technology for networking

Gateways, switches, networks, standards such as Ethernet Ethercat, OPC UA or IO-Link and much more for digital transformation

Image: Pepperl+Fuchs

Communication Technology | For the digital transformation

Without networking the individual elements of a value chain there would be no Industry 4.0. Operating data, measurement data, diagnostics, predictive maintenance, the Internet of Things. Lots for them Digital transformation The necessary data not only has to be transported, but also analyzed and processed in order to make the further process more efficient, safer, cheaper and faster. Here you can find out everything you need to know about it communication technology and network technology. 

Communication Turck

Communication technology 2023/2024

Below we present the latest trends in communication with fieldbus technology, Industrial Ethernet, Ethercat, OPC UA, IO-Link etc. as well as the Internet of Things with interfaces, switches, gateways, network solutions etc. from companies such as Indus-Sol, Pepperl + Fuchs, Schmersal, Turck or EKS angel. With these innovations you make your company fit for the future.


Modular Ethernet APL terminals

June 05.06.2024, XNUMX | Ethernet APL is not just about pure process data, but especially about status information from field devices for diagnostics and predictive maintenance. Beckhoff therefore integrates this technology into its modular terminal portfolio.

UHF RFID reader makes flows of goods transparent

May 07.05.2024, 800 | RFID systems from Pepperl+Fuchs are used in factory automation, primarily with PLCs, to ensure secure processes and transparency in production. The new UHF RFID read/write device IUR-F1-V4D-XNUMXA* now enables comprehensive transparency in logistics applications adjacent to production.

With SPE, IO-Link and M2M to sensor-to-cloud

April 29.04.2023, XNUMX | Jumo is on a dynamic development path to become a leading provider of system solutions and technologies in industrial sensing and automation. This transformation is clearly reflected in the integration and networking of modern technologies such as SPE, IO-Link and sensor-to-cloud communication into the automation system world.
IO module

IO module secures Resato hydrogen filling stations

April 08.04.2024, 2 | As the market for H67 mobility grows, the focus is increasingly on the infrastructure. Together with Turck, Resato Hydrogen Technology has implemented an innovative concept for hydrogen filling stations: Modular stations equipped with IPXNUMX Atex I/O modules guarantee quick commissioning and high scalability.

World's first Omlox testing laboratory put into operation

March 27.03.2024, XNUMX | The first Omlox testing laboratory in the world has been launched. The PI granted the Fraunhofer Institute Lemgo approval as a PI test laboratory for Omlox. Manufacturers of positioning technologies can now have their products tested in accordance with the Omlox standard in an independent testing laboratory.

Flexible customizable gateway for agricultural technology

Mar 13.03.2024, 2.3 | IFM Electronic presents the Isobus Gateway, which is designed for agricultural equipment. By implementing a broad function library compatible with Codesys V3.5 or VXNUMX, the user interface can be efficiently adapted to specific needs.

Multi-tag capable RFID devices with unique range

08.01.2024/XNUMX/XNUMX | Pepperl+Fuchs presents two new high-performance RFID read/write devices for identification tasks. These offer the advantages of high-frequency RFID with a unique detection range and are housed in a modern, compact housing to save space.
Fieldbus modules

Multifunctional fieldbus modules with IO-Link

08.12.2023/76/67 | Murrelektronik is expanding its IO-Link portfolio to include two fieldbus modules with protection class IP4. The MVK Pro and “ImpactXNUMX Pro” fieldbus modules offer all common protocols or fieldbus-independent use in a robust housing, XNUMXA port output current and on-board diagnostics.
SPE switch

Switches for robust single pair Ethernet

04.12.2023/67/50155 | Harting presents a new switch for single pair Ethernet with protection class IPXNUMX. In its robust metal housing, it can withstand the rigors of a harsh outdoor environment. It is tested for rail vehicles according to EN XNUMX and ensures secure data communication even in difficult indoor industrial environments.
inductive coupler

Inductive couplers with high shock resistance

November 06.11.2023, 600 | Turck's inductive couplers now offer improved performance and new functions such as selective pairing. The NIC couplers have a 3 ms start-up time for shortened production cycles and increased productivity. Equipped with IO-Link COM230,4, the NIC couplers support a maximum data transfer rate of XNUMX kBit/s.
Wireless Network

Optimize material flow with a wireless network

Oct 04.10.2023, XNUMX | Steute will use a demonstrator to present the latest version of the Nexy radio network for assembly workstations. For example, sensors on the shop floor level record containers in material stations, staging areas and workstations.
SD gateway

SD gateway with improved error diagnosis

Sep 19.09.2023, XNUMX | The Schmersal Group presents its new SD gateway variant. This offers improved error diagnosis, which minimizes downtimes and simplifies commissioning and maintenance. The user-friendly device is easy to install.
Safety Fieldbox

Safety Fieldbox for additional fieldbus systems

24.08.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | Schmersal presents two new versions of its Safety Fieldbox. In addition to Profinet/Profisafe, they are now also available for the bus systems Ethernet/IP with CIP Safety and EtherCAT with FSoE. The designer can now configure the safety functions of his machine independently of the fieldbus.
hydraulic ramp

Safe positioning for working platforms

07.08.2023 | Working on lifting platforms near danger areas, such as near railway overhead lines, requires special safety measures. A non-contact RFID system from Pepperl+Fuchs is used to precisely and reliably determine the location of a working platform.
SPE switch

First managed switches for SPE

03.08.2023/10/1 | With the new SPE FL switch from Phoenix Contact, sensors and field devices can be integrated directly into Ethernet networks. The managed switches support eight ports of single pair Ethernet with the universally applicable 1000Base-TXNUMXL standard for distances of XNUMX m.
network market

Further growth for Industrial Ethernet

05.06.2023 | HMS Networks conducts annual research into the industrial networking market (pictured above) to identify trends in the newly integrated nodes in factory automation. According to the 2023 report, this market is expected to expand by 7%.

Manufacturing-X: Data room for Industry 4.0

04.06.2023 | With the "Manufacturing-X" initiative, the makers of the Industry 4.0 platform at Pepperl+Fuchs have set themselves the task of creating a cross-company and cross-industry, sovereign data room. This is intended to take multilateral cooperation to a new level.


Mobile networks and communication standards

6G is already more than thought, and through the use of 5G and other advanced cellular technologies, industrial companies can achieve real-time communication. This leads to increased efficiency and productivity. New standards are being developed to simplify proprietary solutions. Find out about the new developments:

5G network | advantages and challenges

No Industry 5 without communication via the 4.0G network, or is the 4G network still sufficient? 5G allows at least peak data rates up to over 10 Gbit/s, latency times under 1 ms, availability of over 99,999% and is also extremely energy-efficient. As a verified partner of Ericsson, HMS Industrial Networks offers the necessary hardware for factory automation.

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6G network | The next mobile generation

While some are still in the LTE or 4G network and the 5G mobile network is already mastering its introduction with flying colors, the 6G network is already casting its shadows to around 2030. We present new developments for the forthcoming mobile communications standard such as the lighthouse project 6G-ANNA or the world's first bidirectional radio link with internet connection from the University of Stuttgart.

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Ethernet APL | The game changer

Learn how Ethernet APL revolutionized industrial communication in the process industry! With fast and reliable data transmission in hazardous areas, the new Ethernet standard communication solution sets innovative standards. Discover the advantages of Ethernet APL, new products and its possible applications in the Process Technology.

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Omlox | The new location technology standard

So far, the radio technologies for tracking and positioning often only work on their own. Now, with Omlox, all data for localization should be in one uniform coordinate system are displayed. Omlox can be used immediately worldwide use. The supporting industrial partners include companies from Europe, Asia and the USA. The aim of the initiators is to make it easier for industrial customers to use software and hardware from different manufacturers.

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Single Pair Ethernet | for IIoT and Industry 4.0

Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) forms the basis for the infrastructure that Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0 makes possible. SPE cables can be installed in a space- and cost-saving manner. They offer the possibility of direct communication from the cloud down to the field level. Data is transmitted at a speed of up to 1 Gbit/s with just one pair of wires. Below you will find a lot of interesting facts and news about the new standard interface.

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Network technology

Industrial network technology enables the networking of machines and systems in production to increase efficiency and automation. Advanced communication technologies and network technology enable companies to collect, analyze and optimize data in real time.

wireless network | Cable salad was yesterday

The Wireless division of steute Technologies has the Wireless Network Solution nexy for Automation developed by manufacturing and assembly processes. Mobile machines and systems in production communicate directly with the company's IT network via Nexy. In this article we present new developments relating to this wireless network.

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Gateways | The bridge to the Industry 4.0 factory

On the path to Industry 4.0, communication technology and the components designed for it play a key role. The multitude of incompatible networks can to a common denominator to be brought. In order for data to be exchanged here, gateways are required. They connect the networks in all layers (OSI model) and translate the communication protocols. Here we present Gateway innovations for your factory of the future.

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RFID and Barcodes | Industrial identification

Efficient and transparent processes are essential in modern production. Possibilities for optimization offer here identification systems such as RFID and barcodes. In combination with the proven Kanban method, for example, they unfold their full potential. In this article, we use industrial Applicationshow RFID-supported systems and barcode technology make production more efficient, present new products and convey a little basic knowledge.

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Routers | heart of the network topology

The network routers plays a crucial role in communication between devices within a network and with the outside world. It enables a connection between computers or networks located in different locations and based on different network technologies. Modern network routers today support the 5G mobile radio standard, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 6, remote maintenance or the Smart Home Integration. Here's the news.

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Ethernet switches | The data driver in the network

In a world that is increasingly dependent on connectivity, reliable and efficient network technology is of great importance. One of the main players in this are network switches. In this article we present you the latest developments in the world of Ethernet switches, which allow for a high-performance and reliable industrial data communication set up.

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network protocols

With the advent of fieldbuses in automation, not only did the structure of automation systems become easier, they also became more complicated due to the proprietary solutions. Here we report on new products, maintenance and applications and how new open standards are replacing the singular variants. 

fieldbus | Diverse network technology

Industry 4.0 is primarily based on communication between all the components involved, from the temperature sensor to the process plant. The fieldbus connects them all with the IT world. There are around 50 different fieldbuses, including Profibus, Canopen, Devicenet and many more make network technology very diverse. Here we report on new products, maintenance and applications of conventional fieldbuses.

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Industrial Ethernet | Profinet, Powerlink & Co.

Industrial Ethernet is increasingly establishing itself as an extension of standard Ethernet in Industry 4.0 environments. While fieldbus adoption is declining, the market for Profinet, Ethernet/IP, Ethercat and all other industrial networks. IIoT applications are increasing and demanding more performance. You can find out here how Industrial Ethernet is developing further.

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OPC UA | Cultivate tomorrow's field

If it's up to the makers of the OPC UA Standards are supposed to be proprietary network protocols soon be a thing of the past. OPC UA and TSN are intended to solve the proprietary protocol problem. More and more manufacturers of communication technology are already offering products with a manufacturer-independent OPC UA connection. Here you can find out what the current status of future technology is and which new products are coming onto the market.

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manufacturer know-how

Numerous manufacturers have established themselves in the field of communication technology in Germany. These companies cover a wide range of products and services, from classic network technology to modern communication systems for Industry 4.0. We present some to you here.

eks communication

EKS angel has specialized in industrial network technology and data communication with a focus on fiber optics (LW). The portfolio includes complete LAN solutions, media converters, switches, I/O converters, bypass systems, splice boxes and splice panels.

Ethernet media converter for indoor and outdoor use

The Ethernet media converters of the e light series from EKS Engel are suitable for almost all industrial applications indoors and outdoors. Compact and robust, they can also be used in the extended temperature range and offer adapted input voltage ranges. All fiber types are supported, including POF, multimode and singlemode with fiber-saving Bidi technology and HCS (PCF). You can find the new developments with just one click.

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Industrial Ethernet Switch: Compact and robust

EKS Engel has the e-light especially for industrial use Ethernet Switch and Media converter series developed. This allows you to design your industrial network technology to be efficient, compact and future-oriented. You can find out here which new products are available in the product family and what advantages they offer.

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Diagnostic device for analyzing TSN networks

EKS angel presents the new TSN Analyzer (Time-Sensitive Networking) for industrial automation. The robust diagnostic device was developed in particular for project planning, commissioning, maintenance and continuous monitoring of TSN networks. It is a simple alternative to expensive laboratory equipment.

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Jumo communication technology

Jumo, a global company, offers an extensive portfolio of high-precision sensors and automation technology for temperature, liquid analysis, pressure, level, flow and humidity. The company is increasingly developing into a solution provider for its tailor-made automation. To do this, it integrates various communication standards into its products.

With SPE, IO-Link and M2M to sensor-to-cloud

Jumo is on a dynamic development path to become a leading provider of system solutions and technologies in industrial sensors and automation. This transformation is clearly evident in the integration and networking of modern technologies such as SPE, IO-Link and the Sensor-to-cloudCommunication into the system world of the automation engineer.

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Minebea communication

MinebeaMitsumi offers high-frequency solutions that ensure smooth data communication for navigation and entertainment, especially in the vehicle sector. The range also includes innovative antennas tailored to customer requirements. 

Open source mesh network for the smart city

Interoperability is crucial for the development of smart cities. Paradox Engineering, member of Minebea Mitsumi Group, has dealt intensively with the question of why cities today should rely on openness and say goodbye to proprietary data formats and technologies. The solution is this Open source mesh network. Paradox and Minebea are working on this together with the UCIFI.

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Through the jungle of IoT terminology

No matter in which area, be it in industry, consumer electronics, smart cities or smart homes, am term IoT you can't get past it for a long time. The use of the term has become inflationary. But what are we talking about anyway? Minebea Mitsumi leads through the jungle of terminology of the Internet of Things.

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Pepperl communication

Pepperl + Fuchs offers a powerful and intelligent range of components for the Engineering in factory and process automation, including AS-Interface system components, industrial Ethernet devices, IO-Link sensors, masters and interfaces as well as Ethernet IO modules.

Communication technology and gateways for the IIoT

Sophisticated design and multi-protocol capability: That's what the gateways from Pepperl+Fuchs offer. With the most modern operating concept, you are prepared for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Here we present the innovations of the Mannheim automation specialist, including the new one AS-Interface Gateway to integrate Sensors and actors in the communication networks.

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RFID and barcode scanner for identification

Pepperl+Fuchs is a specialist in RFID and optical identificationsystems that are used in industrial production and logistics. This opens up comprehensive tracking and tracing options for the user. Material flows can be controlled and precise processes ensure on-time delivery and optimal inventory management. We present new developments and application examples.

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IIoT innovations from the RAMI pioneer

Pepperl+Fuchs offers a diverse and high-performing IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) portfolio with software and integration know-how. This allows the products to be digitally connected to the cloud throughout. This year, the company took the initiative Manufacturing X presented. Read here what this is all about, how it is received in the process industry and what else is happening in the field of industrial IoT.

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narrow communication

Schmersal primarily offers safety-related products for automation, machine safety and occupational safety. The safe field box for Profisafe / Profinet systems is one of them.

Safe field box with reduced wiring effort

The safe field box from Schmersal is suitable for up to eight plug-and-play installations of switching devices for the machine safety. These can be control panels, sensors, tumblers, Light grids and light curtains, which themselves may come from third-party suppliers. Here we present the innovations: The manufacturer will present one of them at the SPS trade fair. This simplified Safety Fieldbox saves considerable wiring effort.

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Turck communication

Turck occupies a leading position in factory, process and logistics automation in various industries worldwide. The family business drives digital networking forward and offers communication technology for the implementation of Industry 4.0 and suitability for the Industrial Internet of Things.

Fieldbus and network technology - communication IO!

In its fieldbus technology portfolio, Turck offers IO modules and IO systems for industrial automation in the Ex and non-Ex area as well as bus components and bus systems for process automation. For the network technology the company has unmanaged and managed switches and couplers in protection class IP20 and IP67 in its range. See the new developments here.

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Ethernet gateways with IIoT functions

With the firmware update FW 1.6.0, Turck has improved its Ethernet gateways GEN-3G and GEN-N of the IO system Excom their IIoT capabilities. This simplifies the maintenance and commissioning of the gateway. The HCiR (Hot Configuration in Run) now also allows device replacement as well as expansion and maintenance in hazardous areas and high-availability applications during operation.

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Inductive data transmission based on contactless couplers

Robots with changing tools or rotary tactical tables place high demands on electrical connection technology. Wearing contacts and connectors require short maintenance intervals. Machine downtime must also be avoided. Turck offers inductive data transmission with couplers Alternative to classic connection technology: The NIC couplers are wear-free compared to slip rings or mechanically heavily stressed connectors.

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RFID technology for factory automation and logistics

RFID technology makes a major contribution in industry by tracking goods, materials and production equipment in industrial production through the entire process chain or making access more secure. This contactless transmission large amounts of data over large distances can also be effortlessly connected to higher-level systems SPS connectable to ERP. The automation specialist Turck has the necessary technology a whole range of RFID solutions in their luggage.

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Applications and Industries

Automation and thus communication technology has found its way into many sectors, but the degree of automation varies greatly between the individual sectors: While the degree of automation in the construction sector is comparatively low, the Automotive industry  due to the large quantities, the complex assembly processes and the high price pressure, as the following examples show

hydrogen gas station
Vehicle early warning system
Smart circuit board
Cyber ​​Defense in Cars
RFID for child seat
Gigabit network in the car
CAN bus for vehicle use
Cybersecurity for IT security
Air conditioning and ventilation technology
A bus comes into the house


Communication technology basics

A few figures on industrial communication

Until 2022 there were an estimated 5,3 billion internet users worldwide. The proportion of internet users in Germany also rose again in 2022 and is now at 93 percent. Ten years earlier, the share was 76,5 percent. The coverage with 5G by at least one network operator was around 2022% of the area in Germany in October 79. It was 53% compared to when data collection began in October 2021. Forecasts assume that by 2023 more than 35 billion networked devices (things) will be in use at the edge of the IoT worldwide. By 2025, the number is expected to increase to 42 billion.

9 trends in communication technology

Industrial communication and network technology is subject to constant and ever accelerating change, which is characterized by technological innovations and changing market needs. Here are some of the current main trends in this area:

  • 5G network will be introduced in industry, which will revolutionize wireless communication in industrial applications. Higher speeds, lower latency and multiple device support become possible.
  • Cybersecurity for industrial networks is designed to protect against the threat of cyber criminals. Advanced security measures are implemented, which are subject to constant further development.
  • Edge Computing: Instead of sending data to central cloud servers for processing, data processing takes place directly at the point of origin, i.e. at the edge of the network. This enables faster response times and reduces network loads.
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) enable the networking of machines, devices and systems in industry to collect data in real time, analyze it and use it to optimize operational processes.
  • Integration of IT and OT: The merging of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) enables better data analysis, process optimization and decision making in industrial applications.
  • interoperability and standardization: Efforts are being made to create or expand standards that ensure smooth communication between devices and systems from different manufacturers and reduce proprietary solutions.
  • Artificial intelligence: The use of KI in communications technology has the potential to drastically change and further improve the way we communicate and transfer information.
  • Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) enables deterministic real-time communication over Ethernet, which is particularly important for time-critical industrial applications.
  • Software-Defined Networks (SDN) separate the data path from the control plane, providing more flexibility and centralization in network configurations and management.

What is communication technology?

The Communication technology deals with the transmission, reception and processing of information over various distances. The main components are the transmitter, which generates the information and converts it into a format suitable for transmission, the transmission medium through which the information is sent, e.g. B via cable or wireless and the receiver, which receives the transmitted information and converts it back into a usable format.

What is TCP/IP?

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the foundational set of protocols that power the Internet and many private networks. It defines how data packets or data blocks are exchanged between network devices such as computers, routers and switches. TCP is responsible for dividing data into smaller packets, which are then sent over the Internet with as few errors as possible. IP takes care of addressing and forwarding the packets so that they reach the right destination. Each device on the network has a unique IP address, similar to a postal address, which ensures data is delivered to the right place. Together, TCP and IP form a standard for communication in networks and form the basis network protocol for a large number of others.