Ethernet and AS-Interface: the Ideal Partner Networks for Industrial Automation

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Overview:

By Helge Hornis, PhD, Intelligent Systems Manager, Pepperl+Fuchs

Networking of industrial systems is a common practice today. Reliable networks allow machine builders and end users to construct powerful manufacturing and logistics systems while limiting the number of cables running between PLCs, drives, HMIs and RFID systems. What is frequently overlooked, however, is the lowest level of automation, where sensors, simple binary actuator and safety inputs like light curtains, door interlocks and e-stops reside. At this level the number of wire leads that must be routed, stripped and terminated is staggering.