Technology is always advancing and changing the way we conduct our lives. Not long ago, it would’ve been essential to carry a printed map and plan a route in advance when taking a road trip. Today, most rely on GPS devices and don’t have printed maps. It’s helpful to be ready for the next technology transformation before it becomes an operational bottleneck.
Given the explosion of connected devices and experts forecasting the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market will grow at 24% annually through 2023 – it’s a good bet that industrial networks will need to be capable of processing and transmitting large amounts of data from many connected devices. Learn more about how to prepare for the future of industrial networking below.
The advances of Big Data, IIoT, the Cloud and more connected devices have increased the need to handle large amounts of data for a variety of applications. Speeds of 10/100 Mbit/s may no longer be enough for many applications like cameras and bulk data transfers. Moving to gigabit (1000 Mbit/s) throughout your network with layer 3 DIN rail, layer 3 rack mount, managed layer 2 and unmanaged devices can position your network to meet future big data demands. Siemens offers significant options to implement a gigabit industrial network.
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Having more connected devices often requires more than just high bandwidth data transmission. Implementing a network that is ready to handle a variety of communication protocols like PROFINET, E/IP, OPC UA, MQTT and newer technologies like Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) can avoid data incompatibility and network redesigns later. Siemens offers devices equipped for a variety of data.
Networks need to be flexible to expand and adjust to system requirements such as more devices, transmission medium, bandwidth and network architecture updates. Port extenders, Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) transceivers, Near Field Communication (NFC), DHCP server IP assignment by port (if devices on the network change), and upgradeable devices from layer 2 to layer 3 can help navigate the waters of change to your operation. Easy device replacement with C-PLUG, KEY-PLUG or SCALANCE CLP removable data storage media that saves configuration data. Siemens Scalance (Scalable Excellence) switches are designed with flexibility in mind.
Managed switches provide transparency into the network to identify and prevent downtime. They can generate frames of data indicating performance and errors (diagnostics like IGMP Snooping), can be configured for availability protocols, and allow for segmenting networks to optimize data flow and avoid traffic collisions or lost packets.
Industrial networks are growing more and more complex. Powerful industrial networks aren’t defined by hardware alone – the right network management is essential. The SINEC software family lets you get more out of your network and support security best practices. It offers you scalable software solutions to meet your needs in networks of various sizes in the area of Operational Technology (OT) – with up to tens of thousands of devices. With SINEC you can cover all the necessary applications for every aspect of network management, from initial commissioning of network components, monitoring, and management to using network services for the necessary infrastructure at a central level.
Security may be the most important aspect to the future of your network. Cyberattacks are on the rise due to sophisticated attackers and increased device connectivity capability. Assets, equipment, uptime, trade secrets, brand value, Intellectual Property and even personal safety need to be protected from malicious network intrusions, employee sabotage or accidental manipulation. It’s important to have a security strategy. Siemens can help you get started with an Industrial Network Security Assessment and be a partner to implement security solutions to keep your operation productive.
Securely connect to your industrial network from a distance. Stay safe and save significant time and money by allowing monitoring and troubleshooting immediately and without traveling on-site. There are multiple options to implement secure remote access. Contact a network security expert to help identify the right solution for your application or visit the full secure remote access site.
It's important to have a strong network backbone to effectively communicate operational or production data to the IT or enterprise network in order to capitalize on the increased connectedness of machines and greater access to data. Industrial enterprises require a deep, cross-functional and proactive collaborative approach that combines the respective intellectual power, know-how and experience of both IT and OT teams to make today’s industrial operations fully digital enterprises. Siemens network experts and portfolio are well equipped to help you on your IT / OT collaboration journey.
Constellation Brands, Inc. is among the world’s top manufacturers and marketers of spirits, wine, and beer and the third largest beer company in the U.S. When it came time to expand plant capacity at its Nava brewery by 250 percent in three years, it looked at the deployment of a comprehensive, standardized communications network. The undertaking required consult on a design, along with implementation along packaging lines, laser-guided automated transport vehicles and high-density storage facilities – all with security, redundancy, scalability, and management and remote monitoring capability.
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