Panduit is working with industry leaders to provide them Converged Plant-wide Ethernet (CPwE) architecture, a collection of tested and validated architectures. It is the underlying architecture that provides standard network services for control and information disciplines, devices, and equipment found in modern IACS applications.
Resilient plant-wide network architectures serve a crucial role in achieving overall plant uptime and productivity. The CPwE architecture provides standard network services to the applications, devices, and equipment in modern IACS applications, and integrates them into the wider enterprise network. Successful deployment of CPwE logical architecture depends on a robust physical infrastructure network design that addresses environmental, performance, and physical security challenges with best practices from Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT).
Increasing the resilience of an industrial Ethernet network requires identifying the challenges and risks for underperforming networks and network disruptions, and defining appropriate countermeasures to achieve high resiliency. The challenge for network designers is to implement a scalable, reliable, secure, and future-ready network infrastructure across the varied, harsh environments of industrial plants. The networking assets must be placed across the plant floor with consideration of challenging environmental factors such as long distances, temperature extremes, humidity, shock/vibration, chemical/climatic conditions, water/dust ingress, and electromagnetic threats. These challenges present threats that can potentially degrade network performance, impact network reliability, and/or shorten asset longevity. In harsh environments, industrial Ethernet networked communications systems must be extremely durable to avoid physical deterioration in cabling infrastructure. Physical deterioration results in defective network performance and leads to loss of data transfer, costly downtime, or catastrophic failure. Therefore, strategic selection of cable jackets and connectors for industrial environments is essential.
Industrial physical infrastructure network building block systems comprised of integrated active gear can be deployed at most levels of the CPwE logical architecture. An industrial network building block system simplifies deployment of the network infrastructure required at each Level and Zone of the CPwE. The building block system, (Zoning) provides resiliency by containing the specified switching, routing, computing, and/or storage elements required for a given Zone in an enclosure, cabinet, or rack that is complete with cabling, cable management, identification, grounding, and power.
The CPwE plant network backbone consists of the distribution layer that converges one or more Cell/Area Zones to the overall plant network, IACS controllers, and connections to the edge IACS devices. The Cell/Area Zone represents the outer reaches of the network and provides the network connections to the machines, skids and equipment to be monitored, managed, and controlled. The Level 3 Site Operations includes virtual IACS application servers, security and network services, and a robust physical layer that addresses the environmental, performance, and security challenges present when deploying IT assets. The Level 3 Site Operations includes virtual IACS application servers, security and network services, and a robust physical layer that addresses the environmental, performance, and security challenges present when deploying IT assets.