Carl Henning

Mar 28

IO-Link versus AS-i

You’re designing a new machine. Should you use IO-Link or AS-interface (AS-i)? Yes. Yes, you should use the one appropriate to the task at hand. There’s never a substitute for doing the engineering. Use AS-i for: A long string of pushbuttons (as along a conveyor). A long string of Emergency Stop pushbuttons (as along a…
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Mar 21

PROFINET Can (Still) Use a Cheap Switch

If you want to get someone to remember something you can’t repeat it too many times. Case in point: I saw another new blog post from someone who thinks you cannot use a standard Ethernet switch for PROFINET.    YOU CAN! Seven years ago, I blogged that PROFINET can use a Best Buy Ethernet Switch, really?…
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Mar 14

Where Networks Fit in the IIoT

There has been a raft of articles about networks and their place in the Industrial Internet of Things. Basically, IIoT is at the intersection of IoT and Industrie 4.0. Here’s a 46-second video reminder of how the relate. There were three articles that caught my attention: 1. Modbus As an IoT Protocol??? John Rinaldi makes…
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Mar 7

What Should I Do about TSN?

TSN = Time Sensitive Networking. It’s a catchall name for a series of new standards whose goal is to improve determinism in “standard” Ethernet networks. It grew out of the needs of Audio/Visual delivery. Naturally, a new organization grew to further the effort: “The Avnu Alliance is a community creating an interoperable ecosystem servicing the…
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Feb 28

Choosing an Industrial Ethernet, a Checklist

What should you look for when choosing an Industrial Ethernet? These things: Is it an open standard? Can anyone build products for it? PROFINET is an open standard. It’s part of IEC 61158. Anyone can buy the spec from IEC and build products. To build an EtherNet/IP product, you must sign a contract with ODVA,…
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Feb 21

7 Steps to IIoT

I saw a recent magazine article outlining six steps to take to implement the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It was mostly political – form a team, get buy-in from a C-level executive, etc. It’s not that I think the political approach is not valuable, but most of us live in a technical world. So…
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Feb 14

Spring – When a Young Man’s Fancy Turns to PROFINET

Yesterday was the official start of spring (because that’s when pitchers and catchers reported for baseball’s Spring Training). There are a lot of similarities between baseball and PROFINET: Green.  They are both associated with the color green. Green grass on which to play baseball; green cable over which to send PROFINET. Pitch speed. Some pitchers’…
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Feb 7

Worried about Bandwidth?

Worried about Bandwidth? Some students at our Long Beach PROFINET one-day training class were. It’s definitely something to think about. Here’s a start: There’s never a substitute for doing the engineering. PROFINET messages tend to be small. But design your topology to minimize the chance of using too much bandwidth. You can use line topology,…
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Jan 31

An Engineer on Vacation

You can take an engineer on vacation, but he will find engineering things to do and see. An off-topic post today – at least off the PROFINET and PROFIBUS topic. Still engineering related through. Before going on vacation I used to check www.engineeringsights.org for engineering-related places to see. Alas, it no longer works. But, thanks…
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Jan 24

The Importance of Open Standards

What makes a standard open? I’ve blogged that question before: Open Standards, Proprietary Standards, and in Between Open Networks: What’s in it for you? We just completed an update to our free PROFINET one-day training class material. In the course of that exercise we uncovered more detailed definitions. Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE),…
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