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Industrial Networking Solutions

Over the past several decades Industrial Network Solutions has referred to networks of devices for process control, industrial automation, industrial Ethernet, machine-to-machine (M2M) networking, and most recently, the Internet of Things (IoT)—or even the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

>>Learn more about industrial networking with IIoT
on Patton's IoT Solutions Web.

Throughout the evolution of such nomenclature, since 1984 Patton has been delivering industrial networking solutions for such harsh environments as oil and gas, railway, coal mines, manufacturing, and more.

Industrial network elements (or components) may include such equipment as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), flow meters, sensors and weigh scales. The networking devices can include Ethernet switches, protocol converters, line drivers, short-range modems, multiplexers, device servers, interface converters, and the like.

In recent years many industrial networks have been migrating to the modern Ethernet/IP protocol for data transport. A parallel development in manufacturing environments, is using industrial Ethernet to interconnect PLCs. PLCs communicate using such proprietary protocols as Modbus, Sinec H1, Profibus, CANopen, DeviceNet or FOUNDATION Fieldbus. Interconnecting PLCs with industrial Ethernet offers greater interoperability among such PLC-based systems. Today, one key element in many industrial network is the industrial switch, or industrial Ethernet switch.

Industrial Ethernet Equipment: Industrial Switches

Industrial Ethernet solutions rely on specialized devices designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions while meeting the high-availability, and high-performance requirements of intelligent automation and process-control applications in manufacturing environments. The Industrial Ethernet Switch (also known as a rugged or ruggedized Ethernet Switch) provides connectivity among the various devices within the industrial Ethernet solution. Such a switch may be a managed Industrial Ethernet switch or an un-managed Ethernet switch. Often Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology is employed in industrial automation systems. In this case, a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Industrial switch would be installed. Patton can supply any of these industrial switches to complete an industrial network solution.

Learn More: Industrial Ethernet (SCADA) Case Study


Show Me: Industrial Network Solutions

In understanding the technologies involved in industrial networking, it may be helpful to consider some real-world applications. Several such case studies are introduced below.

Industrial Ethernet IoT in Underground Mine Shafts

Industrial Network Solution in Coal Mine Shaft

In coal mines, communication between under-ground operations and above-ground systems is difficult. Running dedicated wiring is really not an option and most types of wireless communications won't work. Patton's industrial network solution involved creating a new product that delivers high-bandwidth connectivity throughout miles of underground tunnels, using existing three-phase power lines. A noteworthy aspect of this industrial networking solution is the ability to withstand the electrical noise that mining equipment generates.

>>Read the full coal-mine case study

Industrial Ethernet IoT in Traffic Control Network

Industrial Ethernet Solution in Traffic Control Application

The Maryland State Highway Administration had a mandate to modernize their traffic-control system. In the updated industrial network solution, video sensors are mounted on traffic-light support structures and inductor sensors are installed under the roadway between intersections. The sensors provide information about the density of drivers facing wait times and the rate of traffic flow through intersections. Patton's CopperLink Ethernet Extenders are an essential network element for this industrial Ethernet solution. By re-using existing infrastructure, Maryland State Highway saved barrels of bucks while avoiding the hassles and delays of new outside-plant construction.

>>Read the full traffic-control case study

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