The idea of converging voice and data communications has made its way into industrial operations such as manufacturing, oil and gas production, and mining.
It appears to be a natural fit, as advanced, integrated features can connect users from field operators to executive management teams with next-generation networks, providing cost savings from consolidated hardware and streamlined operations.
However, there are issues that make companies balk at overhauling their networks and deploying new equipment. For example, at what point do legacy technologies become obsolete in the face of advancing IP technologies? And at what cost?
Carrier-class network access, connectivity and VoIP products provider Patton-Inalp Networks AG
sets out to answer these questions and more in a recently published white paper
titled, “The Future of Legacy in Next-Generation Industrial Networks.”
The paper lays out an extensive analysis of costs and benefits of implementing such a big change and whether a company is ready to make the migration to converged-IP networks or transition to Ethernet/IP is wanted, the paper is a must read.
In all, Patton (News
) says, as industrial automation transitions to converged-IP communications, there is a good deal of residual value in legacy network technologies that can – and should – be leveraged.
According to Patton, Interface converters are a prime solution providing a “cost-effective” strategy designed to preserve investments in asynchronous devices while realizing the benefits of IP convergence.
In addition, the paper details how IP-enabled multiplexers can be used to provide similar advantages by leveraging sync-serial transmission technologies that operate over existing twisted-pair infrastructure.
The Maryland-based company says Ethernet extenders can solve the distance, cabling and environmental shortcomings of standard Ethernet
to enable deployment in industrial environments.
Patton is the creator of SmartNode
VoIP technology. The company provides extensive services in the Ethernet Extenders space with business-class network access, connectivity and VoIP equipment.
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Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.