Resource guide: Network basics and hardware

Feb. 24, 2020
Control's monthly resource guide brings you invaluable industry information to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments.

Multi-part basics series

This 19-part series of online "Networking basics" articles by Brien Posey cover many topics that show how network technology familiar to process industry users also has the same or similar counterparts in the information technology (IT) space. 


Fundamentals video

This 40-minute video, "Industrial network fundamentals" by David Ouelette, covers the differentiators between the different industrial networks, history, topologies, physical media and infrastructures, gateways and remote I/O, and how to decide which network to use. 


Ethernet connectivity guide 

This 11-page whitepaper, "Field guide: Industrial Ethernet connectivity," details all typical harsh conditions and environments Ethernet can encounter in plant-floor applications, and how it can be protected against them, using various cabling types, shielding and connector options. It also covers Power over Ethernet, protocols and topologies. 


Troubleshooting tools

This 14-minute video, "Network troubleshooting using Ping, TraceRT, IPconfig, NSlookup commands," details some of the most useful tools that can be used in command prompt to troubleshoot networks and get some information about them. 


Glossary, crucial concepts

This online article, "An introduction to networking terminology, interfaces, and protocols" by Justin Ellingwood, includes many of the useful words, phrases and concepts needed to understand how industrial networks function. 

Digital Ocean

Two ISA review videos

This 100-minute video, "Video 8 – control systems review – industrial networking, Part 1 of 2" and "Video 8A, control systems review – industrial networking, Part 2 of 2," are presented by Bryon Lewis, PE, and part the ISA's video series for taking and passing the NCEES professional engineer / control system engineer (CSE) exam. They cover terminology, demonstrate how packets flow through a network, and explain how hardware works in networks for process instrumentation and control, as well as industrial Ethernet. 

Learn Control Systems

Comprehensive concepts

This 22-page document, "Introduction to industrial control networks" by Brendan Galloway and Gerhard Hancke, provides a detailed, scholarly examination of the history of industrial networking, most of its organizational concepts, and how they fit into the larger contexts of overall manufacturing and business systems. They also include fieldbus protocols, Ethernet and wireless emergence, security and others.

RFID blog

Ethernet selection guide

This six-page whitepaper, "Selecting cabling and connectors for industrial Ethernet applications" by Chuck Dawson, provides quick, detailed considerations when deciding which types of cables and connectors to use for different applications, such as two- or four-pair cabling, solid or stranded, shielded or unshielded, etc.

Phoenix Contact

Essential Ethernet paper

This 18-page whitepaper, "Guidelines for industrial Ethernet infrastructure implementation: a control engineer's guide" by Carlos Rojas and Peter Morel, shows how Ethernet emerged on plants floors and in the process industries, and covers the OSI sever-layer reference model, Ethernet protocols, switched architectures for industry, security, reliability, traffic evaluation and other issues.

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