PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Tool Demonstration: Hardware Setup (0:00)

This is a brief tutorial on how to operate the Procentec PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Toolkit Ultra Plus. For this tutorial, the PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Toolkit Ultra Plus is used. The PROFIBUS Training Kit will also be utilized; this is used for our troubleshooting and maintenance training using the ProfiTrace tools. In the PROFIBUS Training Kit, there is a PLC in the bottom of the case as well as five devices in the inner lid of the case. The last thing we will use is a Windows PC that is running ProfiTrace software.

Inside the toolkit, there is a ProfiCore Ultra, which is the black hardware module. This is the only piece of hardware needed. There are a couple of cables included to help interface this hardware to a PROFIBUS network. The tool kit also comes with a tap cable that connects to the ProfiCore Ultra. In addition to this, there is a USB cable that connects from the other side of the ProfiCore Ultra into a PC or laptop. The last thing included in the training kit is a user’s manual that explains how to use the software.

In order to connect the ProfiCore Ultra to a PROFIBUS instillation, attach the tap cable to the ProfiCore Ultra. Then take the USB cable and plug it into the other side of the ProfiCore Ultra, which will then be plugged into a PC or laptop. Once this is set up, simply take the tap connector and put it on the back of an existing connector on the instillation. In our example, the existing connector is a piggyback (PG) connector attached to the cable coming out of the PLC. Attach the ProfiCore Ultra to the back of that connector. In this case, we want to make sure that the terminating resistor is in the off position.

For product information and to purchase, visit http://gridconnect.com/industrial-protocols/profibus.html

The Internet of Things and Networking

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to grow at a rapid pace as more devices are becoming connected. However, the IoT is rendered useless without a system of networking to support it. As WiFi-enabled devices increase in popularity, the demand for networking will expand substantially. IoT-based technology is disrupting the current networking market due to vast amount of data that is collected and the quantity of devices connected to the Internet. Companies will be expected to have extremely efficient networks that will allow for real time analysis. In addition to this, simply having faster Internet speeds is essential in supporting the rise of IoT devices.

One of the developing applications of IoT devices is found within the smart home. Smart technology devices require extremely fast networks. The IoT-enabled ConnectSense sensors and Smart Outlet rely on networking to enable machine-to-machine communication. Your ConnectSense products collect large quantities of data in order to provide you with accurate and efficient analysis. Improving the ConnectSense cloud is one of the ways Grid Connect is able to help you adapt to the implementation of IoT devices in your home. The best way to fulfill the necessity of having a fast network is by creating quicker router speeds and ensuring that WiFi is able to be accessed everywhere in the home with a more advanced networking framework.

A strong network is essential for the use of various IoT products, whether it’s a smart home device, a piece of wearable technology, or even if it’s for an industrial application. Managing your network can be accomplished with the use of a Grid Connect gateway device to improve USB, serial, or custom sensor connections. Gateways and other networking devices can help improve networking abilities in order to support the demanding nature of connected and data-driven devices. Finding a perfect network configuration will compensate for whatever quantity of data your IoT devices are bringing in.

It is clear that the impact the IoT is having on networking is only going to expand as the demand for a more connected and efficient world continues to increase. Having quality control of networks will allow for an improved customer experience. Creating networks that can handle a great deal of traffic and data will allow you to be prepared for the IoT’s disruption of the networking market.

NEW PRODUCT ALERT: ProfiSwitch X5

profiswitch-x5-_d-rgb_1500x1500The ProfiSwitch X5 is a multiple baud rate, multi-channel PROFIBUS Repeater with 5 channels. This device is a powerful package that ensures reduced installation complexity, increased time utilization, and better deployment of project resources. Having 5 channels of communication on 1 unit requires less repeaters and connectors to purchase. Quick connection of channels, auto baud rate detection, and unit termination reduces installation time and costs. Better maintenance control is obtained by spur line isolation, DB9 and pin connectors for operational troubleshooting and maintenance measurements, and notification capabilities of failure.

When network designs require optimal speeds, the X5 ProfiSwitch will operate with multiple baud rates on 1 PLC without any special programming. This capability solves some legacy system issues which occur from numerous project upgrades. Wireless systems can also be connected without sacrificing speed of the communication on the rest of the network.

Adding to legacy systems no longer require creating a separate network. Just install the ProfiSwitch X5 as a spur line extender. Monitoring is done with the utilization of a ProfiTrace PROFIBUS testing unit on a DB9 connector located on the X5.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.49.30 PM> Learn More

Brittney Borowicz Named Vice President, Marketing at Grid Connect

Brittney Borowicz has been promoted to vice president of marketing at Grid Connect, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality networking products.

An integrated marketing professional with a strong communications background specializing in journalism, public relations and social media, Borowicz joined Naperville-based Grid Connect two years ago and has helped with the marketing launch of the ConnectSense line of home automation products.

She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and resides in Naperville.

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Smart Home Real Estate

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

Imagine moving into a house where the thermostat could adjust automatically depending on the time, where all of the lights could be controlled with the touch of a button, and where the doors could be locked from the comfort of bed. Houses with these technological innovations installed are becoming increasingly popular within the real estate market as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to transform the way we live our lives. Turning a home into a smart home with various IoT technologies can increase the value of a house substantially.

Smart technology brings a plethora of benefits to the home environment. The most attractive feature of the smart home is its ability to reduce monthly expenses such as electricity and heating. Home buyers and owners are very attracted to the idea that a smart home could help reduce the amount they are paying monthly as the cost of paying off a home can be cumbersome by itself. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet can help a home owner manage and control any electrical device from the comfort of their smart phone. The Nest Thermostat is able to learn the users schedule to adjust the temperature at the right times of day in order to prevent wasting energy on heating or cooling a home when no one is home. Automated devices like these can help manage and reduce power usage while making everyday tasks more convenient and efficient at the same time.

It is important to consider future growth of the IoT and its relevance in the home environment. Smart devices are increasing in popularity at an exponential rate. This means that more homes will be implementing smart technology in an effort to create a connected network of devices. The smart home will be the future of the real estate industry. As internet-enabled technology becomes a standard in homes, more home buyers will expect that houses come with this smart technology built in.

Smart home upgrades are not expensive to make and they can go a long way in increasing the value of a home. Devices such as smart locks, lights, outlets, and thermostats are relatively cheap and easy to install. An ecosystem of devices that enable a home owner to completely control their environment can be created with a couple hundred dollars. This is a cheap price to pay for the power these devices bring to the user, especially when they will help reduce the cost of monthly bills. Implementing smart technology within a home environment will increase the value of houses and will create additional incentive for home buyers to purchase a home.

The Internet of Things: Changing Big Data Analytics

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The collection of data through large datasets is becoming increasingly popular among businesses. The prominence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a surplus of data that is now being utilized for statistical analysis. Big data analytics and IoT devices are interconnected in the sense that IoT devices enable companies to access large quantities of information. This information is then used to help gather details about the consumer and the product. IoT technology is transforming the collection of data and the information that the data provides allows for the development of more advanced IoT devices.

As more devices become connected to the internet, there will be more data that companies will be responsible for sorting through. Once IoT technology matures and becomes widely adapted, big data analytics will no longer be optional. The analytical value in having access to large datasets that are continuously updating can be substantial for any organization. Not investing in big data technology that can sort through the immense quantity of the data gathered will be a major hindrance in maintaining IoT devices. Will Hayles, a technical writer for Outscale, reinforces this concept by stating, “Without the proper data-gathering in place, it’ll be impossible for businesses to sort through all the information flowing in from embedded sensors.” This essentially means that the inability to utilize data efficiently will create obstacles in terms of competing with other IoT-based companies as analytics can provide insight into consumer wants and needs.

The integration of IoT technology and big data has the potential to create higher expectations for technological innovations. Simply being able to collect data from IoT devices will not be sufficient. Companies need to implement some sort of analytical platform that can sort through the vast amount of data gathered. Big data analytics and the IoT are interdependent. When organizations are able to access information about their products, they are able to immediately update the technology to provide new and improved content to users in addition to being able to improve any issues. Essentially the influx of data is creating a higher standard for technological innovation. Any business that does not wield the power of big data analytics will quickly lose relevance due to an inability to recognize the potential for improvement that is provided by collected data.

The adoption of big data analytics within the corporate environment is inevitable as wirelessly enabled devices begin to play a larger role in the consumer lifestyle. This change will not happen overnight, but it is crucial that organizations start to develop the analytical tools necessary to manage vast amounts of data. This means that the infrastructures of many businesses will need to be modified in order to compensate for the changing nature of IoT technology.