Authored by: JÜrgen Jasperneite

Industrial Communication Technology Handbook

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9781482207323
eBook ISBN: 9781482207330
Adobe ISBN:


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The growing degree of automation in machines and systems also increases the amount of cabling required for parallel wiring due to the large number of input/output (I/O) points. This brings with it increased configuration, installation, start-up, and maintenance effort. The cable requirements are often high because, for example, special cables are required for the transmission of analog values. Parallel field wiring thus entails serious cost and time factors. In comparison, the serial networking of components in the field using fieldbus systems is much more cost-effective. The fieldbus replaces the bundle of parallel cables with a single bus cable and connects all levels, from the field to the control level. Regardless of the type of automation device used, for example, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) from various manufacturers or PC-based control systems, the fieldbus transmission medium networks all components. They can be distributed anywhere in the field and are all connected locally. This provides a powerful communication network for today’s rationalization concepts. There are numerous advantages to a fieldbus system in comparison with parallel wiring: the reduced amount of cabling saves time during planning and installation, while the cabling, terminal blocks, and the control cabinet dimensions are also reduced. Self-diagnostics minimize downtimes and maintenance times. Open fieldbus systems standardize data transmission and device connection regardless of the manufacturer. The user is therefore independent of any manufacturer-specific standards. The system can be easily extended or modified, offering flexibility as well as investment protection (Figure 15.1).

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