Industrial Ethernet Facts

Outsiders are not alone in finding the world of Industrial Ethernet somewhat confusing. Experts who examine the matter are similarly puzzled by a broad and intransparent line-up of competing systems. Most manufacturers provide very little information of that rare sort that captures technical characteristics and specific functionalities of a certain standard in a way that is both comprehensive and easy to comprehend. Users will find themselves even more out of luck if they are seeking material that clearly compares major systems to facilitate an objective assessment.
We too have seen repeated inquiries asking for a general overview of the major systems and wondering “where the differences actually lie”. We have therefore decided to dedicate an issue of the Industrial Ethernet Facts to this very topic. In creating this, we have tried to remain as objective as a player in this market can be. Our roundup focuses on technical and economic as well as on strategic criteria, all of which are relevant for a consideration of the long-term viability of investments in Industrial Ethernet equipment. The arguments made in this publication were advanced and substantiated in numerous conversations and discussions with developers and decision-makers in this field. We have made every attempt to verify claims whenever practically possible.
Despite all our efforts, though, we were unable to ascertain exact, verifiable information on some aspects, which prompts us to ask for your help: if you would like to propose any amendments or corrections, please send us an e-mail or simply give us a call. We look forward to any and all support in supplementing this overview, and we welcome all discussions that contribute to making the assessments of the various Industrial Ethernet standards as thorough and objective as possible. This second, expanded edition includes feedback submit by the Industrial Ethernet community after publication of the first issue in November, 2011.

Luca Lachello, Software Engineering Manager COMAU Robotics – Italy
Peter Wratil, Managing Director Innotec – Germany
Anton Meindl, President EPSG – Germany
Stefan Schönegger, Business Unit Manager B&R – Austria
Bhagath Singh Karunakaran, CEO Kalycito – India
Huazhen Song, Marketing Manager POWERLINK Association – China
Stéphane Potier, Technology Marketing Manager EPSG – France