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Video: Speak A Common Language In Data Communication
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-06-01 01:49
Simon Seereiner: We can now find IP-based communication everywhere - in smartphones, on our computer, but also in industrial plants. In the past 20 years, more and more Ethernet-based communication architectures have flowed into the industry: Profinet, Ethernet IP, Ethercat. These are all Ethernet-based fieldbus systems. However, there is no consistency on the last mile, more or less on the sensor-actuator level. There are still bus architectures like Profibus, CAN, ASI and others. That means there are gateways there that convert Ethernet-based communication again. The approach is now to create end-to-end communication so that communication can also be IP-based on the lowest sensor-actuator level.
Construction practice: Why is there still no ethernet-based communication on the sensor-actuator level?
Seereiner: So far, it was simply too expensive and too complex to bring Ethernet-based networks to the sensor. That is now changing with Single Pair Ethernet.
Simon Seereiner (right) is Head of Product Management SAI & IE at the Weidmüller Group and is responsible for the range of products and solutions for passive, industrial networking. The graduate engineer is also involved in national and international committees on topics of industrial connectivity.
construction practice: tell us: what exactly is behind this SPE technology?
Seereiner: So far, engineers have grown up with the knowledge that a Fast Ethernet, i.e. a 100 megabit line, requires at least two wire pairs; Gigabit cabling corresponding to four pairs. With SPE technology, the line structure for the same transmission rates is reduced to one pair of wires. That means you only lay a quarter of the copper and only need a quarter of the processing time. This saves space and enormous costs.
construction practice: data transmission can therefore be carried out more compactly and cost-effectively …
Seereiner: Yes, but that doesn't just apply to data transmission. A very important advantage is that both data and energy can be transmitted via these two-wire lines. The technology behind it is called Power over Data Line (PoDL). This allows up to 60 W to be connected to one interface with simultaneous data transmission (100 Mbit). For example, sensors can be supplied with just a single two-wire cable. This makes it possible to set up sensors in the industry at low cost, simply and with a high packing density, which lead to higher levels of automation and networking and to realize processes that are becoming increasingly automated.
Construction Practice Podcast
Episode 2: Data transmission
The Konstruktionsspraxis podcast, the specialist magazine for listening, provides quick and entertaining information about exciting technology topics. In this episode we talk to Simon Seereiner from Weidmüller about Single Pair Ethernet.
construction practice: You say that the whole thing is cheaper, can you prove it?
Seereiner: Since the infrastructure is still missing, we cannot yet use the technology. However, we have already made simulations and theoretical considerations in toolmaking and in the manufacture of machinery. To this end, we brought together experts from mechanical and plant engineering and discussed the questions with them: “Now let's imagine that SPE would be available. What would you do differently, where would you save costs, what would the simplification of the processes entail?"
The result was very impressive. You save components, of course, but a much bigger advantage is that machines with the transparent architecture can be controlled and operated much more efficiently. This saves enormous costs when parameterizing, during commissioning and when carrying out the work. In the simulation we performed, we were able to cut operating costs by 18% using SPE.
construction practice: What are the requirements for SPE to be used across the board?
Seereiner: First of all, the infrastructure has to be completely built up. Because only if cables, connectors, chipsets, switches and devices are able to speak a uniform Ethernet-based SPE language can large automation companies set up their corresponding controls and device functionalities. We, ie the companies in connection and connection technology, are practically the big bang that is needed at the beginning before you can establish a new technology.
Enabler of construction
Data communication from the device to the field
construction practice: is the market ready to implement a new technology?
Seereiner: There is a lot of interest in the market. I could go to customers almost every day to present this topic. But technology is only slowly becoming established. We are just getting started. The hype surrounding the topic is increasing. However, we do not expect to sell tens of thousands of our SPE connectors next year. It is important to us as a pioneer in connection technology to be on the market with products in good time so that customers can use and test them.
construction practice: So you've already developed SPE connectors. To what extent does Weidmüller still get involved in SPE technology?
Seereiner: We are active in two subject areas. On the one hand, we are launching the above-mentioned series products with internationally standardized interfaces according to IEC 63171-2 and IEC 63171-5 at the Hannover Messe. There are now four companies that have really tooled this interface independently using tools, so that Weidmüller, together with partners, is launching products on the market to set up a connector infrastructure.
The second point: Weidmüller is very intensively involved in standardization. I myself am a member of the Profibus User Organization (PNO) and the Open Devicenet Vendors Association (ODVA). We also have employees on the IEC connector committee and also work on the standardization committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). With our expertise, we help to achieve the right standards within the standardization for cables and connectors.
Single pair Ethernet is revolutionizing industrial communication
construction practice: Speaking of standards - what is the state of play here?
Seereiner: There is a high level of interest in standards across industries and the standardization machinery is in full swing. Naturally, at this stage of the process, some manufacturers tend to quickly communicate suggestions as a rule to issue their product as a new standard. The normative process is currently in progress, but has not yet been completed. The statement that the market has already agreed on a mating face, as some manufacturers claim and is also widely distributed in the trade press, is definitely wrong. Important and powerful user organizations, such as Profinet, are currently forming opinions and will deal with this topic in the future.
construction practice: Finally, a look into the future: Will there still be SPE in 20 years or will the industry transfer its data long ago without contact?
Seereiner: I am very sure that there will still be a lot of SPE interfaces in 20 years. With contactless transmission, you address a beautiful topic. Wireless applications are already in use in industry today, e.g. B. in high-bay warehouses. However, we only estimate the wireless share of the connection technology at 2 to 3%. That will increase, but wired transmission lines will remain in the future. These will only be significantly more compact and will transmit higher frequencies. SPE as an essential part of the future infrastructure for the IoT of the industry is starting.
construction practice: Thank you very much Mr. Seereiner.