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Network Management: It's a Must

Feb. 12, 2014
As Industrial Networks Grow and Do More, the Need for Uncomplicated Network Management Software Is Essential

Adopting Ethernet as the standard for industrial automation networks is progressing at a fast rate. While Ethernet has brought great successes in data transparency and efficiency, the increased complexity of these large networks can also be a challenge for plant maintenance.

SEE ALSO: Manage Your Network 

"To help address this challenge, companies are providing Network Monitoring Systems (NMS) designed for industrial automation applications and that allow easy access to diagnostic information and graphical representations of the network," says Tim Pitterling, product manager, Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure, Siemens Industry. "In addition, industrial NMSs don't require an IT background to use them, and can be used without specific training or long ramp-up time."

Further, Pitterling says, industrial NMSs support standard protocols including Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for device discovery and cyclical device data collection. "NMSs also use Profinet protocols such as Discovery and Configuration Protocol (DCP) and Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)," explains Pitterling. "This information can then be provided via an easy-to-understand Web interface that can be displayed on an HMI directly on the plant floor. The systems also support OPC to integrate the diagnostic information into a SCADA system."

Wago adds its customers are looking for innovation in their network management. "They want to keep up to date with market trends and consistently have the most competitively advanced product on the market," says Charlie Norz, product manager, Wago I/O Systems. "Consumer requirements change very quickly, so being easily adaptable is a big plus for industrial manufacturers. The integrated webserver inside our SD card-equipped media controller makes it easy to configure over the network, so no software is needed outside of a Web browser."

In today's industrial market, having managed switches without management software is almost unheard of. "All managed switch vendors offer the basics in terms of management, which usually includes setup software and web-based configuration software," says Jim Toepper, product marketing manager, Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure, Moxa Americas. "Today's needs are changing due to larger networks being installed. Integrators and end users require both monitoring and configuration software that can see the entire network. This software is now being used for centralized monitoring, auditing and reporting, which is a more comprehensive view than previously required for industrial networks."

See Sercos
Free downloadable update for the Sercos Monitor allows a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the data traffic in Sercos III networks, easing development, testing and troubleshooting. The monitor allows retroactive evaluation of captured and stored network records in the pcap file format, and analysis of network traffic in real time (live capture). Overview functions for topology, communications phases and service channel transmission enable targeted launch of the analysis process. A capture trigger and filters can be defined to capture only Ethernet frames that meet specific requirements.
Sercos Intl.

End-to-End M2M
Aleos Application Framework includes an integrated development environment, feature-rich libraries and a set of tools to develop custom machine-to-machine (M2M) applications on top of the Aleos embedded intelligence platform using AirLink GX400 and GX440 gateways. Integrating these applications with Sierra Wireless' AirVantage M2M cloud platform lets developers design and create end-to-end M2M implementations.
Sierra Wireless
(604) 232-1488

Sees It All
Sinema Server V12 software can monitor 500 components per station or up to 50,000 clients. The software continuously monitors Ethernet and Profinet networks. All physical port level connections, as well as machine- or application-specific network configurations, are displayed. Any malfunction in the network is flagged for quick fault identification and removal. Connected components are automatically identified via SNMP and Profinet devices via Device Control Protocol (DCP). The diagnostics function provides and documents name, device type, serial number, product-specific status configuration and identification data. Alarm threshold values for a specific device can be defined.
Siemens Industry
(800) 241-4453

For the Masses
Install, configure and manage multiple Ethernet switches simultaneously with Windows-based MXconfig, which is compatible with most of Moxa's industrial Ethernet switches. Tools include mass device configuration and deployment, link sequence detection, configuration overview and documentation, and user privilege settings. MXconfig can display a mass configuration overview that lets users see functional information for all their devices at the same time.
Moxa Americas
(714) 528-6777

Watch That Network
Industrial HiVision software for industrial network management provides a SCADA-like view into network performance. Easy to integrate into SCADA applications, the software offers a built-in SNMP- to-OPC server. Users can turn individual network components into a complete network architecture, while monitoring and reporting on system performance.
(800) belden1

Snoop Your SNMP Devices
SNMP OPC Server Suite for KEPServerEX enables monitoring and analysis of SNMP-enabled Ethernet devices, and reliably incorporates data from switches, routers and uninterruptible power supplies directly into HMI, trending, SCADA and historian devices. SNMP driver delivers automatic discovery and configuration of SNMP-enabled devices.
Kepware Technologies
(207) 775-1660

Expertise for Non-Experts
IntraVue, a scalable solution for controls engineers who are not network experts, continually records key network parameters and places the data in a relational database. Data is presented in a variety of time-based graphs and event logs. Capabilities include automatic discovery of vendor and model for EtherNet/IP applications; diagnostic reports sent to smartphones or tablets; dashboard for analysis and viewing of multiple networks; and IntraVue Plug for PLC I/O or OEM applications.
Network Vision
(877) 499-8100

Magnum MNS-6K-Secure software is an optional, network management software designed for customers needing extra security. It includes security features, such as an SNTP server, which provides synchronized time services to support critical applications. These can include video surveillance, where event information is time-dependent, or any application in which several network devices and attached computers and databases need to be time-coordinated.
(510) 438-9071

Preserve the Legacy
EServ for legacy serial communications in industrial environments aids the integration of legacy, mission-critical components with newer network technologies by bridging the gap between older serial and contemporary Ethernet and Modbus TCP/IP protocols. Connectivity options for 10/100Base-TX and multimode fiber applications are available in each series.
(251) 342-2164

Mod to Mod
MB-Gateway single-port, Modbus gateway module converts Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU. The module has an automatic read function with one RJ45 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port and one RS-422/485 two- or four-wire serial port. It supports up to 12 Modbus TCP client Ethernet connections and up to 128 RTU server serial connections.
(770) 889-2858

Efficiency Gates
Three 758 Series I/O-IPC models function as CANopen masters that directly interface with the SAE J1939 protocol. Carrying dual Ethernet ports for Modbus TCP communication, I/O-IPCs are gateways to Wago's J1939 interface function block that supports large engine and generator efficiency.
(800) 346-7245

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