Practical Industrial Data Communications by Deon Reynders
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Practical Industrial Data Communications by Deon Reynders

The objective of this book is to outline the best practice in designing, installing, commissioning and troubleshooting industrial data communications systems. In any given plant, factory or installation there are a myriad of different industrial communications standards used and the key to successful implementation is the degree to which the entire system integrates and works together.

With so many different standards on the market today, the debate is not about what is the best – be it Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, Devicenet or Industrial Ethernet – but rather about selecting the most appropriate technologies and standards for a given application and then ensuring that best practice is followed in designing, installing and commissioning the data communications links to ensure they run fault-free. The industrial data communications systems in your plant underpin your entire operation.

It is critical that you apply best practice in designing, installing and fixing any problems that may occur. This book distills all the tips and tricks learnt with the benefit of many years of experience and gives the best proven practices to follow. The main steps in using today's communications technologies involve selecting the correct technology and standards for your plant based on your requirements; doing the design of the overall system; installing the cabling and then commissioning the system.

Fiber Optic cabling is generally accepted as the best approach for physical communications but there are obviously areas where you will be forced to use copper wiring and, indeed, wireless communications. This book outlines the critical rules followed in installing the data communications physical transport media and then ensuring that the installation will be trouble-free for years to come.

The important point to make is that with today’s wide range of protocols available, you only need to know how to select, install and maintain them in the most cost-effective manner for your plant or factory – knowledge of the minute details of the protocols is not necessary. Chapters 4–6 (inclusive) cover RS-232, RS-485, and 4–20 mA. Note: Throughout this book, we will refer to RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485. One is often criticized for using these terms of reference, since in reality they are obsolete.

However, if we briefly examine the history of the organization that defined these standards, it is not difficult to see why they are still in use today and will probably continue as such. The Electronics Industry Association (EIA) of America defined the common serial interface RS-232. ‘RS’ stands for ‘recommended standard’, and the number (suffix-232) refers to the interface specification of the physical device. The EIA has since established many standards and amassed a library of white papers on various implementations of them.

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