Editor Profile - Tim O’Neill is an independent technology consultant. He has over 30 years experience working in the WAN, Analog, ISDN, ATM and LAN test market. Tim has worked with companies like Navtel, Network General, Ganymede and ClearSight Networks and is now helping companies get lab recognition and technology verification. Tim is also the Chief Contributing Editor for LoveMyTool.com, a website designed to help network managers gain access to valuable information and real solution stories from other customers. Tim is a patent holding, published and degreed engineer, who has seen this technology grow from Teletype (current loop) data analysis to today’s 10 Gigabit LAN’s focused on business applications with heavy compliance demands. Tim can be reached at oldcommguy (at) bellsouth (dot) net.
What Industrial Ethernet is not, is that it is not just a more robust IT version of Ethernet.
Read on – Industrial Ethernet is a plant, production, process and control focused technology unlike the standard IT technology which is user focused. Industrial Ethernet (IE) is focused on the production of items that make a company profitable through some manufacturing process.
Industrial Ethernet, sometimes referred to as Production Ethernet is designed to maintain control of a production process while monitoring many production items traditionally relegated to the analog world, like temperature, humidity, PH, pressure, flow, viscosity, density, weight, vibration, torque, RPM, voltage, current, radiation, full motion robotic control with feedback, satellite access and control, HD CCTV with motion, voice and intercom, two way radio access and control …etc (can you believe all of this being accessed and controlled by IT Ethernet !)
Industrial Ethernet (IE) components are usually deployed on or are in plant areas and must be designed to work and survive in these very harsh environments, where normal IT equipment would easily fail and without the stringent backup, survivability and MTBF requirements.
Industrial Ethernet environments often involve unknown, hazardous environments and factors that can strongly influence the overall operation of standard Ethernet devices, as described above. In fact IE supports many factors that when loss of control occurs could cause serious disasters or the loss of life, property not to mention serious financial losses. In environments like Oil, Gas and Chemical production this is especially true. A one day offshore issue could cost $500K to $1M, so Industrial Ethernet has a much more demanding focus so component failure and problems must be resolved quickly or serious losses will occur.
Mike Hinz, President of YR20, an Industrial Ethernet design and a proven problem analysis company confirms that when production networks go down not only is there a direct cost loss but many other dangerous events can and do occur. So designing a robust, standards compliant network is essential and having access to a 7/24/365 experienced problem solving Team is essential”.
A Production Ethernet Example - Beer production, a favorite subject –
Beer takes several days to weeks to produce and requires the monitoring and management of temperature, pressure, liquid flow, stirring, adding ingredients and much more that is handled by the Production IE network. This is commonly referred to as ICT or Industrial Control Technology that is connected through the IE. I will discuss ICT in more detail in Part 2, when I review the variety Industrial Ethernet protocol and physical layer types.
A major beer brewer once had his Production Network (IE) go down for a period of several hours and during that time they could not be sure that the brew was being kept at the correct temperature and that the correct items had been added on time and given the correct time to mix or cure. The result was that the brew had to be dumped. Not only did this result in a lot of non productive work, the cost of a lost brew of several thousand bottles of beer but the clean up and loss of all the ingredients and the time lost, not to mention all that nourishing beer! If this beer had been bottled and it was bad or spoiled it would have resulted in lawsuits and loss of market share another major cost.
This is a simple but powerful example of the need for IE and that it cannot be managed as the best effort, user focused IT world of today. If this had been a chemical plant the results could have been deadly and an even more expensive cost/loss.
IE does require much more stringent standards for the products that are deployed since they are usually in factory environments, near large EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) devices like motor, mechanical switches, high humidity, high heat or cold, high chemical content, vaporous atmosphere…etc where most of the IT devices we use were designed for office environments.
Partial Listing of the differentiated requirements for IE devices–
- Redundant power inputs (DC and AC) to prevent single power failure
- For constant non switch, non fail functionality
- Fail safe access methodology
- Support for ring topology to provide a redundant backup path.
- The ability to internally handle non condensating vaporous and harsh chemical, explosive and or combustible environments
- IEC 60068
- ATEX Hazardous Location Certifications
- ATEX gets its initials from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive: Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosibles (Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres)
- UL, NFPA and FM standards for United States
- CSA C22.2 and CSA E60079 for Canada
- EN 500XX and EN 60079 - XX
- A PC-104 standard sealed rugged, high-strength casing to keep out harmful substances.
- The ability to withstand shock, drop, and vibration conditions.
- Like Shock and vibration tests in accordance with PLC standards IEC 1131-2, IEC 60068, IEC 60255
- Line-swap fast recovery that responds when devices change their port position.
- DIN Rail mounting - Rapid mounting of robust devices by clipping on to a standard DIN Rail.
- Harsh external physical environments like wind, rain, sand…..etc
- IEC 60068
- Robust design suitable for industrial applications for Ambient conditions like Extended temperature range from -40°C up to +70 °C
- No fans
- IP 20/IP30/IP67 relative atmospheric humidity up to 95% (non-condensing)
- Firm and very dependable mechanical stability
- Industrial and Electrical requirements:
- IEEE 1613 Class 2
- IEC 61850-3
- IEC 61000 all parts
- IEC 60255 most or all parts
- CSA/UL 60950
- Electro Magnetic Interference requirements like - EMI: EN 50022, EN 50082-2, FCC part15 (class B) IEC 1000-4-2, IEC 1000-4-6, IEC 1000-4-4, EN 61000 and IEEE 1613 (C37.90.x)
- Faraday casing or shielding for protection from EMF/EMI
- Certification examples CE, cUL60950, cUL 508, cUL 1604 Class1 Div (A,B,C,D) or FM 3611 Class 1 Div2, GL (Germanischer Lloyd) for maritime applications.
- High MTBF values (Mean Time Between Failure) from approximately 20 to > 100 years in stressful environments, in comparison with office devices with typically 3 to 5 years in office and home environments.
- Long lifetime devices and components
- Safety and RF emissions standards requirements.
Security – Robust Physical and Control access
- Logical – Network access by only known Devices and Traffic/Protocol Types
This is Part I of my two-part article on Industrial Ethernet. Next time we will discuss Protocols, Physical layers and ICT.
I wish you Great Success with Less Stress…Oldcommguy™!