Network communication in the Smart Factory

EPSG presents solutions for digital production

Together with C-Vision, B&R, Baccara and Utilight, the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG) held a conference in Israel on the topic of "Communication in digital production". These companies work with POWERLINK implementations and use the Ethernet protocol for network communication. More than 70 participants learned about the latest applications of POWERLINK and the fieldbus-independent safety protocol openSAFETY.

Seamless communication between subsystems

"The participants expressed particular interest in the fact that these technologies are open and OPC UA-compatible," reports Christoph Gugg, technology marketing manager at B&R. Seamless communication between subsystems is especially important in local industries like ro-botics, digital printing and energy. In an interactive session, the partici-pants learned how POWERLINK can be implemented in devices and what advantages the real-time network offers in terms of machine ar-chitecture. "With respect to both speed and bandwidth, industrial Ethernet runs circles around conventional fieldbus systems," says Gugg.

Industry 4.0 with POWERLINK

Industry 4.0 and networked production rely on failsafe communication systems able to manage huge vol-umes of data. Ethernet-based solu-tions such as the real-time POWERLINK network and OPC UA are ideal tools for meeting the needs of digital production systems. "It is clear from all of the discussions concerning Industry 4.0 that open standards are the way of the future," says Gugg.

Christoph Gugg, technology marketing engineer B&R, is convinced that open standards are an essential element of Industry 4.0.