The industrial market vertical is characterized by three prevailing application areas – discrete, continuous, and hybrid applications.
- Discrete applications are often referred to as factory automation or factory systems. The output of discrete operations are individual pieces or “discrete parts,” often manufactured in machines that stamp, form, cut, print, mold, and/or package the raw materials into usable or sellable parts.
- Continuous applications convert raw materials into usable or sellable product through, most often, chemical transformations without interruption. The product has no measureable beginning or end and is constantly being produced.
- Hybrid applications are combinations of discrete and process operations. Batch processing is a good example of a hybrid process. In batch processing, discrete amounts of materials are loaded into a vessel or similar piece of equipment, combined together as a mixture or with a catalyst to generate a chemical reaction, and then discharged from the vessel as a usable or sellable product. Hybrid applications are often combined with discrete applications to create products such as bottled or canned beverages, food products, pharmaceuticals, and similar packaged goods.
The industrial market applies a range of wired and wireless communication technologies ranging from licenses band radio communications to serial busses to open Ethernet standards. The predominant communication technologies are as follows:
- Serial (e.g., RS-232, RS-485, Universal Serial Bus (USB))
- Controller Area Network (CAN)
A vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer.
- Personal area networks (e.g., low power wireless mesh such as IEEE 802.15.4, or Bluetooth IEEE 802.15.1)
A computer network used for data transmission amongst devices such as computers, telephones, tablets and personal digital assistants.
- Local area networks (e.g., Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) and WiFi (IEEE 802.11))
A computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building and has its network equipment and interconnects locally managed
- Wide area networks and beyond (e.g. WiMax, cellular, satellite and others)
A telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance
|Industrial Market Application Areas|
|Device Density||Medium||Medium to High||Medium|
|Quality of Service (QOS)||High||High||High|
|Topology||Star, linear, ring, resiliency||Star, linear, ring, mesh, resiliency||Star, linear, ring, resiliency|
|Power||Line power; minimal wireless (predominantly Wi-Fi)||Line power; low power wireless for wireless mesh only||Line power; low power wireless for wireless mesh only|
|Range||Medium||Medium to long||Medium|
|Relevant Technologies||Ethernet (predominant)||Industrial fieldbuses||Ethernet (predominant)|
AS-i (Actuator Sensor Interface) is a bus made up of sensors and actuators with a very short response time. AS-i is an open industry standard supported by the AS-i association.
CC-Link is open industrial network that enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate.
ControlNet is an open industrial network protocol for industrial automation applications.
DeviceNet is a digital, multi-drop network that connects and serves as a communication network between industrial controllers and I/O devices. It was developed for maximum flexibility between field equipment and interoperability among different manufacturers.
EtherCAT is a real-time Industrial Ethernet technology (included in IEC standard IEC 61158) that is suitable for hard and soft real-time requirements in automation technology, in test and measurement and many other applications.
EtherNet/IP is an industrial network protocol that adapts the Common Industrial Protocol to standard Ethernet
- Ethernet POWERLINK
Ethernet POWERLINK is a Real-Time Ethernet field bus system. It is based on the Fast Ethernet Standard IEEE 802.3.
- Foundation Fieldbus
FOUNDATION fieldbus is an all-digital, two-way communications system that serves as a Local Area Network (LAN) for factory instrumentation and control devices.
HART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) protocol is a widely accepted standard for digitally enhanced communication with instrumentation within the process industries.
IO-Link is a point-to-point serial communication protocol used to communicate with sensors and/or actuators.
ISA100.11a is a wireless personal area networking (WPAN) technology standard developed by the International Society of Automation (ISA).
- Modbus TCP
MODBUS TCP/IP is a variant of the MODBUS family of simple, vendor-neutral communication protocols intended for supervision and control of automation equipment.
- OPC UA
OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a machine to machine communication protocol for industrial automation developed by the OPC Foundation.
PROFIBUS is the fieldbus-based automation standard of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI).
PROFINET is an industry technical standard for data communication over Industrial Ethernet, designed for collecting data from, and controlling, equipment in industrial systems.
SERCOS (Serial Real-time Communications System) is an internationally-approved communication standard for motion control (IEC 61491).
WIA-FA is a specification developed for the Wireless Network for Industrial Automation – Factory Automation.
An industrial wirless communication standard
A wireless sensor networking technology based on the Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol (HART)
An IEEE 802.15.4-based specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios.
Applications can be described according to the type of application areas. Typical examples include:
- Additive manufacturing/3D printing
- Automated assembly
- Blow molding
- Canning and bottling
- Injection molding
- Metal cutting
- Metal forging
- Metal forming
- Cement kilning
- Chemical manufacturing
- Glass making
- Iron making
- Natural gas processing
- Paper manufacturing
- Power generation
- Steel making
- Water treatment
- Beverage mixing
- Dough mixing
- Food processing
- Paint mixing
- Paint reacting
- Pharmaceutical processing
- Rubber mixing
Well-known industrial market targets include:
- Fibers and textiles
- Food and beverage
- Household and personal care
- Life sciences
- Metals, mining and cement
- Oil and gas
- Power generation
- Print and publishing
- Pulp and paper
- Tire and rubber
- Water and wastewater
A partial list of relevant industry standards for industrial includes:
- IEC 61158 Industrial communication networks – Fieldbus specifications
A standard that specifies Fieldbus which is the name of a family of industrial computer network protocols used for real-time distributed control.
- IEC 61784 Industrial communication networks – Profiles
A standard that defines a set of protocol specific communication profiles based primarily on the IEC 61158 series, to be used in the design of devices involved in communications in factory manufacturing and process control
- IEC 61850 Communication networks and systems for power utility automation
A standard for the design of electrical substation automation
- IEC 62439 Industrial communication networks – High availability automation networks
A standard that is applicable to high-availability automation networks based on the ISO/IEC 8802-3 (Ethernet) technology
- IEC 62443 Industrial communication networks – Network and system security
A technical specification which defines the terminology, concepts and models for Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) security
- IEC 62657 Industrial communication networks – Wireless communication networks
A technical specification which provides the wireless communication requirements dictated by the applications of wireless communication systems in industrial automation, and requirements of related context
- IEEE 802.1 LAN/MAN Standards Committee
A committee of the IEEE Standards Associateion that focuses on Local Area Networks (LAN)/Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) Architectures. Specifically: Architectures, Internetworking, Link Security, Overall Network Management, and Protocol Layers above the Media Access Control (MAC) and Logical Link Control (LLC) Layers
- IEEE 802.3 Ethernet
A collection of IEEE standards defining the physical layer and data link layer’s media access control (MAC) of wired Ethernet.
- IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks
A set of media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication in the 900 MHz and 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands.
- IEEE 802.15.1 Wireless Personal Area Networks (Bluetooth™)
Bluetooth is an industry specification for short-range radio frequency (RF)-based connectivity for portable personal devices
- IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Personal Area Networks
A technical standard which defines the operation of low-rate wireless personal area networks. It serves as the basis for the Zigbee and Thread specifications