Industrial networks have changed. What was once the realm of the end-user plant’s engineering team is now as much a part of machine-design considerations as which controllers or sensors to use.
Many machine components now have embedded intelligence, and Ethernet connectivity has enabled networking not just the equipment, but the devices in the equipment. An industrial network is the system that makes machine-to-machine (M2M) communication a reality. Expand that a bit, and you’ve got machine-to-cloud communication. And the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is born.
There’s no telling where this equipment connectivity will take us, but we’ve got a pretty decent assessment of where we are now and what the immediate future holds. Of course, transformative change leaps ahead exponentially, so conceptual improvements, such as time sensitive networks, which are still in the testbed phase, could explode at any moment and completely alter the way manufacturing and production evolve.
Technology trends, fundamentals and examples
This State of Technology Report explores in greater detail these and other technology trends in the arena of industrial networks. Drawn from the most recent articles published in the pages of Control Design, this special report includes articles on emerging trends, basic primers and illustrations of the latest technology in action. We hope that you find it useful.