Industrial networks

Design for Industrial Networks

Design Services for Industrial Networks

Industrial networks transmit large amounts of data in real time between devices placed far apart from one another. They are used in power management, industrial automation, and smart buildings. There are dozens of various industrial network solutions currently on the market, and we work with the majority of them.

To help our clients implement their projects, we develop software and design hardware required for the successful deployment of industrial networks: fieldbus solutions, protection and control systems, tools for data acquisition and analysis, network controllers and sensors.

Are you looking for a reliable partner to design an industrial network solution? Tell us about your project!

netX – Scalable Industry 4.0 Communication Platform by Hilscher

We use netX to build cutting-edge networks within the Industry 4.0 concept. This is a comprehensive software and hardware platform designed by our partner Hilscher. The netX chips for industrial networks are multiprotocol: they support all the leading Ethernet standards, so you can focus on deploying processes and applications, while netX ensures communication for flexible industrial networking.

Hilsher

The benefits of the Hilscher netX solutions:

Flexibility: their SoC family provides connectivity to all fieldbus systems and real-time Ethernet networks.

Fast product launch thanks to a comprehensive software and hardware solution combined with an extensive ecosystem.

Ease of integration due to continuois technical support and development of necessary solutions.

Investment reliability: as a market leader, Hilscher guarantees long-term access to its products.

netX

An Overview of Available SoCs from Hilscher

 

NETX 90

 

NETX 51NETX 52NETX 100NETX 500
Smallest Multiprotocol SoCNetwork controller for fieldbus and Real-Time Ethernet slaves with memory controllerNetwork controller for fieldbus and Real-Time Ethernet slavesNetwork controller for Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus master and slavesNetwork controller for Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus master and slaves with display controller
  • Smallest multiprotocol SoC with additional Cortex-M4 application processor

  • Built-in security features for secure field and cloud connectivity

  • Supports all Industrial Ethernet, Fieldbus and IIoT standards

  • Energy-efficient SoC with lowest power consumption

  • Flexible "high end" network controller equipped with a host interface or stand-alone solution for digital I/Os

  • Two communication channels for Real-Time Ethernet equipped with PHY or fieldbus

  • Extended communication functions support amongst others, PROFINET V2.3 - Dynamic Frame Packing and IO-Link V1.1

  • Second RISC CPU for time-critical I/O tasks

  • Fast SPI host interface with Read/Write functions

  • Flexible "high end" network controller equipped with a host interface or stand-alone solution for digital I/Os

  • Two communication channels for Real-Time Ethernet equipped with PHY or fieldbus

  • Extended communication functions support amongst others, PROFINET V2.3 - Dynamic Frame Packing and IO-Link V1.1

  • Flexible "high end" network controller or highly integrated single chip solution for application and communication

  • Three communication channels as Real-Time Ethernet or fieldbus interface individually configurable

  • 32-bit/200 MHz CPU ARM 926 with 200 MIPs computing power for Windows CE and Linux

  • Dual-port memory, AD converter on chip

  • Flexible "high end" network controller or highly integrated single chip solution for application and communication

  • Four communication channels as Real-Time Ethernet or fieldbus interface individually configurable

  • 32-bit/200 MHz CPU ARM 926 with 200 MIPs computing power for Windows CE and Linux

  • Dual-port memory, AD converter and graphic controller on chip

 

 

Other Hardware Platforms for Industrial Networks

Our Cooperation Models

A flexible approach to suit your current needs

Dedicated Team

We will form a team to fit your specific engineering task. You are free to manage it and provide additional resources as needed.

Project-Based

We can join you at any stage of the project or take it on in its entirety, including the management and risk control.

Fixed Price Model

This contract fixes the price so that it does not depend on resources used or time expended by our engineering team.

Time and Material

A T&M contract is the best option for a variable set of tasks that are difficult or impossible to establish and assess in advance.

Do you need software development or hardware design for industrial networks?

Drop us a line about your project! We will contact you today or the next business day. All submitted information will be kept confidential.

FAQ

What are the most common protocols used in industrial networks, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

 

1) EtherNet/IP is a widely used, open standard that supports real-time control and data exchange.

  • Advantages: high-speed, reliable, interoperable.
  • Disadvantages: may not be suitable for low-latency applications.

 

2) Modbus is a widely used, simple and robust protocol. 

  • Advantages: widely supported, low cost.
  • Disadvantages: limited functionality, may not be suitable for high-speed applications.

 

3) PROFINET is widely used in automation as a fast and reliable protocol.

  • Advantages: high-speed, real-time capabilities, standardized.
  • Disadvantages: it may be complex to implement; it may not be suitable for small systems.

 

4) CANbus is widely used in industrial and automotive applications.

  • Advantages: low cost, low latency, and highly reliable.
  • Disadvantages: limited data capacity, may not support high-speed communication.

 

5) EtherCAT is a real-time Ethernet-based industrial network protocol.

  • Advantages: high-speed, real-time, low latency, flexible topology.
  • Disadvantages: limited support compared to other industrial networks; it may be complex to implement.

 

6) SERCOS III is a real-time communication standard for industrial automation.

  • Advantages: high-speed, real-time, deterministic, highly synchronized.
  • Disadvantages: it may not be as widely supported as other industrial networks; it may have high implementation costs.

 

7) CANOpen is widely used as an open communication protocol for industrial automation.

  • Advantages: low cost, simple to implement, widely supported, flexible.
  • Disadvantages: limited data capacity, it may not support high-speed communication.
 

What are the challenges of integrating legacy systems into modern industrial networks?

 

  • Compatibility issues between old and new systems.
  • Difficulty in integrating diverse protocols and communication standards.
  • Lack of real-time capabilities in legacy systems.
  • Challenges in upgrading and maintaining old hardware and software.
  • Data compatibility and integration issues.
  • Cybersecurity risks associated with integrating outdated systems.
  • Limited technical expertise and support for legacy systems.
 

What are the latest trends and developments in industrial network technology?

 

  • Ethernet APL.
  • Increased use of wireless and cloud-based data transfers.
  • Development of real-time and deterministic industrial Ethernet protocols.
  • Greater emphasis on cybersecurity and data privacy.
  • Development of open-source and standardized industrial networks.
  • Increased use of edge computing and fog computing in industrial automation.
  • Adoption of Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies.
 

How can industrial networks be integrated with other enterprise systems, such as ERP and SCADA?

 

  • Use of standardized communication protocols such as OPC-UA.
  • Integration of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and SCADA.
  • Use of middleware and gateway solutions for data transfer and communication.
  • Integration of cloud-based platforms and services.
  • Use of APIs and web services for data exchange between systems.
  • Adoption of open-source software and technologies.
  • Implementation of data management and data integration strategies.
 

How can industrial network security be improved to protect against advanced persistent threats and cyber-attacks?

 

  • Regular software updates and patches.
  • External network access restrictions.
  • Use of firewall and VPN solutions.
  • Local area network of process control systems.
  • A well-thought-out choice of wired solutions.
  • Implementation of strong authentication and access control measures.
  • Encryption of sensitive data and communications.
  • Regular monitoring and testing of the network for vulnerabilities.
  • Use of intrusion detection and prevention systems.
  • Adoption of security best practices.