Basics of Industrial Fiber Optics

Commercial vs. industrial fiber optic products:

Most process plants and factories have unique requirements for communications networks that differ from those of commercial grade networks. Industrial network components must withstand much harsher environmental conditions that can include extreme temperatures, lightning strikes, electromagnetic interference and, in many instances, installation in hazardous area locations.

Mounting and space requirements can also be an issue since industrial networking components are often installed in the same control panel or cabinet with other measurement and control equipment. Ultra Electronics, Energy’s goal is to meet the demanding requirements of industrial communication networks. Ultra Electronics, Energy’s  industry standard, EOTec brand of industrially hardened fiber optic communication products addresses these issues and provides you with optimal solutions for your factory automation and process control needs.

Network protocols:

The PLC has been in the forefront of factory automation for several decades and there are many different network protocols in use today. Network protocols are either open or proprietary. Some prominent proprietary protocols supported by Ultra Electronics, Energy are Rockwell Automation’s DH+, Schneider Electric’s Modbus Plus™ and GE Fanuc’s Genius® Bus.

Open protocols include EtherNet/IP, ControlNet™, and Profibus. Ultra Electronics, Energy supports the most common protocols in use today for industrial PLC networks and Ethernet connectivity.

Ethernet connectivity:

Ethernet is swiftly being adopted by the industrial automation and process control communities. Ethernet addresses many of the requirements of proprietary PLC buses, with the added advantages of widespread usage and lower costs due to high volumes. Ultra Electronics, Energy is continually developing new fiber optic products to support Ethernet and other emerging industrial network protocols. We recently introduced the EOTec 2104 Ethernet Ring Switch which provides an economical solution to the combination of high performance ring redundancy with Ethernet communications.