Resource guide: Fieldbus, Ethernet networks explained

April 16, 2018
Control's monthly guide brings you invaluable industry information to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments.

Basics of the buses

A group of Wiki-style web pages presented by Kunbus covers the basic history, characteristics and applications of the major fieldbuses and Ethernet-based protocols and technologies, including Profibus, Profinet, Ethernet/IP, Foundation fieldbus, Modbus TCP, DeviceNet, CC-Link, CANopen, EtherCAT, Ethernet Powerlink, AS-i, BACnet and others. They're located here

Kunbus Industrial Communications

Fundamentals video

This 40-minute video, "Industrial Network Fundamentals" by Eaton Videos, covers the basics, background and history of industrial communication networks, as well as their topologies and protocols. It's located here


Overview of Ethernet(s)

The 165-page, slide-based document, "Industrial Ethernet Technologies: Overview" by Martin Rostan, examines the technical principles, advantages and drawbacks, and recent history and trends affecting the primary Ethernet approaches. It was originally presented as part of an EtherCAT seminar series, and also has feedback from the covered organizations. The protocols include Profinet, EtherNet/IP. CC-Link IE, Sercos III, Ethernet Powerlink, Modbus/TCP and EtherCAT. It's available here.


Network introduction paper

A 22-page, academic-style paper, "Introduction to Industrial Control Networks" by Brendan Galloway and Gerhard Hancke, provides a thorough look at industrial networking, compares it to conventional/commercial networks, charts its history, compares stack organizations, and covers basic security issues. It's available here

Gerhard Hancke blog

Place for profibus, profinet

The source for all things Profibus and Profinet, PI North America demonstrates the benefits of using fieldbuses in general and Profibus and Profinet in particular, while assisting North American device manufacturers in developing and marketing products. Its website covers their technology, training, products, membership, news, forums and resources, including the Profiblog, application stories, white papers, videos and books.

PI North America

Foundation fieldbus, HART—and FDI

The three-year-old FieldComm Group combines the assets of the former Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation. It's a global, standards-based, non-profit, member organization that directs development and implementation of communication technologies for the process industries. FieldComm Group is also responsible for development of Field Device Integration (FDI) technology.

FieldComm Group

Ethernet/IP VIA ODVA

EtherNet/IP lets users deploy standard Ethernet technology (IEEE 802.3 combined with the TCP/IP Suite) for industrial automation applications while enabling Internet and enterprise connectivity. It's administered by ODVA and its media-independent Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) and network adaptations, including EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet.


Two Fieldbus videos

These two, hour-long videos, "The Fieldbus Network, I and II" by Prof. S. Mukhopadhyay, Electrical Engineering Dept., Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, provide a thorough introduction to fieldbus network technologies and implementation methods. They're available here

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL)

Classic comparison chart

The legendary Fieldbus Comparison Chart is located on several web pages, and may be a bit dated. However, it still provides an enlightening, side-by-side presentation of the various fieldbus protocols and technologies, especially their communication speeds, bandwidth requirements, cable lengths and other details. It's available in two locations: here and here

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