Best Practice in Industrial Data Communications


The objective of this workshop is to outline the best practice in designing, installing, commissioning and troubleshooting industrial data communications systems. In any given plant, factory or installation there are a myriad of different industrial communications standards used and the key to successful implementation is the degree to which the entire system integrates and works together.

With the vast number of different technologies and standards currently on the market, the debate is not “what is the best”, but rather how does industry assess and select the most appropriate for given applications.  (Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, Devicenet, Industrial Ethernet, Fiber Optic, Copper, Wireless) – then ensuring that best practice is followed in designing, installing and commissioning the data communication links to ensure they run fault-free.

The industrial data communications systems in your plant underpin your entire operation. It is critical that you apply best practice in designing, installing, troubleshooting and fixing any problems that may occur.

This workshop distils all the tips and tricks learnt with the benefit of many years of experience. You will learn the best, proven practices to follow.

The main steps in using today’s communications technologies today involve selecting the correct technology and standards for your plant based on your requirements; doing the design of the overall system; installing the cabling and then commissioning the system.

Fiber Optic cabling is generally accepted as the best approach for the physical communications but there are obviously areas where you will be forced to use copper wiring and/or, wireless communications. This workshop outlines the critical rules followed in installing the data communications physical transport media and then ensuring that the installation will be trouble-free for years to come.



  • Receive a certificate of attendance in support of your continuing professional commitment
  • All workshops include the associated hardcopy technical manual
  • Printed workshop handouts
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Interact and network with workshop attendees and experienced instructors
  • Practical, industry driven content to assist you in your continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Attendees automatically become IDC subscribers and receive exclusive deals and technical content every month


Anyone working with or required to follow best practice in the installation of industrial communications systems ranging from RS-232 to Fieldbus and Ethernet systems, including:

  • Consulting engineers
  • Designers
  • Design engineers
  • Electrical engineers
  • Electronic technicians
  • Instrumentation and control engineers
  • Network planners
  • Plant managers
  • Process control engineers
  • Shift electrician
  • Systems engineers
  • System integrators
  • Test engineers



  • Overview of the course
  • OSI model
  • Systems engineering approach
  • Attributes of typical communications systems
    • Media
    • Physical connections
    • Protocols
    • Applications
  • General issues
    • Noise
    • Earthing and grounding
    • Shielding
    • Protection against dust and moisture (IP ratings)


  • Copper/fibre
    • Cable standards
    • Cable distribution standards
    • Connector standards
    • EMC conformance standards
    • Splicing
    • Connector attachment
    • Drivers and detectors
    • Grounding
    • Termination
    • Protection against transients
  • Physical layer standards
    • EIA-232
    • EIA-485
    • 4-20 mA
    • IEC 61158-2 (Intrinsic safety)
  • Industrial networks
    • Industrial Ethernet
    • ASi
    • DeviceNet
    • Profibus
    • Foundation Fieldbus
    • Modbus Plus
    • Data Highway Plus
    • HART
    • Ethernet/IP
    • ControlNet
    • ProfiNet
    • Foundation Fieldbus HSE
  • Industrial protocols
    • TCP/IP
    • Modbus
    • Modbus TCP
    • DNP3
    • 60870 SCADA
  • Other technologies
    • VSAT
    • Wireless LAN
    • Wireless point to point

Which standards/technologies to use:

  • Field management (device) level
  • Process management (operator) level
  • Business management (enterprise) level
  • Long distance SCADA/telemetry links


  • Copper cabling and connectors
    • System design
    • Installation
    • Tips, tricks and pitfalls
  • Fibre cabling and connectors
    • System design
    • Installation
    • Tips, tricks and pitfalls
  • Wireless
    • System design
    • Installation
    • Tips, tricks and pitfalls


  • Copper infrastructure
  • Fibre infrastructure
  • Wireless infrastructure
  • Networks
    • Physical layer issues (OSI layer 1)
    • Data link layer issues (OSI layer 2)
    • Network layer issues (OSI layer 3)
    • Transport layer issues (OSI layer 4)
    • Application and “user” layer issues (OSI layers 7-“8”)
    • Client/server issues


There are several practical sessions and exercises you will undertake to give you a solid basis to the material you cover in the workshop:

  • Splicing fibre optic cable
  • Installing fibre optic connectors
  • Installing twisted pair connectors
  • Checking copper cable bandwidth and optimising cable termination
  • Testing copper cable using a cable tester
  • Testing RS-232 link
  • Testing RS-485 link
  • Setting up networks: Ethernet/DeviceNet
  • Using a protocol analyser
  • Designing a complete system

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