Page 20

Industrial Ethernet Book 103

Future-oriented communication for setting up machine networks The growth of larger and larger automation networks is overtaxing the machine builders’ ability to manage their networks. With the high amount of time needed for effective deployment rising and costs escalating, more and more companies are looking for a solution that simplifies network management. SEAMLESS ETHERNET-BASED DATA EXCHANGE from the field level to office applications is one of the central challenges that Industrie 4.0 presents to future machine networks. Communication specialists, therefore, needs to offer appropriate solutions that are not only comprehensive, but also easy to handle, secure and ready for the future. Whether man or machine, one thing is certain; without communication, nothing works. However, in the practice, it frequently happens that participants do not understand each other, or not correctly. Reasons include many participants speaking at once, different languages or complex ways of expressing themselves. It is a fact that misunderstandings can easily cause errors with unforeseeable consequences. Therefore, a uniform language and regulated communication are fundamental prerequisites for trouble-free information exchange between all participants. And that also holds true for the data exchange in machines and systems. In the past, the amount of Ethernetcapable components was still relatively limited, but thanks to the universal Ethernet communication, their number is continuously increasing. As a result, the risk of unwanted data traffic on the network also increases. Unauthorized devices that are connected or loops that are accidentally established can interfere with the production process. If the user then additionally needs special protocols, such as PROFINET or EtherNet/IP, the devices used have to fulfill special requirements to safeguard reliable data exchange. Technology trends such as cloud-based solutions, IT security, the use of smart devices or the possibility of secure remote maintenance also influence the network communication. For machine builders, this means that they constantly have to plan and service larger networks that can be supplemented with new technologies. And all of that has to stay manageable for both their and the customers’ employees. Uniform control philosophy To meet these demands, new device types are used in the machine networks, in addition to switches that connect the components and control the data transmission. For example, to connect mobile end devices or transport systems to the automation network, wireless modules are used. Security components are increasingly used to ensure safe integration of the machines into the production network. Additionally, they allow encrypted and secure remote access to the machines. In machine building, the pressure to be competitive on the global market is high. To answer the demand for devices that are easy to handle, it makes sense to source all the required network components from a single manufacturer. This allows a uniform control philosophy and creates leeway for price negotiations. With the FL Switch 2000, FL WLAN 1100, FL mGuard und TC Cloud Client product families, Phoenix Contact therefore provides a diverse set of solutions for the special requirements of modern machine requirements. High-availability networks In the past, unmanaged switches usually served as interface between the network participants in machine building. The reasons included their low price and easy startup. However, these devices cannot meet the demands that arise from the growing communication needs of the constantly increasing number of network participants. For example, unmanaged switches have no mechanisms for network diagnostics or reducing data load. Therefore, they can only be used in modern machine networks to a limited extent. On the other hand, intelligent switches have precisely these functions. Thanks to optimally matched functionality, they combine the advantages of the easy operation of unmanaged devices with the powerful capabilities of the managed switches. The new FL Switch 2000 product family of Phoenix Contact additionally supports redundancy mechanisms for loop suppression, as well the essential functions of the PROFINET and EtherNet/IP transmission standards. An innovative Unmanaged Mode ensures user-friendly handling. It allows the device to be operated as unmanaged switch, while management functions for stabilizing the 20 industrial ethernet book 11.2017 SOURCE: PHOENIX CONTACT Applications For secure connections between the machine and production network, tsecurity appliances provide extensive firewall functions that protect the machine network against unauthorized access


Industrial Ethernet Book 103
To see the actual publication please follow the link above