Plant floor networking


Thread Starter

Chuck Nelson

I am trying to set up a plant floor network and I was wondering if I could use wire? I have a lot of D.C. , P.W.M. , and Servo drives and am worried about noise affecting the network. I have worked with Allen Bradley networks and Have networked my home computers but I have had no plant floor experience and would like suggestions...I would like to get it right the first time.
You won't find a promisable answer. Anixter has a booklet out on industrial Ethernet wiring & performance.

You can obviously use wire, but I think anyone whose "plant" is larger than 100 meter square should plan on using some fiber. You shouldn't need to use fiber for short drops from local hubs/switches to equipment, but you'll "less" regret the learning curve & issues of using fiber between hubs/switches (along the back-bone) than you will if you try copper wire & it "normally" works - but not always.

I'd say take the tiger by the tail & get the learning curve over with when your installation is small.


Lynn August Linse, Senior Product Application Engineer
15353 Barranca Parkway, Lantronix Inc, Irvine CA 92618
[email protected]
Tel: (949)300-6337 Fax: (949)453-7132
Like the previous poster said, you can obviously use wires; but the question is what are you controlling and measuring ?
If your system happens to have a big data acquisition section, then and the shop is bigger than 100 square meters, you may want to use fiber is the PWM and motors in your applications ouput
high power signals or if the signals you're measuring are small. An alternative is to use
heavily shielded wwiring or to use digital tecniques for measuring and control and regular analog for the rest. As digital signals are far more immune to interference, you can probably get away without problems. I have done this in the past without a problem. The thing is to make sure you have proper grounding and shielding.

I don't know if you have solved your problem yet as far as plant floor networking. If you want you can contact me at [email protected]. I have overseen $500K to $2M projects that involved moving AB PLC's off of the blue data highway onto IT network infrastructers. It is easy and simple if you DO IT RIGHT! My projects involved using Fiber Optic Cable, CAT-5E and Cisco switches & Baynetwork s hubs.