The new Gigabit Ethernet network standard provides a transfer rate which is ten times higher than that of all previously announced real-time Ethernet variants. Moreover, Ethernet Powerlink allows users easy access to the high-speed bus. As EPL is an open, software-based system, only the hardware platform made up of standard modules needs to be exchanged. Powerlink safety solutions also benefit greatly from the increased performance, since the safety protocol was developed from the start based on the higher data transfer rate. Application examples include plants with a high production output which incorporate numerous modular control systems and drives and completely integrated safety technology. The Ethernet Powerlink Standardization Group is convinced that while current transfer rates of existing systems may be sufficient for most applications, the new technology will bring about long-term effects such as a higher output and a more exact synchronization of all processes involved in production. The trend towards modular plants is especially prevalent in the packaging industry. For these applications, Gigabit Ethernet provides a per-spective for the next ten years. "We implement this advance in information technology quickly and seamlessly, using standard modules", comments EPSG chairman Dr. Edwin Kiel. Kiel also announces that full-scale comprehensive EPL implementations will be further enhanced by an increasingly broader product range and the integration of safety technology.
Figure: In the fast lane:
Gigabit Ethernet ensures real-time data exchange at 1000 Mbit/s