernet products are relatively low cost compared to proprietary products and technologies that some suppliers offer and there are a plethora of products available from hundreds of suppliers.
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