Standard Ethernet has a set of diagnostic tools and protocols that will be familiar to office-based technical personnel. These can be utilized in the industrial environment to provide detailed information about lower-level transport-oriented issues such as TCP, UDP and IP activity. They can also support statistical and connection analysis.
Standard Ethernet protocol tools
The use of familiar Ethernet protocols means that browser based access to individual devices is possible from any PC in any location – even over the internet. Many PROFINET devices incorporate a web server for this purpose. A browser can also read out information such as device status and configure a device either locally or from a remote site.
IT protocols familiar from the industrial world include SNMP (for managing components such as switches and reading statistics and diagnostics). Again these can be used from anywhere in the network. Another familiar protocol is LLDP which is used for mapping network topologies for making device replacement easy.
The PROFINET specifications also include a set of specific diagnostic tools which operate at the application layer level. These provide more advanced diagnostics capabilities in standardized formats. Some allow for remote monitoring of networks, and some are intended for on-site use.
Simple Device Replacement
Many devices can be replaced in the field without the need for configuration – no computer is required; you just take the new device out of the box and install it in place of a failed unit.
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