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'Internet of Things' still a possibility for manufacturing sector

By Max Burkhalter
October 2, 2013

For manufacturers, the concept of the "Internet of Things" is still evolving. Firms have to find ways to integrate their production and IT networks seamlessly and without latency in order to bring the IoT to the production floor. According to Instrumentation and Control, this has to be accomplished with the right technology.

The strong push to bring Ethernet and wireless networking to the production floor is driven by several factors. Increased opportunities with automation, improved control infrastructure and new availability of remote processing allows firms to streamline workflow and improve productivity. However, achieving these goals requires investing in high-quality serial to Ethernet solutions, such as converters and Remote I/O modules.

Familiarity with Ethernet and other IT network solutions is rarely a problem in this integration, but rather the requirements for real-time communications and zero-latency connection. For manufacturers, these demands have outweighed the benefits of the IoT for some time. However, serial to Ethernet converter technology has improved significantly to the point where latency and compliance concerns are no longer a problem. Now, enterprises can implement in-plant material handling, location tracking and safety protocols via mobile devices and remote access controls, with incredible advantages to doing so. Reduced cost of operations, improved data management and improved overall decision making are only the tip of the iceberg.

Furthermore, the infrastructure of the IoT is heavily reliant on data. In order to truly optimize workflow, manufacturers have to integrate their networks to give the right systems access to the sensors, machines, databases and other computing architectures that support gathering, analytics and reporting. By unlocking the potential for vast improvements, firms that embrace the IoT will gain real-time decision making prowess that cannot be otherwise achieved on or off the production floor.

Ultimately, embracing improved networking through rs232 to ethernet converters and other solutions will provide a significantly enhanced working experience for all employees, but firms have to first utilize the tech to make that happen. By bringing production and IT networks together, new standards of quality can be achieved without affecting network performance or security. Achieving these goals is a simply a matter of utilizing the right approach to technology integration that won't slow down the production floor or IT networks, but still allow the two to communicate seamlessly.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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