Many industrial manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce their power consumption both to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Industry accounts for over 40% of worldwide energy consumption and 65% of its power demand comes from electric motor-driven systems. One way to reduce greatly reduce the energy required to run motor systems is to use what are called “VFD”s. Read more
As industrial manufacturers and operators continually work to be globally competitive, one area they look at for cost and efficiency savings is network infrastructure. The magnitude of the change happening with industrial infrastructure is very large — and the opportunity to play a small part in this change is one reason I have recently moved from our Tofino Security brand to the Industrial IT group.
For those of you that don’t know me, I headed up the Tofino Security marketing group for five years and had the privilege of working with Eric and Joann Byres to pioneer a new approach to industrial security for the plant floor. This involves dividing networks into zones of equipment with similar security requirements and then protecting those zones with firewalls designed for industry such as the Tofino Industrial Security Solution. A key aspect of the Tofino solution is that it is designed to be simple to implement and maintain for those who work on the plant floor. Read more
These days, Ethernet and other industrial networks are fast replacing hard wiring in machine and robot builder OEM applications. Automation components suppliers are including Ethernet and IP connectivity on more and more of their devices, creating a virtuous and ever expanding circle of Ethernet use. Indeed, the savings in wiring costs alone often justifies use of industrial networks. Read more
Last month, in Part 1 of this topic, we discussed how applying industrial Ethernet can truly transform your facility and provide unanticipated benefits.
Wireless technologies are thriving on the plant floor for a number of reasons, but two key criteria include improved safety and security and lower costs. Security concerns initially associated with wireless have been dispelled or at least diminished. Standards development for wireless systems has caught up with conventional Ethernet with the development and expansion of IEEE 802.11. The standard governs wireless LAN communications and has helped advance the security of Ethernet wireless systems, some say even beyond that of hard-wired systems. New products such as the BAT300-Rail series with three transmission/reception antennas are now better able to receive signals being sent over the industrial network.
Another significant benefit of wireless applications is their lower cost. In many cases, a wireless system is more economical because it eliminates the hard wired costs of cabling and connections and the associated installation effort. In addition, wireless adds convenience to maintenance tasks. For example, if a technician can perform repairs, update firmware, or even do minor programming without opening the cabinet door to access a controller, tasks can be completed quickly, easily, and with less risk.
Today, both wired and wireless products are available for industrial Ethernet applications. For more information, download our Achieving Next Generation Connectivity with Wired and Wireless white paper.
Did you know that almost every plant floor today has Ethernet incorporated in their infrastructure on some level? In fact, Ethernet is fast approaching becoming the principal infrastructure for industrial automation and control applications.
Applying industrial Ethernet to your infrastructure in a way that fits your application, including utilizing wireless appropriately, can truly transform your facility and provide unanticipated benefits. Read more
In 2010, the whole industrial automation world was stirred by the sudden appearance of the now infamous Stuxnet malware. In 2011 there were more publicly disclosed vulnerabilities than in the previous decade, with attack code readily available for more than a third of them. The need for improved cyber security for industrial networks has never been more apparent. Besides this targeted need, however, there is another reason why cyber security technology like Tofino is needed. That reason is the broader need for reliable networks that are used in mission-critical applications. Read more
Networking safety, uptime and control should be key factors in selecting networking cabling and hardware components such as switches and routers. ‘Industry’ is a broad term encompassing a multitude of diverse operations — from discrete manufacturing of every kind, to processing of foods and beverages, pulp and paper, chemicals, oil/gas and petrochemicals, to commercial and government sites such as power generation plants, wind energy farms, water and wastewater treatment facilities, airports and transportation hubs, military bases, ships and shipyards, rail yards, tunnels, dams and bridges. Read more