Challenges & Chances of Hybrid Wired Network
Demanding factory automation needs flexible communication networks
Wireless communication networks will facilitate current and enable future industrial applications, if interoperability issues are overcome and full flexibility is accessible. However, the currently employed wired networks, especially in demanding factory automation applications, are rigid in their communication protocol and their physical structure. Moreover, they will not be completely replaced by a more flexible and retrofittable wireless network in the near future. In order to support the deployment of wireless communication networks, hybrid wired-wireless networks have to be developed. Here, the cooperation of wired and wireless network has to be efficient to fulfill the challenging industrial requirements and maintain the wired network's performance.
Generic hybrid wired-wireless network
The talk gave an overview on industrial requirements by reviewing industrial applications and identifying the relevant properties of state of the art industrial networks. Based on this overview, a generic hybrid wired-wireless network topology was discussed. Since state-of-the-art wireless networks are not suitable to fulfil the applications' requirements, the basics of a promising new physical layer (PHY) approach were presented: parallel sequence spread spectrum (PSSS). The PSSS PHY offers a great flexibility to resource sharing, which is especially attractive to industrial communication networks. Finally, the German ParSec project (https://www.parsec-projekt.de) was shortly introduced as it focusses on the implementation of such a hybrid wired-wireless communication network.