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The Emergence of Industrial Control Networks for Manufacturing Control, Diagnostics, and Safety Data

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2 Author(s)
Moyne, James R. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Tilbury, D.M.

The most notable trend in manufacturing over the past five years is probably the move towards networks at all levels. At lower levels in the factory infrastructure, networks provide higher reliability, visibility, and diagnosability, and enable capabilities such as distributed control, diagnostics, safety, and device interoperability. At higher levels, networks can leverage internet services to enable factory-wide automated scheduling, control, and diagnostics; improve data storage and visibility; and open the door to e-manufacturing. This paper explores current trends in the use of networks for distributed, multilevel control, diagnostics, and safety. Network performance characteristics such as delay, delay variability, and determinism are evaluated in the context of networked control applications. This paper also discusses future networking trends in each of these categories and describes the actual application of all three categories of networks on a reconfigurable factory testbed (RFT) at the University of Michigan. Control, diagnostics, and safety systems are all enabled in the RFT utilizing multitier networked technology including DeviceNet, PROFIBUS, OPC, wired and wireless Ethernet, and SafetyBUS p. This paper concludes with a discussion of trends in industrial networking, including the move to wireless for all categories, and the issues that must be addressed to realize these trends

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:95 ,  Issue: 1 )