MRO Magazine

New troubleshooting and management tools help plant engineers manage industrial Ethernet

Mississauga, ON -- Fluke Networks, a provider of network solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of ente...


Mississauga, ON — Fluke Networks, a provider of network solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks, has announced the availability of a wide range of troubleshooting and management tool sets for the industrial Ethernet market.

 

Fluke Networks’ industrial Ethernet solutions, along with electrical test solutions from sister company Fluke Corporation, help plant maintenance professionals quickly troubleshoot industrial network issues, prevent reoccurrence of these issues and improve uptime and plant productivity.

 

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Industrial Ethernet use is projected to grow 50% each year for the next five years , replacing an assortment of analogue devices and vendor-proprietary communication links that perform critical plant automation and process management tasks. This transition offers lower costs and simpler operation through standardized components and a mature, proven technology. But it also creates a challenge. Ethernet was developed in relatively clean office settings, and now must perform in the harsh environment of the factory. This puts increased importance on the quality of the installation, as well as ongoing monitoring for degradation from heat, corrosion and vibration.

 

Ethernet also adds a new technology segment to the plant maintenance professional’s growing list of responsibilities.

 

Responding to comments from current industrial Ethernet users, such as “downtime is $3,500 per hour” and “I need to check the cabling before making the expensive call to the integrator,” Fluke and Fluke Networks have assembled a set of industrial Ethernet test and measurement tools that address the new responsibilities placed on plant maintenance professionals. Now maintenance staff can troubleshoot problems ranging from electrical wiring and discrete devices to cable degradation, signal interference and network traffic issues.

 

These new industrial Ethernet solutions cover three primary areas where industrial networking issues can occur: the network, electrical signalling, and cabling infrastructure. Specific problems addressed by these industrial Ethernet solutions include:

 

• Discovery and documentation of devices, connectivity and network segmentation plus management of active network traffic with the EtherScope Series II Network Assistant.

 

• Device troubleshooting and analogue signal analysis by the Fluke 225 and 125 Industrial Network Test ScopeMeters.

 

• Troubleshooting and certification of physical layer network cabling, including connectivity and cable throughput, using the DTX CableAnalyzer Series.

 

• Certification of new fibre links and troubleshooting of poorly performing fibre links using the OptiFiber Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR).

 

The industrial Ethernet solutions from Fluke and Fluke Networks are supported by an online Solution Centre that offers quick links to troubleshooting guides, white papers and training information. More information can be found at www.flukenetworks.com/industrial.