The increased use of Ethernet in industrial applications requires control engineers to understand the principles of Ethernet Network design. This paper will discuss some basic principles that a control engineer needs to consider in the planning/design phase of an Industrial Automation Ethernet Network. This paper will also take the reader through a sample network design to illustrate how to apply these principles. Let’s start by defining some network basics. A network is a group of devices that communicate to each other via a transmission media. Each device is identified by a Physical Address and a Logical Address. The Physical Address is a permanent address which is burnt into the device. It is know in the industry as the MAC address. The Logical Address is a configurable network address, the devices IP address. IP addresses are often times assigned by the company IT administrator. The network can be divided into sub networks which can be connected together via a router. Before designing a network one needs to be familiar with some basic Ethernet principles; Types of Ethernet Traffic, Infrastructure Devices, Ethernet Cables/ Connectors, and Network Topologies. The following sections will expand on these principles.
Schneider Automation (2010) Network Design Basics