Once again, the Johannesburg branch technology evening had to held virtually. We were happy to have Stahl SA involved, with Diogo Fidalgo doing a presentation on ‘Ethernet and network technologies for the process industry’.
First, he explained the difference between digitisation, converting analog to digital, digitalisation, converting a process into a digital equivalent and digital transformation, where people make use of digital data to optimise a process. This was explained with practical examples of data from a field device, all the way through to the asset management level.
We have heard of Industry 4.0 before, but that’s more towards industrial automation, rather than considering the specific needs of the process industry. Ideally, end users are looking for a single tool to design and plan an entire project, where all the suppliers of automation equipment are compatible.
Diogo went further by explaining Ethernet APL for hazardous areas, outlining the topology and where Ethernet-APL 10BASE-T1L(I.S) comes into the picture. This is quite special, being a 2-wire Ethernet network up to 1000 metres, with communication, power and intrinsically safe.
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