Technology Gigabit Ethernet addresses requirements of Industry 4.0 Is Gigabit Industrial Ethernet adoption the key to achieving Industry 4.0 goals? While there may still be some debate about what Industry 4.0 really means, there is no denying that greater interconnectivity of devices and increased network capability will be the key drivers behind achieving the goals it sets out. AS MANUFACTURERS EXAMINE FUTURE challenges around low volume production, increased customisation and increased competition, it is easy to understand why the concepts of Industry 4.0 have come to the fore. Industry 4.0, combined with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not only holds the key to addressing many of these challenges, but also promises to deliver innovations that today’s manufacturers have not even thought of yet. Industry 4.0 can be defined as the combination of “cyber-physical” systems with the IIoT. Underpinning it are Ethernet and Internet-based technologies that provide the connectivity for everything to communicate with everything else, regardless of where a device or system is physically located, or what it actually is. Today, while we talk about high levels of interconnectivity, usually there are incompatibilities in networks that mean projects are divided into separate islands. As we overcome these incompatibilities and drive ever greater levels of integration and interconnectivity, Industry 4.0 will allow production machines to provide more transparency and cooperate to a higher degree. Some say that this will ultimately lead to intelligent factories capable of autonomous production changeovers, reassignment of production equipment and perhaps even scaling their capacity as demand increases. By extension, this will also take in the Internet and collaboration with vendors and customers to a greater degree than is possible now. None of this can happen, though, without the networks to carry the information between the places where it’s needed, in real-time. Ethernet provides a good foundation for this infrastructure, but being able to deliver the necessary performance will require technology with greater capabilities than is common now. CC-Link IE technology, however, is addressing all of these requirements today. Gigabit Ethernet in automation One of the key requirements of Industry 4.0 applications is the need to share large amounts of data from multiple devices in real-time. Hence bandwidth is critical to the successful operation of these systems. CC-Link IE offers a performance increase of around 10 times compared to any other CC-Link IE Field Network topology examples Line topology Master station Star topology Master station Layer 2 switch Station-to-station distance: max. 100 m Local station Ring topology Local station Remote station Overall cable distance: 12000 m Remote station Local station Remote station Station-to-station distance: max. 100 m Remote station Layer 2 switch Remote station Remote station Local station Station-to-station distance: max. 100 m Master station Overall cable distance: 12100 m 24 industrial ethernet book 11.2017 SOURCE: CLPA Remote station Remote station Remote station Support for multiple topologies is important to addressing the need to share large amounts of data in real-time.
Industrial Ethernet Book 103
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