8 Qualities of an Ideal Ethernet Network for Motion Control

ethernet network for motion controlMotion control applications are some of the most demanding applications in the industrial sector. Accurate and efficient data transfer is critical for a properly functioning motion control system. Historically, network capability has lagged behind data transfer needs.

Recently, newer protocols, such as Ethernet POWERLINK, have been able to resolve data transfer challenges in motion control applications.

8 Ethernet Network Qualities for Motion Control

In today’s industrial environment, there are 8 qualities of an ideal Ethernet network for motion control.

1. Real-Time Performance and High-Efficiency: Data transfer needs to happen in real time for motion-control systems to remain functional. The Ethernet POWERLINK protocol features one managing node and several control nodes to do just that.

2. Large Asynchronous Bandwidth: Avoiding complex time synchronization processes on a large bandwidth network enables a system to transfer data as fast as possible.

3. One Network for All Automation: Using a single network enables node-to-node communication, meaning there’s no need to exchange all data at the fastest cycle time.

4. Flexible Network Topology: Creating flexibility in network topology helps your system work for all automation processes, further enabling node-to-node communication.

5. Hot Pluggable: A hot pluggable system creates higher productivity. It enables modular system support, as well as various topologies.

6. High Availability (Redundancy): Different redundancies allow you to determine if a cable is broken, or, keep the network operational should a cable or master node fail.

7. Electromagnetic Capability (EMC): New machines have noisy electric power components. EMC minimizes data loss from noise since each frame has data from one network item.

8. Commissioning and Maintenance: There are plenty of free tools online. Essentially, it’s best to have an unambiguous view of the whole network without data manipulation for easy, cost-effective maintenance.

Data transfer is an essential part of motion control, so it’s vital that your network can meet the needs of your motion control system. An Ethernet network with the 8 qualities listed above will provide the highest quality data transfer.