Drives and Controls Magazine

Wireless bridge links Ethernet networks

18 November, 2011

HMS Industrial Networks has developed a wireless “bridge” that allows industrial Ethernet networks to be extended wirelessly over distances of up to 400m (in open air). The Anybus Wireless Bridge makes it possible to connect industrial devices running Profinet, EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP, via cable-free links.

As well as providing a wireless bridge between two points in an industrial Ethernet network, the system can also connect devices to an existing wireless infrastructure. HMS says it will make life easier for systems integrators and network designers who need to create connections in hazardous areas or to awkward locations, or on moving installations where cables are not desirable.

The wireless connections are made using either Bluetooth or WLAN technologies. The WLAN approach provides a wider bandwidth because of its broader frequency range, but the Bluetooth version is more reliable and noise-immune because Bluetooth switches between different frequencies.

“We see an emerging need in the market for industrial-quality wireless communication,” says Henrik Arleving, HMS’ line manager for remote management products. “Wireless technology is nowadays very reliable and it is becoming more and more accepted on the industrial automation market. The Anybus Wireless Bridge provides a simple solution to complicated connectivity problems and is yet another step in our efforts to make industrial networking easier.”