R3 Communications

Manufacturing without cables

4. Dezember 2019, 10:00 Uhr | Andreas Knoll
Das »Echoring SoM« (links) und die »Echoring Ethernet Bridge« von R3 Communications
The "Echoring SoM" (left) and the "Echoring Ethernet Bridge" by R3 Communications
© R3 Communications

R3 Reliable Realtime Radio Communications presents its first series products "Echoring Ethernet Bridge" (EREB) and "Echoring System on Module" (SoM) at the SPS. They are intended to complement wired industrial Ethernet networks with equally powerful wireless connections.

Applications in industrial automation require a critical synchronization of different devices, which in the past was only possible via wired networks. Industrial communication 4.0 can, however, be a burden on cabling: Machines must also be reached when the transmitter or receiver is in motion; scalability requires a more flexible approach than fixed physical connections; and moving parts are more susceptible to maintenance problems.

Many companies that want to operate IIoT and Industrial 4.0 solutions require wireless networks that match the performance and reliability of existing wired control networks. R3's "echo ring" achieves real-time performance levels with latencies of up to 1 ms, even in demanding industrial environments. It supports reliable, low-latency wireless M2M communication while delivering performance similar to wired systems.

"Echoring" includes a range of software solutions combined with hardware modules, standalone devices or reference designs based on Texas Instruments' WiLink 8 combo connectivity device for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The products are easy to integrate into existing networks. Supported industrial communication protocols include Profinet, Profisafe, EtherNet/IP, CIP Safety, UDP, TCP/IP and SafetyNet. Additional tools are available for integration, operation and maintenance of the product range.

Thanks to the source code of the "WiLink 8", R3 Communications has adapted the "Echoring" technology to function as firmware on the "WiLink 8". "Echoring" uses radio technology that provides deterministic access, combined with support for safety levels up to SIL 3, and can be retrofitted into existing industrial hardware and software to help upgrade previous investments.

The Echoring Ethernet Bridge is housed in an IP65 enclosure and has two M12 connectors for Ethernet connectivity and power supply. The Ethernet cable is plugged in and wireless communication is implemented via "echoring". The "Echoring-SoM" offers the entire range of functions on a 30 x 32 mm board for deep integration into the machine. Both products are pre-certified for CE and also enable wireless functional safety applications, such as a portable emergency stop button. Cybersecurity is supported by Olympus Sky.

Arrow Electronics has signed an agreement to offer the full range of echo ring network products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Arrow is present at the R3 Communications SPS booth. Under the agreement, Arrow will offer a starter kit that allows users to test Echoring's performance in their own production environment by replacing existing Ethernet connections with the kit's wireless stations.

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