Industrial communication networks for discrete manufacturing

Manufacturing becomes more dynamic.

Markets are becoming increasingly dynamic. To be successful in the long term, you need the highest efficiency throughout the entire product life cycle. Industrial communication networks provide the basis for intelligent use of all relevant data.
How to connect industrial communication networks and enterprise IT?

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Manufacturing industry

Networks that optimize entire value chains

Ever shorter innovation cycles, accompanied by customers’ growing demand for more individualized products: In the manufacturing industry it’s of major importance that production lines be adapted to current demand, quickly and flexibly, and that product ideas be brought to market as promptly as possible.

Data access in real time

Digitalization offers the manufacturing industry brand new opportunities and options for effectively responding to these market trends. If companies want to exploit the full potential of digitalization however, they must have a communication network that is tailored to their specific requirements. There is no other way to guarantee company-wide access to all relevant data – around the clock and in real time. This in turn creates the conditions for significantly faster, more flexible and more efficient production processes.

Paving the way for the digital enterprise and a shorter time to market

Industrial communication networks are the backbone of any successful digital transformation, and the basis for consistent, end-to-end integration, digitalization and optimization of the entire value chain, including external suppliers. In this way, a digital copy of the real value chain is created – a digital twin on which production processes can be simulated, tested and optimized. The result is a consistent increase in efficiency, productivity and quality during all phases of the production lifecycle.

Unlimited data consistency and transparency based on an industrial communication network creates the basis for highly efficient interoperability across all automation components. This means that companies can optimally utilize their production plants and respond more flexibly than ever to market demands – key parameters for an appreciably shorter time to market.

Secure against attacks

Due to the sharp increase of networked components in production and their connection to the company’s IT, security concepts must be consistent from end to end. One promising solution is to implement a multilayered “defense in depth for industry” concept based on the IEC 62443 standard. This standard creates the conditions necessary for a coordinated approach among product suppliers, system integrators and plant operators. The implementation of security processes, the training of personnel and secure products are all important components on the way to a secure production plant.

Totally Integrated Automation – access production data at all company levels

Data isn’t only generated by individual machines. Entire production lines create data too. With the open interface OPC UA, TIA not only lets machines share this data with each other but also enables it to be used by the enterprise IT systems or via the Cloud. Data analysis then facilitates valuable insights into how your production lines are performing. 

Aspects relating to the production network

What to consider when planning, designing and implementing an industrial communication network

  The basis for every digital infrastructure is an industrial communication network, which must be designed differently depending on requirements. With our network solutions, we completely cover these requirements, including:
Automation

Convergence Limits of Data Networks

Industrial networks must be treated as part of automation. This is the only way to ensure that all industry requirements will be reliably met.

Networking of the IT landscape

The well-thought-out connection of office and data center networks to automation networks is a major challenge for companies – especially in view of the tasks involved with the digitalization of industry and the accompanying comprehensive networking of all corporate areas and the extensive exchange of data. Experience shows that not every Ethernet-based network can be planned, implemented, and operated in the same way – and an inappropriate approach to achieving complete network convergence can turn out to be very costly for customers. 

Communication architecture

From sensor to cloud

OPC UA (Unified Architecture) today is a unique communication architecture that is indispensable for vertical and horizontal integration within the digital factory.

Digital infrastructure

The integration of different systems into an IT or automation infrastructure is complicated because there are no standardized interfaces and protocols. So what sort of communication architecture is required for networking the ten-thousand devices in the digital factory? In this respect, industrial networks and the OPC Unified Architecture are regarded keys to the digital infrastructure. 

Connectivity

Data for the digital competition

The direct transfer of data from sensors to the cloud is a key issue in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and requires smart connectivity concepts in automation.

The cloud as central data platform

A key benefit of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) lies in the collection and analysis of data from the field level employing appropriate systems and algorithms, e.g., for predictive maintenance and its linking to the production planning. As a result, new strategic competitive advantages can be developed. However, in order to tap new relationships (correlations), as much data as possible has to be transmitted to the cloud, with minimal retrofitting costs for existing installations. 

Factory Automation

Interface between Production and Office

Anyone seeking lasting success in dynamic markets has to be capable of responding swiftly to change. This is why automation and office networks must be connected.

Industrial Backbone

To attain a joint network from the field level all the way to the transfer point to the World Wide Web, the requirements of both worlds must be taken into consideration when connecting the industrial backbone to the core. With high-performance Industrial Ethernet switches featuring automation and IT mechanisms, the goal of “one cable for everything” is achieved.

By now, Ethernet has become a standard in office networks and automation networks. It suggests itself to bring those networks together. But there are some risks and pitfalls you should consider. 

Partner of industry

Our offering for industrial networks

The planning, design, and implementation of reliable and powerful communication networks demand both ability and technical knowledge. We are your skilled partner in helping ensure that your company-wide communications are designed to be future-proof.
Learn more about our industrial network expertise

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References and sample applications

Successful examples from practical application

Around the world, companies from all industries rely on our skills in future-proof communication networks.
Whitepaper

Securing the connection between industrial communication networks and enterprise IT

Read the exclusive white paper to learn why a secure connection between communication networks and enterprise IT is so essential. And what all needs to be taken into account.