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Industrial Ethernet Book Issue 67 / 99
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SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2011 Show Report

Industrial networking still looking good
Show Report - Live News - Product Highlights

SPS/IPC/DRIVES is the largest event for designers, manufacturers, specifiers and end-users of automation and drives technologies. The 2011 edition, held in late November at Nuremburg, boasted record numbers of exhibitors and visitors, which heralds a positive impetus for 2012, despite accelerating Eurozone and global economic concerns. The trends? These concerned network security, improving energy efficiencies, obtaining greater safety and bandwidth, and developing networks for smart grids.

Read more news stories from SPS/IPC/DRIVES:
Rising star at the edge of the network
Silicon for Automation
OPC links to CIP

SPS/IPC/DRIVES covers components, complete systems and integrated automation solutions. Totaling over 90,000m2, it encompassed this year 12 large halls. In line with the record number of 1,429 exhibitors, SPS Drives attracted more trade visitors than in the past, with over 56,000 filling the 12 halls to learn about the latest automation products, solutions and technologies. While the show is becoming ever more international, some UK exhibitors complained that there were relatively few visitors from the UK to make their presence worthwhile.

SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2011: The show covered totaled over 90,000m2, encompassing 12 large halls and a record number of 1,429 exhibitors.(Photo: Mesago)

In addition, an extensive conference programme was organised in parallel with the exhibition, providing a platform for discussions between researchers, product developers and users. This too grew, with 349 delegates attending compared with 302 in 2010.

The markets for automation technologies, industrial Ethernet and other industrial networking businesses appear to be expanding still, worries about the global economic outlook notwithstanding. The crucial importance of these sectors has been underlined by the success of SPS Drives in 2011.

The leader? With over 4m nodes installed in the field, and more than 35% growth/year, Profinet claims to be the leading industrial Ethernet standard.

Semiconductor goes EtherCAT

SPS Drives was, as always, newsworthy. For example, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), supported by market-leading semiconductor equipment vendors, has launched the Semi Technical Working Group (TWG) in Silicon Valley, the goal being to standardise EtherCAT use in manufacturing equipment for chips, displays and solar panels. The two-day inaugural meeting was attended by 96 influential semiconductor industry experts, and representatives explained why they chose EtherCAT and the results they expect to achieve.

Martin Rostan, ETG Executive Director commented to the IEB: “This rationale behind this SIG is that there is I/O in motion control, but there is a need to expand this into the semiconductor industry. What is most exciting is that some many of the most important participants from nine different countries will examine device profiles for semiconductor-industry specific devices such as vacuum gauges, mass flow controllers and RF generators.

“This is a major achievement for EtherCAT, because in large segments of North America and Asia, the semiconductor industry has clear technology leadership and other industries follow accordingly.

A drives networking record? The ETG stand displayed this panel comprising many drives, each from a different vendor, all working happily together. The ETG claimed it represented a record

Asked about other ETG developments, Rostan said that a significant advantage of EtherCAT is that the technology is not being continually changed (as competing technologies are). He pointed out that EtherCAT bandwidth utilisation is the maximum obtainable so significant technology changes over the next few years are unnecessary and could be counterproductive – the single existing version will remain that way for now, though new functionalities are continually being added.

The ODVA also made several announcements. An important one concerns the publication of a new white paper entitled ‘Optimisation of Machine Integration’ (OMI) . This outlines a strategic vision for an open and interoperable communication framework for the industrial sector. The aim is that OMI, which is a collaborative effort by ODVA, Sercos International and the OPC Foundation, will help machine builders add value through simplified communication between machines and from machines to supervisory systems.

Commented ODVA, executive director Katherine Voss: “By transforming data into information, OMI will provide tools for dynamic decision-making, thus maximising machine productivity, improving machine performance and enhancing the preventive maintenance of machinery assets.

The trends

Clear trends evident at SPS Drives 2011, gained from talking to many exhibitors, organisations supporting network technologies and from merely looking around, were increasing network security, improving network and automation component energy efficiencies through use of smart technologies, higher safety, obtaining greater bandwidth, cloud computing and the increasing drive towards networks for smart grids.

Take bandwidth – Moxa’s Business Development Manager (Device Connectivity) Martin Jenkner said: “Bandwidth is an important issue, with trillions of bytes being added into today’s networks. Ever greater bandwidth and larger data packages are required for communications having more and more intelligent industrial devices. Also, there is increasing demand for video and voice streaming applications. Therefore, networking products – including wireless - must support higher bandwidths with high reliability.

Industrial Ethernet switches: New for SPS Drives was Moxa’s ICS-G7000 series of high performance rack-optimised industrial core switches with up to four 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) ports

Moxa’s 802.11n products, for example, have high speed wireless data rates and ensure robust connections using a combined technique of MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output), channel bonding/40MHz and frame aggregation. Frame aggregation greatly reduces average delay by packing multiple frames in a single transmission. These elements of 802.11n network technology ensure throughput demands to 300 Mbps with high reliability.

Network security

Network security was clearly a concern, especially bearing in mind the appearance of the Stuxnet virus in July 2010, many recent instances around the world of major organisations and governments being hacked, and most recently, the Duqu virus. Duqu was first postulated to use Stuxnet methods and code for targeted industrial espionage in networks. Although this worm now seems to be a little less serious than initially thought, it is clear that network security is finally getting the attention it deserves. With the evolution of Ethernet and TCP/IP standards from IT into industrial networking, the awareness for vulnerabilities and security risks of automation systems and network control is fast gaining ground, as was clear at SPS Drives. Indeed, the ODVA launched new security guidelines in a document entitled ‘Securing EtherNet/IP Networks. This looks closely at cyber security guidelines for automation networks.

Innominate Security Technologies presented the new rail-mount mGuard Field Line and the mGuard Factory Line security products, which have been designed for network security in industrial Ethernet LANs, and for secure remote connections via Internet and VPNs. Innominate uses the cloud computing trend to provide a secure remote service infrastructure as an easy-to-use Internet service having comprehensive configuration service and support. The portal allows remote maintenance via the Internet with protected VPN connections to machines, plants and service workstations.

Said Innominate’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Lutz Jänicke: “We only provide the relevant security information to users, so the system is unobtrusive and does not affect real time operation, whereas some other security techniques can adversely affect RT and latency.


This is becoming increasingly important. For example, the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) announced Ethernet-based safety networking - a significant extension to CC-Link IE Field achieved by adding a fully IEC 61508 SIL 3 compliant safety protocol layer. Now, using a single open Ethernet based network, system designers can integrate conventional and safety control, and compatible safety devices can connect directly to the network, reducing cost with greater flexibility. Rather than having to implement a costly independent safety network, safety devices can be added as required, using the existing CC-Link IE Field network infrastructure. A dedicated safety controller works independently of the main network controller.

The CLPA’s stand: The organisation announced Ethernet-based safety networking - a significant extension to CC-Link IE Field achieved by adding a fully IEC 61508 SIL 3 compliant safety protocol layer.

Commented CLPA Europe’s Acting GM John Browett: “While IEC 61508 does not attempt to completely eliminate risk from a system, it mitigates it to the lowest possible level based on what is considered acceptable for the application. CC-Link IE Field provides a flexible safety solution that meets the needs of a wide range of applications, independent of their level of risk.

In a second announcement, the ETG said that it will standardise an open safety profile for safety-related data exchange between machine parts within heterogeneous safety architectures. This will allow pre-defined function blocks to be used within the safety logic, to include pre- and post-located machine parts or a plant-wide activation of emergency stop functions. This safety profile is being developed within the ETG’s Technical Working Group (for more information, see News in this issue).

In another initiative, Moxa said that it has been talking with machine safety expert Piltz for many months about network safety collaboration. When we know more, we’ll tell you.

On display on EPSG’s stand was a SafeLOGIC controller for ProfiNet – proof, says the organisation - that openSAFETY is truly carrier independent. An exhibit featuring servo drives mounted in a rotating assembly and connected via slip ring demonstrated the EMC immunity of Powerlink and openSAFETY.

Energy saving

Today, manufacturers need to improve their energy efficiency to maintain long-term competitiveness. Energy efficiency was a significant theme on Siemens’ vast stand, and the company helps customers achieve energy savings by providing support with technical concepts, a systematic analysis, and suggestions for optimisation. Solutions help companies to substantially reduce their energy consumption, costs and environmental damage.

At SPS Drives, Beckhoff provided its new product family entitled ‘Power Measurement and Monitoring’, which allows power measurement and high-precision power analysis directly in the EtherCAT terminal system. The momentary values of current and voltage are recorded at up to 10,000 samples/s and are made available to the higher-level PC controller for calculations or analyses. Significant energy savings result.

Harting’s approach, outlined at the show, is its Smart Network Infrastructure, which monitors and evaluates networking systems for customers, providing essential information about their energy use. This information can then be used to enable easy energy management, reducing costs and carbon emissions. The Smart Network Infrastructure ‘bridges the gap between automation and IT networks’, says Harting, and every device is monitored to predict energy consumption over the next few hours or minutes. The next step is to test the system in a real application, and the Smart Network Infrastructure should be available towards the end of 2012.

Other developments

Emphasising that over 500,000 Powerlink systems have been installed, EPSG’s stand featured the Multi-Vendor seven meter long Powerlink presentation wall. The organisation also showed a robot powered by drives and motors from three different suppliers, demonstrating the suitability of Powerlink highly dynamic drive solutions requiring strict synchronicity.

A busy show: B&R Industrial Automation’s stand was always crowded, as were most stands at the show.

In a further CLPA move, the association has provided its ‘Gateway to China’ (G2C) programme using its strong presence in the Asian region to support and enable greater European participation. This initiative is being supported by 14 key European CLPA partners.

A noteworthy exhibit on the Sercos stand was a Stratocaster copy guitar (first shown at Hannover Fair) played using Sercos. University of Stuttgart mechatronic students implemented a system to play the instrument interpreting MIDI files using Sercos. They used an MLP industrial control from Bosch Rexroth and bus terminals from Phoenix Contact to actuate a group of lifting solenoids via Sercos commands. Six pluck the strings and 24 operate the finger board. The system played classical guitar tunes from its repertoire at the show - a little ‘clunky’ to listen to, but surprisingly effective even so.

Music by numbers? On the Sercos stand was a Stratocaster copy guitar played (built by Uni Stuttgart’s ISW department) using components by Bosch Rexroth and Phoenix Contact and with solenoids (the fingers) operated via Sercos commands.

James Hunt, Nuremberg

Read more news stories from SPS/IPC/DRIVES:

Rising star at the edge of the network
Silicon for Automation
OPC links to CIP

Live News

Product Highlights

Here are some of the new products and solutions introduced at SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2011.

Next generation of access points und clients

The next generation of access points und clients from ads-tec for industrial applications has two WLAN modules which are suitable to the 2.4 and 5 GHz band. The magnesium die-cast housing of the rugged Industrial Wireless LAN IWL3000 series has no rotating components and is designed for temperature ranges from -20°C to +70°C. The two single configurable radio modules are each equipped with three aerial inputs and fit to the WLAN standards 802.11n, a/h, b/g as well as to all protocols based on Ethernet including real time Ethernet. The WLAN modules can be switched from the access point mode into the client mode according to requirements and ensure a stable covering of WLAN signals in industrial buildings or outdoor areas.
On November 23, 3pm ads-tec expert Heinrich Merz will speak on "Industrial WLAN 802.11n – The base for new solutions in automation“ at the SPS congress.

Performance for machine automation

"Just Powerlink" was one of the innovation topics presented by . In a packaging machine application the realtime Ethernet protocol Powerlink controls 728 axes with a cycle time of only 400 microseconds - a world record, according to B&R. With Powerlink and the fieldbus-independent openSafety protocol B&R aims to offer guaranteed investment security to machine builders.

EPSG General Manager Stefan Schoenegger explains the Just Powerlink concept in a video on

EtherCAT-based control technology

On an area of over 1,000 squaremeters, Beckhoff exhibited its complete range of PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology and a large number of new products. This included the new EL3773 power monitoring terminal for the Beckhoff EtherCAT I/O system, designed to monitor the condition of a three-phase AC or a DC mains network. It collects instantaneous values of power and voltage at an extremely fast sampling rate of up to 10,000 samples/sec and makes them available to the higher-level PC controller for calculation or analysis. The input channels are transferred via oversampling; this results in the acquisition of actual values with a significantly higher resolution in terms of time than the communication cycle time.
The EtherCAT distributed clocks method is used as the basis for the highly precise acquisition of measured values in the EtherCAT Terminal system. These distributed clocks synchronize the EtherCAT devices with very high precision, independently of the PLC cycle. The EL3773 EtherCAT Terminal measures voltage and current via three channels in each case. The six channels are measured simultaneously based on the EtherCAT oversampling principle with a temporal resolution of up to 100 µs and passed on to the controller. The maximum sampling frequency for each channel is 10 kHz.

The fast 3-phase power monitoring terminal enables the highly precise measurement of DC and AC voltages and currents.

IO-Link Master

Comtrol showed its IO-Link Master, designed to easily integrate into an existing Ethernet/IP, PROFINET IO, or Modbus/TCP network. The IO-Link Master creates a seamless bridge between the field level sensor network and the industrial Ethernet backbone, making retrofitting or expansion simple. It features a rugged, compact design incorporating 10/100 Ethernet and eight-channel IO-Link gateway with M12 connectors. This product is housed in a rugged IP-67 enclosure and designed for industrial applications.

The IO-Link Master offers compatible integration into existing or new Industrial Ethernet environment

Fiber optic splice boxes

Fiber optics specialist eks Engel demonstrated the latest generation of their industrial fiber optics splice boxes FIMP. They contains splice tray, couplings, pigtails and cable gland, and customers can choose from SMA, ST, SC, LC, FC-PC and E-2000 couplings. The front panel and the splice cassette can be removed for splicing and since the cassette is magnetic, it can easily be fixed onto a splice unit. The powder coated stainless steel housing is also magnetic so that the splice box can easily be affixed to another housing or to a switch cabinet. Furthermore, it has a clip for DIN rail mounting (35mm) and a kit for wall fastening.
eks Engel also offers splice boxes that combine fiber optics and copper cables, and even versions that additionallly include power supply via RJ45 in one compact unit.

The FIMP product line is designed for connecting machines, controls or similar decentralized systems

Smart network infrastructure

Efficiency topics are high on the Harting Technology Group's agenda. "We gauge our innovations by the extent to which they boost the efficiency of our customers’ processes. It is precisely this idea of efficiency that drives us forward," said Philip Harting, Management Board member Connectivity & Networks. In this context, the company is addressing the entire infrastructure and thereby also the key lifelines of industry: Data, power and signal. The Harting Smart Network Infrastructure is designed to enable the provision of optimal connectors for all three lifelines on the device side, as well as field installation and the configuration of intelligent systems for networking and integration. Consequently, smart Power Networks featured as a key highlights at this year's SPS/IPC/Drives.

Two new multiple-port firewalls

Belden has added two new firewalls to its Hirschmann Eagle20 range with extended number of ports enabling users to deploy a single device, instead of having to use multiple EAGLE20s. The Hirschmann Eagle20-0400 and Eagle30-0402 are claimed to be the first firewalls on the market in a convection-cooled DIN Rail housing which supports six LAN ports - two of which are Gigabit - with such a range of WAN connectivity.
Mark Cooksley, Product Manager for Security and Network Management, said: “The primary advantage over other products is the increased number of ports. This means that a single device, rather than multiple Eagle20s, can be deployed in some scenarios, resulting in space and cost savings. Where customers require link speeds greater than 100Mb/s, the Eagle30-0402 is able to satisfy this requirement, allowing it to better fit the specific application.”

The Hirschmann Eagle30-0402 firewall supports 4 100Mb/s ports and 2 1Gb/s ports

Green Automation initiative

HMS Industrial Networks presented a number of solutions targeting energy management in automation systems. Recent research from the AIDA group of German automobile manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, VW) and the Profibus User Organization shows that industrial networks play a major role in the implementation of control strategies for energy optimization on the plant floor. HMS has already introduced PROFIenergy-conformant Anybus embedded communication modules. The company has identified that it may take some time until the latest energy management standards will be used plant-wide. In the meantime, HMS offers a wide range of solutions mainly targeted at system integrators and end users. These solutions enable the integration of standard automation equipment into modern fieldbus or industrial Ethernet communication systems, increasing the level of automation, system efficiency and energy management. With the Anybus Communicator series of intelligent protocol converters, system integrators and end users are able to integrate existing automation equipment via standard serial RS-232 or Modbus-RTU interfaces into modern industrial fieldbus or Ethernet networks. Anybus X-gateways provide the same values interconnecting different networks. Both gateway families enable a transparent flow of information throughout the entire plant including the ability to switch off automation equipment during production breaks and standstill periods in a synchronized manner, adding to the total energy management and plant efficiency.

HART Ethernet Gateway

ifak system demonstrated a number of communication adapters, including the isNet H@rt HART-Ethernet-Gateway. This solution is designed to replace the widely used RS485 HART multiplexers as it enables the direct connection to the existing data network of a plant. Up to five HART modules can be connected to the main module, so a maximum of 40 HART channels can be operated in parallel. Every channel provides galvanic decoupling from the HART line. Access to the HART network is achieved by 8 plug-in screw-type terminals. Access to the data network is achieved by the RJ45 Ethernet connector in the main module. Its 100BASE-TX Ethernet port supports transfer rates of 10 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s.

Easy to extend HART Ethernet Gateway

Real-time performance under all network traffic conditions

Innovasic Semiconductor announce PriorityChannel, a new technology for device-level Ethernet that is designed to ensure real-time Industrial Ethernet messages are always processed on-time, regardless of the amount or type of other network traffic. The company says that in laboratory tests, several commercially available Industrial Ethernet devices were tested with a 2 ms cycle time under varying network traffic conditions. Most devices failed to maintain the desired cycle time as the network traffic was increased and some lost their connection altogether. Devices based on PriorityChannel technology were able to respond well within 160 µs of the desired cycle time, regardless of the amount or type of other network traffic.
PriorityChannel technology is a combination of silicon and software that has been optimized for Industrial Ethernet applications. Solutions are available as plug-in modules, design-in network interfaces, or fully customizable developer solutions.

Innovasic currently offers PriorityChannel technology for EtherNet/IP and Profinet Class B.

Conformance class B certified Industrial Ethernet Module

The Industrial Ethernet Module (IEM) from Ixxat, which enables the connection of devices to Profinet networks, has now been certified by the PNO in accordance with the conformance class B. During the successful certification according to the IEC 61158 standard all requirements for the conformance class B were met. The certificate approves both, the conformity to the Profinet standard and the trouble-free interoperability with other certified devices. The IEM is used as a universal interface for the integration of different industrial Ethernet technologies. Apart from Profinet it also supports Powerlink, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, sercos, and Modbus-TCP.

Industrial Ethernet Module for Profinet

New products for industrial and mobile automation

Jetter has new expansion modules in store for the JetControl series in the area of industrial automation. In addition to digital and analog inputs and outputs, the compact multi-talented JX3-MIX also contains a counter input and a stepper motor controller. Jetter is also presenting a new communication module through which a JetControl unit can communicate with control units from other manufacturers via the Ethernet protocol Ethernet/IP.
In the area of mobile automation, Jetter AG is introducing electric drive systems for the automation of mobile processing machines for the first time. Jetter has applied its many years of experience in the servo technology area to the special requirements of mobile automation. New operator units for mobile applications complete the range of products.

Jetter's new product lineup on display

Edge-to-Core solutions for factory and process automation

Moxa showed their comprehensive portfolio of edge-to-core networking solutions for applications in factory and process automation. Moxa´s latest addition to their broad switch portfolio, the ICS-G7000 series of high performance rack-optimized industrial core switches with up to four 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) ports, complement their range of edge-to-core networking solutions.
Moxa’s ICS-G7848/G7850/G7852 Layer 3 and ICS-G7748/G7750/G7752 Layer 2 high-port-density industrial core switches are aimed at the core layer of industrial networks and provide up to 48 total Gigabit Ethernet ports with the flexibility to support up to four10GbE ports. The switches are designed for high performance and non-stop control center networking environments as they feature 10GbE and full Gigabit high network bandwidth, flexible hot-swappable modular design, reliable fanless design, and under 50 milliseconds recovery time through Moxa’s innovative self-healing network technologies, Turbo Ring and Turbo Chain.
Both of the switch series can be equipped with up to 48 Gigabit SFP slots and 4 10GbE SFP slots for reliable fiber connectivity. They come with a 5-year warranty service guarantee and support UL 60950-1 and EN 50121-4 industrial approvals.

Edge-to-Core solutions for factory automation

Gigabit Industrial Ethernet switches

Reliability and bandwidth are key factors to the success of digital monitoring and surveillance applications. N-Tron's Industrial Ethernet switches are the products of choice for these projects due to their extreme dependability, ruggedness, and full bandwidth capability. The ultra-compact 7506GX2 Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Switch offers 1 million hours mean time between failure (MTBF) performance, -40° to 80°C operation, 50g vibration, 200g shock, 15 kV ESD overvoltage protection and full wire throughput. As IT applications migrate from the clean room to the factory floor, N-Tron's rackmounted 7026TX Ethernet Switch offers the ideal crossover functionality for these demanding conditions. The unit provides outstanding network performance and unmatched reliability in a rugged industrial 1U format, perfect for open-frame or cabin enclosures. It combines 24 10/100BaseTX copper interfaces and two gigabit expansion ports with a choice of AC- or DC-powered models.

The N-Tron 7506GX2 Gigabit switch offers 1 million hours MTBF

Solutions for the markets of the future

At a press conference Phoenix Contact Executive Vice President Roland Bent announced that the company will end the year 20111 with an increase of about 13 percent. This represents a total turnover of around 1.5 billion euros, which is 170 million euros more than in 2010. To ensure further growth, Phoenix Contact introduced a number of new products, e.g. the EMpro family of measuring devices with two new Ethernet communication modules and an integrated Web server. This now allows to remotely monitor and analyze energy data collected via EMPro. The Web server provides remote access to all important electrical machine and plant parameters, including current, voltage, power, energy, and harmonics. The energy measuring devices in the control center can also be configured in this way. This makes it possible to customize the storage of measured data and the generation of alarm messages.

The EMpro family of devices provides solutions for every measurement task – from simple data collection to power feed measurement up to 700 V AC

Rugged Ethernet cabling

Our unofficial "Best Press Kit Award" goes to Quabbin who packaged their press information with a journalist's survival kit containing cookies and chocolate bars. A real life saver at the show.
The company exhibited their complete line of rugged Ethernet and network cables. Unfortunately visitors in Nuremberg could not see the "stomping boot" demo, but you can see a video of it if you click on the picture below.

Quabbin cables are engineered to survive a good boot stomping

Increased profitability through insight

While most network systems vendors showed solutions to collect and transmit data, the eye catcher on the stand of Red Lion was a system that showed what you could do with all this data. According to Red Lion, ProducTVity Station is the only ready-to-deploy solution for collecting, recording and displaying critical key performance indicators and machine status messages on any TV, monitor, or projector equipped with a DVI/HDMI interface. With a library of over 200 communications drivers, the PTV can communicate to PLCs, motor drives, motion controllers, bar code scanners and more. The PTV can also be expanded with CS series I/O modules, allowing it to accept digital and analog inputs from a range of sensors. With its fully programmable graphical interface, the PTV allows users to create high-definition visual management displays without the limits imposed by traditional LED-based lean manufacturing displays. Eye-catching displays that combine KPIs along with andon messages can easily be created.

The ProducTVity Station's built-in webserver allows productivity information to be monitored via any networked PC or smart-phone.

New single-channel Industrial Ethernet PHY chips

Renesas showed two new single-channel Ethernet physical layer (PHY) devices for industrial communication systems. The new chips are designed for the indusrial environment, meeting the need for determinism, real-time and diagnostics features, a high level of reliability, and an extended lifecycle. Along with providing compatibility with standard Ethernet communication protocols such as Ethernet/IP, SERCOSIII, PROFINET or EtherCAT, the new PHY devices are also compliant with the IEEE802.3 standard and are suitable for implementation in demanding industrial environments. The new PHY chips expand Renesas’ range of product lineups for Ethernet-based industrial networks, which include Ethernet microcontrollers (MCUs) and PROFINET ASSPs, such as ERTEC and TPS-1. Renesas’ PHY technology is also available as intellectual property (IP) products for customised designs.

Renesas µPD60610 and µPD60611 PHY

IEEE 802.11n enabled wireless hardware

The Siemens SCALANCE W product range is now enhanced by a package of wireless communication devices designed for industrial use, according to the WLAN standard IEEE802.11n. The high data rates of the new IWLAN components allow large amounts of data to be transmitted at high speed. Using MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology with three antennas for each radio interface, the SCALANCE W products achieve a high operating distance and reliability of wireless communication.

IEEE802.11n for industrial wireless networks

Single-chip solutions offering integrated industrial communication protocols

Texas Instruments is now offering what is claimed to be the industry's first ARM Cortex-A8 system solution with multiple integrated industrial communication protocols. The Sitara AM335x microprocessors deliver power dissipation levels below 7mW, along with two industrial automation hardware development tools, complete software and analog signal chain complement to provide a total industrial automation system solution. Using this solution, developers can get to market faster with industrial automation designs, including I/O devices, HMIs and PLCs. The microprocessors include a programmable real-time unit (PRU) on-chip interface to enable real-time industrial communications capability (master and slave) to support popular protocols, such as EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP, Profibus, Profinet, Powerlink and Sercos III.

Multiple on-chip industrial Ethernet protocols eliminate the need for an external ASIC/FPGA

Enhanced Power Over Ethernet (PoE) industrial portfolio

Transition Networks used the exhibition for the introduction of three new industrial-hardened products designed to extend the benefits of Power Over Ethernet Plus (PoE +) to high availability devices at the network edge in industrial and outdoor environments. The new switches offer full Gigabit Ethernet ports with the PoE Plus capability in accordance with IEEE 802.3at standards. The SISTP1010-380-LRT is specifically designed for use onboard public transportation systems. The extra power capability may also be used for wireless access devices with multiple antennas for diversity (MIMO). The SISTP1040-242-LRT is built with physical distribution of network-powered devices and services in mind. Its pair of Gigabit-speed fiber SFP ports enables a fiber daisy-chain architecture to be built with no additional fiber termination devices in the field, reducing initial capital investment as well as installation costs. The SISPM1040-384-LRT is a fully-managed Industrial Ethernet switch that provides full gigabit speed on 8 copper ports. With its Ethernet management, redundancy and security features coupled with rugged hardware performance this switch is built for environments that require high reliability and availability.

The SISTP1040-242-LRT's pair of Gigabit-speed fiber SFP ports enables a fiber daisy-chain architecture

UaExpert for mobile phones

Products of Unified Automation were shown on the OPC Foundation booth. This included new OPC UA SDK and runtime products, and the UaExpert Mobile. The UaExpert Mobile is capable of browsing UA Server, subscribe to values and to write certain data points.

Visitors who brought their Smartphone to the OPC Foundation Booth could install UaExpert Mobile for free.

Optimized onboard communications networks of trains

To meet the growing demand for reliable onboard communications networks in rail vehicles, Westermo introduced a new generation of rail switches. With an MTBF of 900,000 hours, Viper 212 is designed for permanent use in railway systems but also for tunnel and signal systems. The sleek and robust metal housing makes the switch well suited for integration into confined spaces. The Managed Switch offers twelve 10/100Mbit/s-Ethernet-Ports, a USB port and an RS232 interface.
Westermo's unique FRNT (Fast Recovery of Network Topology) is claimed to be one of the fastest redundancy protocols at the market with a reconfiguration time of less than 20 milliseconds. The Rail Switch supports Quality of Service with four priority Queues and strict priority scheduling as well as HoL (Head of Line Blocking Prevention).

The intelligent WeOS operating system enables Viper-212 to recognize the position of cars in a train without the need for manual reconfiguration

Source: Industrial Ethernet Book Issue 67 / 99
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