Industry Trends

Oct 19

IoT vs IIoT vs Industry 4.0

In this short article and video, we explain the key differences between the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and Industry 4.0 IoT describes the concept that in addition to people using the Internet to communicate there are now devices and machines able to transfer information into the network. Industry 4.0…

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Oct 15

Fieldbus vs 4-20 mA – A Comprehensive Comparison

This blog post explains one of the most dramatic evolutions in Industrial Automation: The transition from 4-20 mA to digital Fieldbuses. It compares the two and highlights key benefits and new business models arising from the implementation of fieldbuses. The Difference Between 4–20 mA and Digital Fieldbuses The factory floor has evolved dramatically over the…

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Oct 18

PROFINET & Advanced Physical Layer [APL]

“What is the Advanced Physical Layer / APL?” … is a question getting a lot of attention. As of today you cannot land a standard PROFINET cable directly on an instrument that is located in a hazardous environment, where a spark might cause an explosion. (Well, technically, you can do it once. Just once… Kaboom!)…

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Aug 8

PROFINET and TSN – Q&A Block

Last week we hosted a highly anticipated webinar on PROFINET and TSN. Due to time limitations, we were not able to answer all the questions that came in, but we would like to answer them in this blog post. If you are not familiar with the new terms mentioned below (TSN domains, NME, etc.), please…

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Jul 23


It’s worth spending a minute looking again at the relationship between OPC and PROFINET. Both technologies have been around for a long time, so it’s interesting that only now are we really starting to see their complementary nature get enhanced. Boy, things do move slowly in this industry. Here’s an update on where we stand….

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Jun 30

PROFINET Security for Industry 4.0

Security at the Protocol Level In this world of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, digitalization of production processes is mandatory. As digitalization spreads to all levels and applications in manufacturing, IT security gains more importance. Previous security concepts relied primarily on isolating production plants from external users and networks. But in the…

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May 7

“Why do I care about TSN?!?!”

“Why do I care about TSN?” is a question we receive all of the time. The answer is subtle and related to the future of networking.

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Feb 28

Industry Foursight

Industry 4.0 has a lot of requirements and it’s an exciting time to be involved in industrial automation. New solutions are taking shape and stand to make automation networks easier to manage, faster to run, and most importantly, provide value like never before. Concepts like TSN, OPC UA and APL are making headlines and the…

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Oct 30

APL: Bringing Ethernet to the Field

“The realization of this vision began in 2011, when a group of solution suppliers at the urging of several end user groups began a technical investigation of a protocol-neutral, advanced physical layer (a.k.a., APL) that could solve the longtime problem of a long-reach Ethernet for use in hazardous locations.” APL White Paper Description In order…

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Jul 25

Show Me the Money

Show Me the Money, or justifying an Industrial Internet of Things project with PROFINET because we like the technology. Dilbert has been known to say, “We’re technology driven.”  But that does not resonate with the owners and their managers – whether the “owners” are stockholders or private individuals. Those folks’ mantra will be some form…

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