Nowadays equipment suppliers are providing new Ethernet-based equipment and IP based application software and no longer provide further support for legacy serial-based devices. With this mixture of serial and Ethernet based equipment, it is difficult to monitor production processes. A serial-to-Ethernet device server can provide Real COM drivers or socket tunneling for legacy equipment connection in TCP/IP format. A reliable Ethernet network has become a critical part of a bottling plant’s infrastructure, due to harsh environments. Industrial managed Ethernet switches with fiber-optic solutions can be used to overcome this concern, because of their reliability, long lasting industrial grade design, and data transmission immunity. Layer 2 managed switches with data routing software can also increase the determinism of a bottling plant’s control network. A built-in ring redundancy feature eliminates any downtime concerns, and event handling software functions can send out alert emails to improve real-time monitoring and management.
Furthermore, some production areas in the facility might have cabling restrictions. In these instances, industrial wireless (IEEE 802.11) equipment can be considered, not only for its flexibility but also for its rugged wireless network signal sharing and built-in data management software.