Industrial Communication Protocols

End-to-end connectivity services from the field level to the execution level and beyond.

Industrial Communication Protocols

End-to-end connectivity services from the field level to the execution level and beyond.

Introduction

Modern industrial machines and systems are expected to be ever more intelligent and highly efficient. Both intelligence and efficiency are determined by the ease, speed, and accuracy of data accessibility across systems. For an industrial network to become efficient, the horizontal and vertical communications across devices and systems of ISA-95 pyramid, should be seamless. To ensure this, a robust connectivity is crucial. Modern industrial machines and systems are expected to be ever more intelligent and highly efficient. Both intelligence and efficiency are determined by the ease, speed, and accuracy of data accessibility across systems. For an industrial network to become efficient, the horizontal and vertical communications across devices and systems of ISA-95 pyramid, should be seamless. To ensure this, a robust connectivity is crucial. The ecosystem of an industrial enterprise encompasses a diverse range of devices, machines, and applications, which are expected to communicate with each other irrespective of their makes, communication methodologies, etc. This calls for integrating the essential set of industrial communication protocols into the system to enable this communication. Be it quick responsiveness, message accuracy, time sensitivity, or compatibility with the existing systems, the manufacturers of industrial devices or components need to address all the above criteria and more by offering a range of connectivity solutions along with the core product. However, it requires specific protocols expertise, skills, and experience to integrate connectivity support in hardware and software. Integrating the right connectivity solutions into the industrial systems demands a thorough understanding of the domain and expertise to add value at each step. Therefore, it is best to rely upon a technology partner that can convert the connectivity requirements into potential value propositions.

Industrial networks can be segregated into four different layers:

Field Layer

Here the nodes consist of transducers, actuators or sensors. These communication devices collect process control or environmental information and transmit it back to the controlling or monitoring systems. They also execute the field commands, such as physical rotor shift.

Supervisory Layer

This layer includes a SCADA/HMI for better control and supervision of crucial industrial activity.

Control Layer

As the name suggests, this layer consists of logic controllers, such as PLCs or distributed control systems (DCS). Their main role is to provide local control to different equipment in a plant.

Execution and Planning Layer

This layer is a crucial link between the business and operational priorities. Enterprise resource planning is an example of a function which is carried out in this layer.

We at Utthunga have a team of experienced professionals to develop customized hardware and software for your industrial connectivity needs. Our development capabilities include popular industrial communication protocols such as HART, FF, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, Modbus, EtherNet/IP, etc. in the Field and Control layer. We are one of the premier OPC based development company providing connectivity solutions from the field level to the execution level and beyond to the enterprise/cloud layer also.

Why it’s required ?

Industries are gearing up to make the best of the technologies offered by the industrial revolution in all its advanced forms. Industries need seamless industrial connectivity to stay ahead in these times of rapid digitalization. Fast, easy and secure exchange of data across the various layers of devices and systems is a must to unlock the hidden power of data. As this data moves upwards from the sensors to the cloud, at each level the data is being processed and analyzed and handed over to the stakeholders for faster ad informed decision making at that level.

In order to meet the demand for high-speed connectivity between industrial systems, we are also witnessing transition to the faster Ethernet based communications protocols. With numerous protocols, each with their unique capabilities and limitations flooding the industrial communications market, we at Utthunga help you to adopt and implement the communication protocol of your choice that best meets your needs.

Industry Protocols

Services

The team at Utthunga is well acquainted and experienced with the old and evolving industry communication trends and provides you with premium industrial protocol implementation services. Our services in the communication protocol domain are listed below.

Protocol Stack Design & Development

We have deep expertise in developing and customizing communication drivers and device stacks for various target platforms, according to your specific business requirements. Our team of engineers provide the implementation services for the following industrial communication protocols:

  • HART, HART IP
  • EtherNet/IP
  • Modbus RTU, TCP/IP, ASCII
  • EtherCAT
  • IEC 61850
  • BACNet
  • MTConnect
  • IO-Link
  • Others on demand

We also provide comprehensive feasibility study to determine the success potential of implementing a new communication protocol for your existing products.

Our services also include protocol stack porting and device application integration for existing products, customized device profile design and development. We are also a leading service provider on the popular industrial automation standards such as FDT, FDI, HART, and OPC.

Protocol Maintenance & Support

We provide support in managing and porting the stacks/drivers, improving the existing stacks to a new version, and addition of new profiles. Our services are custom tailored to suit your requirement. If you want to integrate new stacks or want a region-specific customized stack integration or a device specific profile development, we have got you covered.

Protocol Verification & Validation

We at Utthunga provide complete product compliance verification service in accordance with the different certification standards. You can rely on us for designing and developing your test jig. We perform evaluations of the parameters like performance, time criticality, fault recovery, reliability, endurance from functionality perspective and protocol perspective. Further, we provide assistance for obtaining the required certifications for the developed devices and carry out the interoperability tests with different masters and controllers.

Why Utthunga for Industrial Protocols?

If you want high quality implementation of stacks and communication technologies with premium support services, Utthunga is the right choice for you. We have a diverse team with extensive knowledge and hands on experience in reverse engineering legacy protocols and implementing drivers and connectors. We hand hold our customers with end-to-end implementation of standard and proprietary protocols, slave and master stacks development including hardware, firmware and configuration software.

We support the following physical layers also to implement and optimize your connectivity solutions:

PAN

Bluetooth 5, Sub Ghz, RF

LAN

Ethernet, WIFI

WAN

Cellular, 5G, NBIOT, LORA

FAN

Wireless HART, ISA100

Wired Interfaces

We are active participants in the technical specifications, architecture, test & certification and marketing activities of various special interest groups and consortiums like OPC, FDT, FCG, ODVA, ETG, etc. Our team also features speakers who regularly speak at global events of these consortiums. We are a preferred technology outsourcing partner for application architecture, design and development. Customers leverage our Profibus & Profinet Competency Center and FDT Test & Certification Centers for testing and pre-certification testing of their industrial devices.

FAQs

1. How do instruments and controllers communicate in a process control?

The data from the instrumentation devices such as valves, transmitters, etc. is used by controllers to perform functions such as opening or closing valves and measuring process parameters. The controller receives this data in analog (more common) or digital (getting popular) form and generates control signals, which are sent over the communication buses to the field devices to control the operation of that process.

2. What to consider when planning, designing and implementing an industrial communication network?

For successfully planning, designing and implementing an industrial communication network, you need to consider the following:

  • Reliable network structure
  • Robust security protocols
  • Transparency in network management
  • Remote access to machines
  • Integration with cloud infrastructure
  • Personnel and machine function safety
  • Access to devices through HMIs, mobiles etc.
3. Why are there so many different industrial protocols?

The leading industrial OEMs build products that have their own connectivity need in terms of speed, security, easy of configuration, relaying key alerts, etc. Over the decade these OEMs built and promoted protocols that were built in their labs addressing their unique product/ecosystem needs. What we ended up with are silos/islands of devices and systems that are not always interoperable. The good news is that we are already in the middle of this huge shift towards standard protocols like OPC, MTConnect, etc.

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