The use of fail-safe communication in the 5 GHz band propels the Industrial Fieldbus into the wireless realm

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Transferring industrial data from Fieldbus systems in difficult-to-reach locations with minimal loss and maximum reliability is also possible without cabling. A suitable solution is provided by the combination of EchoRing and Schildknecht’s patented DATAEAGLE technology.

The benefits are especially apparent when machines and systems must be integrated into existing Fieldbus systems from angled areas or distributed across multiple floors. In many places, data is already transmitted wirelessly via WLAN as an alternative to the complex installation of cable connections or for the control of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).In contrast to traditional WLAN installations, EchoRing transmits data over the 5 GHz frequency band, ensuring stable and interference-free operation with extremely low latency times. However, meeting the high Fieldbus specifications for short cycle times and absolute reliability is difficult in the typical 2.4 GHz frequency band.

In collaboration with Schildknecht AG, a solution that enables wireless Fieldbus communication with no performance loss even in harsh environmental conditions has now been developed. A concrete use case established stable PROFINET communication between a standard programmable controller and a decentralized I/O module.

Transmission to the I/O module is accomplished through an EchoRing radio system consists of three radio modules, ensuring highly reliable communication with the lowest possible latencies. The data that is transmitted and decouples the interface between the radio system and the controller is prioritized. The signals are first preprocessed and converted into UDP packets using a DATAEAGLE module of type 4U15. As a result, approximately 95% of all UDP packets could be reliably transmitted in the 5.8 GHz band with a maximum latency of 9 milliseconds.

“The combination of EchoRing and DATAEAGLE opens up application possibilities that were previously difficult or impossible to realize wirelessly, If local conditions do not permit the establishment of stable radio connections via Industrial WLAN, EchoRing offers a suitable solution. From our point of view, the combination of DATAEAGLE and EchoRing will make it much easier for many users to set up reliable data networks.”

Bernd Kremer, Head of Business Development at R3

While traditional WiFi architectures provide few options for prioritizing individual data streams, the EchoRing Token Ring technology enables deterministic communication aligned with the service level. Simultaneously, DATAEAGLE technology can process data from all standard Fieldbus protocols (PROFIBUS, PROFINET, CAN) to ensure reliable radio transmission.

“For the first time, it is now possible to fully meet the high requirements of fieldbus systems not only on the basis of a cable installation, but also for integrated radio links.”

Didier Kärst, Head of Product Management at Schildknecht

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