We now use IP-based communication pretty much everywhere – in smartphones and on our computers but also in industrial facilities. Over the last 20 years, we have seen more Ethernet-based communication architectures being implemented in industrial applications, such as Profinet, Ethernet IP and Ethercat. All of these are Ethernet-based fieldbus systems. However, there is a lack of consistency right at the last hurdle, i.e. at sensor-actuator level. At this level, we are still using bus architectures such as Profibus, CAN and ASI. This means that there are gateways that convert the Ethernet-based communication. Today's approach is to achieve consistent communication so that IP-based communication can be implemented even at the very lowest sensor-actuator level. Why is there not yet any Ethernet-based communication at sensor-actuator level? It was simply too expensive and too complicated to extend Ethernet-based networks all the way to sensor level. This has now changed, thanks to Single Pair Ethernet.
Read the full article in the July issue of PBSI
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