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Industrial digital communication networks called fieldbuses are becoming more popular in control system implementations for use in automated manufacturing systems. This paper presents an overview of the current state of these fieldbus networks. It first gives various advantages of using fieldbus networks over point-to-point connections for control system implementations. Then, the generic ISO/OSI seven-layer communication protocol model is discussed and the deviations from this model for various fieldbus networks are identified. Hardware and software aspects of fieldbus networks are reviewed. Finally, some of the issues in selecting a fieldbus network for a given application are examined.
Date of Conference: 23-25 Sept. 2003