Ethernet is now the preferred method for all industrial communications; replacing serial networks built on current loop, RS-232 and RS-485. These older networks were comprised of many small networks or segregated network segments enabling deterministic network performance and supporting real-time or near real-time applications.
Ethernet by contrast interconnects everything, shares bandwidth and is not naturally deterministic. Therefore management and control over the data is needed to ensure networks services are working properly. Real-time traffic is sensitive to delay and data loss.
While much of the data traffic in an Industrial Ethernet network is non-real-time, some types of PLC and Video traffic are real-time in nature. Voice traffic or VoIP is real-time and adding can be problematic for the voice and other services without the proper toolsets to manage QoS.
Patton SmartNodes enable the connection of either IP or Legacy devices, including voice end points and interconnects to Industrial Ethernets. SmartNode Quality of Service (QoS) tools can be used at points in the network to control the behavior of real-time and non-real-time data. SmartNode QoS features classify, prioritize and shape traffic across the industrial network.
SmartNodes control the behavior of different network services by differentiating between real-time and non-real-time traffic. A new job files for PLC or query data from a weigh scales is usually not time sensitive. On the other hand, paging, hotline phones, call boxes, alarm alerts, emergency dispatching, and VoIP telephone calls are time sensitive with consequences ranging from poor voice quality to late or not arriving alarm or emergency dispatches.
Network architect can implement VoIP their industrial networks with SmartNode QoS to provide end-to-end quality for data, voice, and video services.