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Industrial network growth unquestionable

By Max Burkhalter
February 18, 2014

Continued innovation and acceleration of industrial network capabilities are leaving little choice to enterprises when it comes to investing in new systems and media converters. Rather than updating the technologies that need it, many firms are finding they have to overhaul their systems simply to maintain their position against the competition. However, integration of legacy hardware is still a necessity that businesses have to keep in mind, adopting the appropriate serial to Ethernet converters to support both old and new at once.

According to Automation World, advances in network automation solutions have been driving industrial network systems adoption recently, pushing firms that have maintained the same systems for the last several years to start replacing hardware. In most cases, a complete refresh of the systems isn't cost effective or feasible based on legacy system demands. In order to adapt, firms have to upgrade systems piecemeal, ensuring compatibility and support across the network with high-quality RS232 to Ethernet support.

David Greenfield, Automation World director of content and chairman for The Automation Conference, recently discussed recent efforts of Boeing to update its massive manufacturing network in light of these demands.

"When Boeing's 777 manufacturing line transitioned from fixed monolithic tooling to lean mobile robotic tools, the new tools required wireless communications that were difficult to enable on industrial control systems," said Greenfield, according to the news source. "Boeing wanted a solution that could be applied throughout the enterprise and they wanted this capability based on standards."

Automation and other technology-driven industrial network upgrades require the appropriate planning and support to ensure success. From connecting legacy systems to properly integrating new ones with machinery and the computers used to control them, the right cabling, media converters and protocols to support and enhance an Ethernet-based production network will ensure success and enable future growth of a firm's systems as needed.

The evolution of industrial networks will help firms improve their productivity and efficiency as technology and capabilities scale. From remote control of systems to the improved management of data, firms will need to update their networks with the appropriate hardware in order to harness these opportunities and see ROI from 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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