For any factory manager, it is his/her primary goal to maintain a consistent level of quality as well as meet the production volumes of the goods produced. Without having real-time access to information from the equipment within a manufacturing facility, managers must manually gather the necessary information that they need to make responsible decisions to maintain production and quality levels.
If factory equipment is working improperly or is outside of its normal range of operation, the manager and his/her staff must manually monitor these machines to determine where the problem exists. Sometimes a factory will use PCs to perform this monitoring function; however, managers often times encounter trouble with maintaining PCs on the factory floor due to the harsh conditions that exist in most factories.
Equipped with device information in real-time, managers can gain improved and consistent system performance, all contributing to better product quality and achieving production schedules. Managers can also automate their quality control using device networking by ensuring that the critical parameters of their factory systems are monitored and maintained within appropriate ranges. This monitoring, maintenance and even troubleshooting of production equipment can be conducted remotely.
Industrial device networking products must be built to operate in harsh, extreme environments and support standard communication protocols. This networking also allows managers to leverage their existing network wiring and corporate IP networks. To access the networked devices via the Internet, these networking products should have a built-in Web server to allow users to remotely access and manage the attached equipment using a standard Web browser. Multiple industrial serial devices can also be cascaded from a single network backbone connection eliminating the need for expensive hubs and cabling.
Industrial equipment can be quickly and easily networked using a device server. The device server is a complete network enabling solution enclosed in a ruggedised RJ-45 or external box package that can create a networked environment from simple serial data.