In the summer +40°C, in the winter -20°: in the Turkmen desert of Karagum, a fibre optic network has been set up in which industrial Ethernet components from MICROSENS have been used. This example shows that industrial Ethernet is far more than just a 'factory hall network technology'. Ethernet, the only global standard protocol, is being used in an increasing number of application areas.
Industrial Ethernet is not just a buzzword but rather a term for the use of Ethernet components with high reliability in tough conditions. Classical field-bus systems have long been on the way out. On one hand, the Ethernet solutions can be realised considerably more efficiently, and on the other, the merging with corporate networks that use Ethernet anyway is being pushed.
Furthermore, industrial Ethernet is the only global communication standard for the management and control of production processes. Existing proprietary standards tended to serve as protection for manufacturers of communication equipment and to tie the user to the respective company. Among others, this is also a reason why many efforts to establish a uniform industry standard have not been successful. Only Ethernet facilitates the combination of components from different manufacturers.
Industrial Ethernet incorporates switches, hubs and media converters that are characterised by a special design. Attachment to 35 mm DIN top-hat rails, a power supply with 24 V direct current, an enhanced temperature range for operations and an increased protection class against dust or splash-water are typical of these appliances.
工业以太网的集成交换机、集线器和媒体转换器都是特别设计的。35 mm DIN 顶帽子铁，24 V直流电源，较大的作业温差，增强防尘或防溅水之类的设备都是它里面的典型应用。
Furthermore, some components have special provisions for failure safety. In addition to the connection of redundant power supplies, special power supplies support fault-tolerant ring topologies, meaning that a disruption can be restricted to a maximum of one switch. If a connection line fails, the network can even continue to work entirely on its own. To facilitate rapid reaction times, fault recognition is usually carried out by newly developed mechanisms. Irrespective of this, the user can still resort to standards such as Rapid Spanning Tree.
Fibre optic outdoes copper
In the area of industrial networking, an intelligent combination of copper and fibre optic segments has prevailed on the market. On one hand, classical copper cables are used for the cost-effective connection of terminals such as machine controls, industry PCs, signalisation or monitoring systems to the network. On the other hand, fibre optics have established themselves for the connection between the switches, thanks to their favourable transmission features.
When Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet is used, the same transmission speeds are realised on copper and fibre optic cables. However, the advantages of fibre optic lie in its insensitivity to electro-magnetic disruptive influences, in the greater transmission distances that can be realised and the simple handling for installation and routing.