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.