Setting Up, Understanding and Troubleshooting of Industrial Ethernet and Automation Networks


Ethernet is fast becoming the obvious choice for automation networks worldwide. It is a rugged, versatile technology, equally at home in a chemical plant, on an ocean-going vessel and in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft. While the packet structure of Ethernet has not changed since its inception, technologies such as fast and gigabit Ethernet, industrial Ethernet, VLANs, redundant rings and real-time (deterministic) Ethernet for motor control applications have increased the complexity and choices available in planning and designing these systems.  As Ethernet has become more complex, a number of misconceptions have arisen as to how Ethernet functions and how the system should be optimally configured. This workshop addresses these issues in a clear and practical manner.

Ethernet can be easily augmented with wireless technologies, and the workshop takes a brief look at the current and emerging industrial wireless technologies such as IEEE802.11, wireless mesh and wireless sensor networks; how they function, and where they fit into the overall picture.

Ethernet is almost synonymous with the TCP/IP protocol suite. Because of its rugged design and the fact that it is Internet-compatible, all major automation system vendors are adopting TCP/IP (and, of course, Ethernet). This complex topic will be covered in an easily-understandable and coherent manner.

OPC has made vast inroads into the process automation arena and has been adopted by every single SCADA system vendor. We will look at current standards, in particular the DA standard, and also at new developments such as the ‘Unified Architecture’. We will also highlight some tricky implementation issues and ways to avoid the pitfalls. 

With regard to the automation arena there is a strong move to wireless and Ethernet/TCP/IP. We will look at the offerings of the HART communication foundation, the open DeviceNet Vendor Association, The PROFIBUS/PROFINET user organisations and the fieldbus foundation, as well as the latest Ethernet fieldbuses such as EtherCAT, EPL and SercosIII, to get an overall idea of the current trends. In particular we will focus on the real-time issue, a prerequisite for motor control applications. Real-time Ethernet can now operate at sub-millisecond access times and less than one microsecond jitter. We will look at the various offerings by the abovementioned vendors and the two basic methods through which this incredible performance is being achieved.

Finally we will look at every system manager’s nightmare, security, and will suggest some simple common-sense and internationally-accepted measures to keep the hackers at bay. 


  • 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 who wants to get the latest up to date practical information on industrial data communications systems and challenges ranging from fieldbus and Ethernet systems to OPC and security, including:

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



  • The OSI model and client/server paradigm
  • The overall picture: where all these technologies fit in
  • Current trends


  • Background: IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD
  • Fast, gigabit and ten gigabit Ethernet
  • Switched Ethernet networks, redundant rings and VLANs
  • Industrial Ethernet components
  • Real-time (deterministic) Ethernet and IEEE1588 
  • Implementation and troubleshooting


  • Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Wireless mesh networks  (IEEE 802.15.4)
  • Wireless sensor networks (IEEE 1451)


  • The TCP/IP protocol suite
  • Network layer protocols (IPv4, ICMP, ARP)
  • Host-to-host layer protocols (TCP, UDP)
  • Application layer protocols (FTP, HTTP, Telnet etc)
  • Configuration and troubleshooting


  • The OPC concept       
  • OPC specifications and unified architecture
  • DCOM and registry issues
  • OPD DA (Data Access)
  • Redundancy, tunnelling and bridging
  • Implementation and troubleshooting issues (especially Windows XP SP2)


  • Fieldbus definition and standards
  • HART communication foundation: HART and WirelessHART
  • ODVA: DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP and CIPSync
  • Fieldbus foundation: FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and HSE
  • Real-time Ethernet fieldbuses:
    • EtherCAT
    • Ethernet PowerLink (EPL)
    • Sercos III        


  • Authentication
  • Encryption
  • Firewalls
  • Wireless LAN issues
  • Practical steps to safeguard your automation network


  • Install and configure an industrial wireless access point as part of Ethernet network
  • Interconnect industrial wireless and Ethernet networks
  • Control access with MAC address filtering
  • Perform path loss calculations on radio link
  • Use protocol analyser to solve Ethernet problems
  • Connect up simple analog and digital I/O system to network
  • Troubleshoot a HART instrument
  • Analyse protocols for ProfiNet and Ethernet/IP
  • Configure IP addresses and subnet masks
  • Analyse ARP/ICMP/IP/UDP/TCP using protocol analyser
  • Connect up different packages using OPC
  • Troubleshoot a simple OPC problem
  • Set up a simple firewall
  • Demonstrate network security using encryption and authentication

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