Free Industrial Ethernet White Paper

Aug. 18, 2009
This white paper discusses important differences between the commercial-grade components used in enterprise Ethernet systems and the industrial-grade cabling & connectivity that are essential to the optimal, long-term performance of robust industrial Ethernet networks.

Excerpts from "Industrial Ethernet":

Network Infrastructure Risks in Extreme Environments

Industrial communications and control networks are expected to operate consistently and reliably under extreme conditions, such as electromagnetic interference (EMI), high operating temperatures, ambient outdoor temperatures, power/voltage fluctuations, machine vibration, mechanical hazards and more.

For example:

• In the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical industry, signal transmission components typically have to withstand the destructive effects of temperature extremes, humidity, moisture, dust, mud, oil and solvents, and the potentially corrosive effects of chemicals.

• In Water and Wastewater treatment plants, the cabling, connectivity and networking devices must endure high levels of humidity, grit and sludge, and, in some cases, are exposed to lime, as well as corrosive gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide and chlorine.

• In the rapidly growing Wind Power industry, signal transmission components in wind energy sites, whether on-shore or off-shore, are routinely exposed to temperature extremes, excessive moisture and humidity from rainfall, mist, and fog. Mechanical and electrical stressors may include vigorous, prolonged vibration, torque, damage from rodents, EMI interference, and even lightning strikes.

• In the Mining industry, environmental conditions are extremely harsh. Dust, dirt and dampness can threaten signal transmission equipment and performance. In some mines, caustic chemicals and potentially explosive ambient conditions exacerbate the threat. While the use of conduit, aerial fiber optic cabling and wireless communications can alleviate some risk, mining remains one of the most challenging industries for industrial networking.

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