In the world of Automation and Industrial technology, every industry would like to be up to date with the current use of communication protocol. Ethernet protocols are the most standard form of a protocol to be used by most companies. The next growth that can be seen independently for better communication among the technologies are OPC UA, TSN, and IO-Link.
As per a current independent market study “Industrial Communication/Industry 4.0 2020” by Dipl.- Betriebswirtin Michaela Rothöft, who is a research associate at the University of Applied Sciences Südwestfalen with the support of VDMA Electrical Automation Association, more than 90% of machine builders use “Industry 4.0” features for plug and play and the coexistence of several protocols. The recent development of such protocols supports the monitoring/predictive maintenance, cloud connection for every 2nd machine builder.
However, with the development security of such machines is also prioritized, security measures such as VPN/encryption, users/rights management, and firewalls, and also switches with security are highly in demand. Profinet is the most common protocol, followed by TCP/IP (control level) and TCP/IP (field level), Ethernet/IP to be used mostly, and EtherCAT in assembly/handling/robotics. Handling equipment/lifting gear is also important for the manufacturing of materials.
In my opinion, the world of communication of the data among the machines is the most important element, and it is the latest trends to be in sync with the ongoing progressive development or enhancement of the machines.