Industrial digitalization requires industrial networksIn the future Internet of Things, communications-capable machines will be by far the most common type of device. At the same time, the number of networked industrial robots in use every year will double. The volume of data will also enjoy substantial growth. This development highlights the fact that digitalization is possible only in combination with powerful data communications.
Equipped for the Internet of Things
The trend toward digitalization is still far from peaking – that’s still a long way off. The result is huge pressure on industry: Companies have to prepare for the Internet of Things if they are to succeed in global competition for the long term. Something that’s often forgotten in this context, however, is that there can be no digital transformation without an appropriate communication network in place.
For the Digital Factory, powerful and future-proof networks form the core of this data communication. They are what enable all assets involved in the value-added process to be seamlessly integrated. They permit a seamless exchange of data both horizontally and vertically. And they can grow along with the increasing volumes of data. As a consequence, they are an indispensable prerequisite for all companies that want to share the journey into the digital future.
Powerful communication networks are an important precondition for the digitalization of industry.Herbert Wegmann, General Manager Industrial Communication and Identification, Siemens
Portfolio for industrial networksAs your partner, we provide you with comprehensive support for the design, planning, and implementation of reliable and powerful communication networks – with first-class components, professional services, and comprehensive training programs.
Our many years of experience in automation and communication technology mean that we can offer special network designs that are precisely tailored to applications in the different industries.Herbert Wegmann, General Manager Industrial Communication and Identification, Siemens
Continuous exchange of information in real time
Intelligent data analysis using digitalization is an effective way to improve competitiveness, whether the goal is predictive planning and optimization of manufacturing processes, improving resource and cost efficiency in the process industry, or implementing trail-blazing strategies for the energy supply system. For example, the virtual representation of reality, known as the “digital twin,” makes it possible to design, simulate, and optimize machines and plant, long before they are implemented in reality. The result is a significant improvement in efficiency and productivity.
Powerful industrial communication networks are an essential element in this process. They smooth the path toward the Digital Enterprise by enabling a reliable and continuous exchange of information: in real time, along the entire value chain, and at all company levels.
IT security is growing in importance with the increase in Ethernet-based networking through to the field level. After all, the risks of potential cyber attacks in an automated system are much greater than attacks on office networks – and in the worst case, they can threaten both people and the environment. In response, we offer a solution – in the form of Defense in Depth – that provides end-to-end and multi-level protection against both external and internal attacks. Network security includes checking all interfaces, like those between office and plant networks, and checking remote accesses to the Internet. It may take the form of a firewall or the creation of a protected secure zone (a “demilitarized zone,” or DMZ).
Industrial Networks: Tailor-made for industryIndustrial communication networks are much more complex than traditional office networks. Successfully planning, designing, and implementing them therefore requires a partner that has extensive experience in this area, as well as thorough knowledge of automation and the industry as a whole.
Are there reliable WLAN designs that are robust enough to be used in industrial plants?
Depending on the application, several solution possibilities are feasible. If real-time processing is required, a deterministic communication can be achieved via the Industrial Point Coordinated Function (iPCF), e.g., for PROFINET. Environmental conditions in near-industrial surroundings already may make the use of industrial WLAN components indispensable.
Georg Werner Geib, Senior Presales Consultant