netTAP 151, Hilscher's answer to the eternal dilemma of having different Industrial Ethernet protocols on a plant, has "opened up a lot of new applications for us", says North American Distribution Manager Victor Wolowec.
"A growing connectivity challenge in North America is transferring IO data between Industrial Ethernet systems. netTAP151 makes this easy for all the popular protocols," he says. A recent example involved a large USA aircraft manufacturer which uses Automated Guided Vehicles to transport parts around its factories. "The AGVs run with Siemens' PROFINET controllers but the automation systems are Rockwell-based EtherNET/IP PLCs," he says. "Increasingly, multiple AGVs are chained together in trains and netTAP151 not only links the factory system to the first AGV but then acts in master/slave combinations to transmit signals along the chain." Cross-linking applications ranging from doughnut production to Traffic Control are being supported too.
netTAP 151 transmits IO data bi-directionally between any two Industrial Real-Time Ethernet networks. Currently, PROFINET, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, POWERLINK and Sercos are supported, in master and slave combinations. Secure network separation is ensured by two Ethernet controllers, each with a dual Ethernet port and integrated switch, enabling star, ring and inline network topologies without further peripherals. Data processing time is less than 10 milliseconds. netTAP151