Electronics are distributed everywhere. However, there are countless environments wholly unfriendly to circuit boards. Electronic equipment needs specialized protection to be able to work through adversity and deliver the technological promises they make. One of the standards for industrial protection of electronics is conformal coating. This coating provides a layer of defense that protects against high temperatures, moisture, corrosive chemicals, and even electric shocks. For example, salt fog from coastal regions, exhaust fumes from traffic, particulates from factory operations, and airborne chemicals from refineries are locations where industrial equipment, such as Ethernet switches, will need extra protection to operate.Continue reading
Sure, Internet of Things (IoT) is great. It’s easy to see the potential benefits of data mining and better analytics. None of that makes it easy to implement. IoT networks tend to be large in both size and throughput, and it presents plenty of challenges from the design standpoint. One of those challenges is incorporating older equipment into IoT networks without spending a fortune. For a while, 2G and 3G worked well for many networks, but major carriers are phasing them out. LTE Category 1 (Cat 1) is a replacement for legacy 2G and 3G. Cat M1 and NB1 are not far behind. These new, low-bandwidth technologies help many IoT networks expand capacity for surprisingly little money. Continue reading
Everyone loves to rave about the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT). However, few people appreciate the demands IoT systems bring to the table. Cost management and network design are hard enough, but the bulk of IoT field devices operate at minimum power and data flow. Many were deployed in control and automation facilities decades ago and support only simple communication functions. This creates a unique security challenge. IoT can force a designer to incorporate anywhere from hundreds to millions of endpoint devices without being able to secure them on an individual basis. There are many approaches to solving this problem. One feasible solution is to create private networking layers to minimize risk without spending exorbitant amounts on each IoT device. Continue reading
At this point, most IT pros and network engineers do not need to be convinced of the value of the Internet of Things (IoT). Instead, the focus is on finding practical ways to implement the technology. With explosive levels of adoption, there are many options out there. Some manufacturers are simply rolling Wi-Fi into everything. While this can work, it’s not economical over long ranges. The obvious alternative is to use LTE. Although, LTE data plans can get pricey. In the end, managing IoT over long distance amplifies the standard problems of large networks. Technologies used to connect IoT devices are commonly called Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN). LPWAN may implement legacy cellular technology or direct radio communication. Continue reading
When shopping for industrial electronics, knowledge of computational and networking capacities is only half the battle. It is also important to understand durability ratings and how they work. The standard you’ve likely seen is the IP rating. It is frequently used by manufacturers to show what conditions equipment has been tested to withstand. And, it graduates from generic terms like “waterproof” to quantifiable expectations. Understanding IP ratings can help you pick the right electronics more economically, and it brings better peace of mind by establishing proper confidence in your devices. Continue reading
Industrial networks have many demands, and one of the principle rules is that downtime isunacceptable. With the myriad design elements available, it can be difficult to pinpoint which is best for your industry. If Ethernet plays a major role in your network infrastructure, then ERPS might be the most cost-effective way to add redundancy and up-time protection to any network, regardless of size and traffic.
Media access is an essential component of empowering employees and workstations to achieve their fullest. Sometimes simple WiFi access can boost productivity on even simple tasks. In more extreme cases, Internet of Things (IoT) and similar massive data sampling require virtually every square foot of your facility have fast and reliable wireless communication. No matter the intended utility, if you require industrial Wi-Fi, you have to understand how to manage gaps.
Corporate networks have a lot of needs. Whether you run a small office or an enterprise, your users rely on you for convenient, secure ways to access and share information and electronic tools. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an almost inevitable upgrade for any corporate network. It can vastly expand both security and utility for your network, and it can give your company entire dimensions of new options for performing tasks and enabling employees to function at their peak.
Running cables to a camera is no fun at all. Every unit needs both power and way of sending a feed back to base. It’s hard enough inside a building or vehicle, but remote installations multiply the challenges. That means taking cables out to access gates, parking lots, or anywhere else that needs monitoring. Run them above ground and they’re exposed to weather and attack. Put them underground and you face some steep bills. Switching to Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) cameras halves the problem and could help solve it entirely. Continue reading
There are so many possibilities in network design, that finding the right solution can be overwhelming. If you have wondered if Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the right course for your project, then this guide is for you. You’ll learn about PoE basics, cost saving opportunities, common applications and general reasons why you should or should not utilize PoE. Continue reading