This section provides overview, applications, and principles of fieldbus components. Also, please take a look at the list of 34 fieldbus components manufacturers and their company rankings.
A fieldbus is a network for digital communication between measurement, control, and motion devices in a factory or other facility. Unlike ordinary networks, this network is specialized for communication between industrial devices such as measuring instruments and controllers.
By using fieldbus, products from various manufacturers can be controlled collectively on a single platform without using dedicated software that comes with the products, which is very effective for improving production efficiency.
Fieldbus is typically used in factories that have implemented factory automation or are using measurement and motion devices that are compatible with the IoT. Various companies offer fieldbus services, but selection should be made with attention to communication speed, noise reduction, the number of devices connected, ease of network construction, ease of maintenance, and whether safety features such as emergency stop systems are guaranteed.
A network system built with fieldbus can be divided into four layers. The first layer, the highest layer, has functions such as monitoring and checking instruction data from remote locations such as offices, etc. The second layer has functions to control factory equipment with controllers and control devices in the factory. The third layer contains industrial robots, machine tools, and other devices that perform important operations in factory production.
Typical fieldbus connection methods are the bus type (potato vine type) and the star type. The bus type is a method of connecting various devices with a single cable. It is simple, but the amount of signals that can be transmitted at one time is limited, which may slow down operation. The star type has a central control unit that connects to various devices. It is characterized by high transmission speed. Other types include ring, line, and tree types.
The following is a comparison of the top 5 fieldbuses in the market.
Jointly developed by European manufacturers such as Siemens, Bosch, and ABB. Certified to international standards IEC 61158 and IEC 61784. PROFIBUS-PA is designed for automation of plant equipment (PA), and PROFIBUS-DP is designed for automation of factory equipment (FA). Performance features include a maximum transmission speed of 12 Mbps, a data length of 244 bytes, a transmission distance of 1000 m, and a number of 126 nodes.
Modbus was developed by Modicon Inc. in the U.S. It is a bus that is widely used in the FA industry, but because the standard has not been set, it is necessary to verify the connection of devices using actual equipment. Performance features include a maximum communication speed of 19.2 kbps, a data length of 1 byte, a transmission distance of 1200 m, and 247 nodes.
CC-Link is the first open field network developed in Japan, mainly by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and originated in Japan and Asia, meaning Control & Communication Link. It is certified in accordance with international standards IEC 61158, IEC 61784 and ISO 15745-6. By using dedicated cables, it can be used for a wide range of systems from those requiring response speed to large-scale systems requiring distance. Performance features include a maximum transmission speed of 10 Mbps, a data length of 512 bytes, a transmission distance of 1200 m, and 64 nodes.
CANopen was developed by CiA (CAN in Automation), a non-profit organization headquartered in Germany. It is an open network developed based on CAN (Controller Area Network), an embedded communication protocol for automotive control, and is certified according to the European standard EN 50325-4. Performance features include a maximum communication speed of 1 Mbps, a data length of 8 bytes, a transmission distance of 1000 m, and a number of nodes of 2024.
Developed by allen bradley Inc. of the United States. It is a system that interconnects various devices and performs serial communication. It is certified under the international standard IEC62026. Performance features include an upper limit of 500 kbps for communication speed, 8 bytes for data length, 500 m for transmission distance, and 64 nodes.
Factory networks are classified into information networks, controller-to-controller networks, and field networks. Industrial Ethernet is used for controller-to-controller networks, while fieldbus is used for field networks.
In 2017, the number of industrial Ethernet installations reversed the number of fieldbus installations. The factory-wide IT initiative, Industry 4.0, which was proposed in Germany, is beginning to be realized.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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