For various industrial applications, communication cables are not an option. This can be due to moving parts, temperature or a physically/chemically harsh environment. A number of companies have decided to think outside of the standard PROFIBUS interface solutions and transport PROFIBUS wirelessly according to a transparent method.
What are the greatest advantages of wireless PROFIBUS?
- Moving parts
- Radio, Infrared and WiFi
There are several reasons to avoid using cables. This not only counts for PROFIBUS but for all communication systems. Below are a number of applications:
- Moving machine parts
- Carts ad transport vehicles
- Inaccessible places (chemical, temperature)
- Surpassing streets and buildings
- Mobile terminals
- Flexible conveyor belts
Converters built into the cable are nevertheless unavoidable to transition from cabled to wireless. Usually, two converters are needed to realize one wireless path: cable-wireless to wireless-cable.
The easiest method is the use of radio modems that need to operate on a slow PROFIBUS baud rate. Bus parameters also need to be adjusted in the PLC to coordinate the timing on the modems. This is the most pure transparent form, albeit relatively slow (maximum 187.5 kbps). The cabled devices that use the same master also need to operate on this speed. This means that the user needs to put in some work to create a reliable wireless application. Fortunately, PROCENTEC’s experts have experience with these modems and can assist the user to successfully implement this.
Another method is to make use of a link that is a master and emulates the devices on the other side of the wireless unit. This is a wireless converter tailor-made for PROFIBUS. The emulation of devices ensures that the real master (the PLC) does not “see” that there is wireless communication at play and exchanges information with the devices directly. The baud rate can then also be 12 Mbps without influencing the wireless communication. This is comparable to the DP/PA links that are used for PROFIBUS PA.
Do you want to learn more about wireless PROFIBUS? Reach out to our Service & Support department for non-binding advice. We are happy to help.