Upgrading your control and communication network can seem like a daunting, expensive proposition. The main challenge is keeping the network operating during the transition with minimal downtime.
To achieve that, many operations schedule network upgrades during plant shutdowns. But there’s frequently so much other work to be done during shutdowns that the network upgrade gets postponed.
Adding to the complexity, there will always be unforeseen complications in older networks such as broken hardware and older software compatibility that will need to be resolved.
Other challenges arise with industrial wireless networks, which can face issues with updating the communication interface (generally moving from a legacy serial interface to Ethernet), adjusting the timing on the control hardware or ensuring downward compatibility in the wireless hardware.
An ESTeem industrial wireless network addresses many of these issues.
Updating the communication interface is simplified because all ESTeem radios have both serial and Ethernet interfaces. In most of our products, both interfaces can be used simultaneously. This can allow both the old control system with a serial interface to operate at the same time as the newer Ethernet network hardware without updating everything at once. It is then possible to upgrade remote locations systematically without major downtime.
Another factor that allows for systematic network upgrades is downward compatibility. ESTeem works very hard to make sure our products are downward compatible to the previous generation of radios. As a result, all new radio hardware is not required at all sites at the same time. For instance, the radio hardware can be upgraded at the same time as the control hardware at each remote site with minimal down time.
Our overall goal is to provide an industrial wireless network that can be implemented in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Thanks to our radios’ dual interface and downward compatibility, we can help you design a network upgrade that fits your budget and your schedule. With ESTeem radios, you can replace modules one at a time, providing plenty of opportunity for adjusting the timing on control hardware and resolving unforeseen complications.
An industrial wireless network upgrade can provide other benefits, as well. For instance, the higher wireless connection rate that usually results from an upgrade can provide additional bandwidth for wish-list items like on-line programming or a remote video link.
ESTeem has decades of experience designing efficient, cost-effective network upgrades. Contact us today for the assistance you need.