A holistic approach to minimising Industrial ICT network-related downtime

  Do you know how much an hour of downtime costs your business? Unplanned downtime is one of the challenges faced by many industries and it can lead to a significant impact on your bottom line especially in these Covid times. An interruption in your plant may be accompanied by a loss in productivity, disruption of normal operations, and have other negative business implications. Some of these consequences may include lost revenues, scheduling delays, client dissatisfaction, and damage to your brand reputation. Understanding your network vulnerabilities, scheduling regular maintenance, and providing your employees with certified training are effective ways to decrease interruptions. Learn how to minimise downtime and implement proactive maintenance in this article. Plant managers throughout all industries are confronted with the task of ensuring that their assets run at peak capacity throughout their life-cycle. Having the correct maintenance solution in place can help you increase

Emerging ICT benefits for smart, safe, and sustainable industrial systems

  Information and Communications Technology (ICT) encompasses the various technologies that are used to deploy wireless networks, telecommunication and transmission systems, intelligent building automation, robotics, and network-based control and monitoring systems. The evolution of industry 4.0 has created an economy that is progressively interconnected, and information-based. The contribution of ICT to the growth of businesses is significantly important for sustainable development and to remain competitive in the market. The implementation of ICT enables users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate data in several forms. The value of using this technology can help businesses worldwide to leverage workplace productivity, boost efficiency, reduce operational costs and improve the management of information. This article highlights some of the benefits of applying ICT in your operations. Top 5 ways in which ICT can benefit your business: 1.      Leverage workplace productivit

The impetus of COVID-19 – accelerating adoption of IIOT and related technologies

A new COVID-19 normality has been forced upon us and highlighted the ways in which technology can compensate for lack of mobility, safety concerns, and related operational and commercial challenges. In fact, COVID-19 has accelerated several digital transformations throughout the world, and businesses that were previously leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) had an advantage when adjusting to this pandemic. There is a sense that COVID-19 has provided both the impetus and opportunity to better leverage technology and minimise un-necessary travel and time wastage. Rapid developments in information technology are changing the way in which businesses operate especially when in-person contact is restricted. Businesses are recognising the value of remote working and setting up virtual systems to keep their employees and customers safe, engaged, and productive. These days, meetings and interactions are now taking place over online communication platforms such as Zoom and Micros

What is serial communication?

In order to understand communication protocols we first need to understand digital systems. A digital systems communicates a message in the form of binary information. This is a flow of digital pulses sent from one point to another creating a means of data transmission. Serial communication is a widely used medium to transfer information between various different equipment and peripherals. Data is in the form of sequential binary pulses. Binary can be represented in two states i.e: a one (1) represents a logic high or "on" status and a zero (0) represents a logic low or "off" status.  The different modes of transmitting data over serial communication Simplex transmission  is a one-way communications method, with only one client present on the network. if a sender engages in transmission then a receiver is only able to accept information. examples: Radio and television transmission.  Half Duplex mode  have both an active sender and a receiver, ho

ProfiHubs with diagnostic capabilities

Network downtime getting you down? Introducing PROCENTEC’s range of ProfiHubs , now with new diagnostic capabilities! The diagnostic ProfiHub is a versatile statistics / diagnostics logger that can be used to keep track of the overall network health and inform either the PLC or DCS of any network failures. These network failures could be in the form of repeated messages, illegal messages, missing ProfiHub terminations, live list changes or power supply problems. Audible or visible feedback can also be achieved by switching the integrated alarm relay of the ProfiHub . All ProfiHubs are now shipped with this functionality available as standard. Existing ProfiHub owners will soon be able to purchase upgrade packages to enable the diagnostic capabilities via a firmware update. The diagnostic capabilities are available for the B2+R , B5+R , D1 , B2FO2 , & B4FO2 and these hubs are fully compatible with PROCENTEC ComBricks providing you with a permanent monitoring sol

Anybus gateway's creating secure paths for IIOT solutions

Anybus has launched a new family of gateways built to boost your Industrial IoT development demands. These devices are designed to gain secure and easy access between equipment on all major industrial networks, transforming the way your industry, manufacturing business, process factory or packaging plant operates by improving visibility. Now you can establish a foundation for better performance by leveraging this data. The  Anybus IoT X-Gateways and Communicators  lets you seamlessly interconnect legacy devices and PLC control systems between industrial networks and OPC UA/MQTT. The information is controlled independently and your network remains secure and encrypted. How does it work? The Anybus IoT Communicator, still based on the tried and tested communicator development, will now enable users to integrate serial based RS232, RS485, Modbus RTU, DF1 and ASCII into an OPC UA or MQTT IoT data acquisition system.  Simply connect, configure and your done! Connect: M

PROFIBUS wiring error / B-line short

  PROFIBUS wiring error / B-line short IDX attended a PROFIBUS call out for a gold mine situated in Welkom. The client reported issues as “loss of communication and network trips”. Using the PROCENTEC Mercury Pro Kit (A complete diagnostics tool for troubleshooting PROFIBUS and Industrial Ethernet Networks) we were able to identify the underlying issue as a short between the B-core (red wire) and the PROFIBUS cable shield. The short in the PROFIBUS cable meant that the differential signal was significantly lower in amplitude and therefore more susceptible to earthing faults and EMI injections on the bus. PROFIBUS makes use of a balanced signal. This means that the signal transmitted on the A and B channels have similar voltage levels, however, they have opposite polarities. The differential signal is calculated as B – ( – A). When a short occurs on the PROFIBUS cable between either of these cores and the PROFIBUS cable shield, the shorted core will