How to Modernise PROFIBUS Networks
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Why to Modernise PROFIBUS Networks?

Do you still use PROFIBUS communications on your factory floor? Then you need your networks to be reliable and failure-free. Their health does not only depend on the condition of individual components, but also on network topology and the way in which the components are connected and interconnected.

Network modernisation is not limited to repairs – it includes making networks more robust and well-organised. Fault finding and troubleshooting then become much more efficient.

How to make your PROFIBUS more resilient?

Optimise PROFIBUS segment length

Although the PROFIBUS standard permits up to 32 devices on one PROFIBUS segment, it is highly recommended that you make your segments shorter. Why? Because a single fault can affect the behaviour of all the 32 devices. The lower the number of devices connected to a segment, the faster you are likely to localise problems. In addition, the higher the number of shorter segments, the more robust network you get.

    • Shorten and isolate your segments by installing multi-repeaters. We love to deploy ProfiHub multi-repeaters from the company PROCENTEC, as they offer outstanding galvanic segment isolation. This means that electromagnetic interference that occurs in one segment does not spread to other segments. Fault finding and troubleshooting thus become much easier.

      ProfiHubs are fast to deploy, with no changes to the PLC program required.

    Improve network topology

    Choosing the right network topology is important in that it makes it easier for you to orient yourself and localise faults. We recommend the star topology – your network becomes well-organised and the quality of signal in individual segments can be measured from one place.

    And if you need even more robust communications, for example on key production lines, where downtime is not allowed, use the fully redundant ring topology.

    • For creating network topologies, we also recommend ProfiHub multi-repeaters. Choose from our ProfiHub offerings, depending on how many segments and what topology you need to create.

    Keep cables and connectors healthy

    Network reliability depends, to a great extent, on healthy connectors and cabling and correctly connected components. Trying to make your networks more robust without checking on the health of the above-mentioned parts is a waste of time, as faults will develop sooner or later.

    • Check on the health of your network using the ProfiTrace 2 analyser. This tester can detect all faults. Then replace all defective cables and connectors to make your network 100% reliable again.

    Wireless connection

    In many production plants, you will find moving machines that contain PROFIBUS stations connected via flexible PROFIBUS cables or slip rings, such as gantry cranes, carousel machines and stacker cranes. If flexible cables or slip rings break, repairing them is often expensive and difficult. And sometimes the situation does not allow you to use flexible cables at all. Then you have to find another solution.

  • Learn how to take a better care of your networks

    Would you like to get a deeper insight into your networks? Sign up for our PROFIBUS training. You will learn how to build, analyse and rejuvenate PROFIBUS networks.

    Need help with your networks?

    Leave it up to us! Our qualified technicians have analysed over 3,500 industrial networks and will be happy to share their knowledge with you. We will carry out diagnostics of your PROFIBUS network, provide you with a detailed test report and propose options for making your network more reliable.

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