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Increased cellular use drives need for network improvements

By Donna Donnowitz
January 23, 2014

Industrial networks are always under consideration for upgrades and innovation. Often considered a "step behind" in terms of technology, the need to support legacy systems and machinery has kept industrial networks using serial connections and "antiquated" networking solutions to tie the systems together. However, increased adoption of cellular devices within these networks is driving firms to start investing in high-quality hardware to expand their capabilities.

According to Automation World, shipment of machine-to-machine devices is on the rise, reaching 760,000 in 2013. At a CAGR of 22.5 percent, this puts these devices on the path to reach 2.1 million units in use by 2018. These tools support automation through wired or wireless communication between devices. This brings cellular technology into a new light, as firms embrace it to drive productivity and innovation within their operations. However, many firms are finding they need to update their Remote I/O and network infrastructure in order to support these new devices.

With cellular routers and modems supporting 4G network connectivity, the opportunities to enhance workflow are substantial. However, with companies still using legacy systems, efforts have to be undertaken to integrate every system seamlessly. This is why more firms are turning to serial to Ethernet converter and device server technology for full integration. From remote service maintenance to real-time monitoring of facilities, the improvements offer considerable value with the right application of these tools.

"The combination of wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, cellular, WirelessHART, ISA100 and Bluetooth can provide ubiquitous online connectivity at reasonable cost, delivering very high performance as well as excellent availability," Berg senior analyst Johan Svanberg, who developed the report on M2M device shipments, told the news source.

Promoting the growth and improvement of industrial workflow is only one way to implement these improved systems into operations. Companies that take the right approach with serial to Ethernet converters will be able to include legacy systems in their automation efforts, improve the flexibility of processes and provide employees with increased benefits like remote working. The combination of technical advantages with secondary benefits will ensure that firms are driving the value of new technology and seeing high ROI for their efforts.

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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