Survive A Network Failure Without Duplicating The Network

By Bernie Anger, General Manager, Controls & Communications Systems

Ensuring high levels of system uptime is essential for many control systems, as this drives productivity and profitability. The risk of downtime is a significant concern since it negatively impacts operational resources and the bottom line. According to the ARC Advisory Group, plant downtime costs average about $12,500 per hour–of course, these costs will be less for some control systems and much more for others.

Ethernet-based I/O networks provide many compelling advantages. However, like a traditional fieldbus, they also provide many opportunities for failures in the numerous network interface modules, ports, and cables that run throughout the installation. To guarantee a high level of system uptime, some technique must be used to ensure that I/O communication is not disrupted when one of these components fails.