The Throughput Connection
We recently had an independent company do a survey to find out what our customers see as the main benefit of dealing with Throughput. Yes we have great products, but what is it that makes dealing with us something worthwhile for YOU – our customer?
This was quite an eye-opening exercise for us. Without blowing my own trumpet, it appears that many of you immediately pick up the phone and ask “Bob” for a solution, or at least an answer, to your current communication questions or issue. It's nice to be wanted and considered useful !!
To me that is quite an interesting response. Yes, the internet has made it easy to browse for products. But products are just… well… products. What seems to be missing with this approach is the knowledge and competence of applying “products” to get a fully operational solution.
I recently had a discussion with one of our customers, and the same thing came up. The need to see an overall process and see the component parts that make up the whole, and how the whole system fits and works together.
So please continue to ask me. If I don't know, I will endeavor to find out. Maybe I will learn something in the process of finding out on your behalf! I've learnt that you can teach an “old dog” new tricks. And here is some of that feedback!
Our recent survey revealed some insightful and honest feedback, when asked to describe our products & services:
For those who participated, a very big thank you!
Westermo Distributor Conference 2017
by Dylan Swartz - Sales Engineer
"I had the pleasure of representing Throughput Technologies at the Westermo International Sales Partner conference in Örebro, Sweden where I had the opportunity to hear from Westermo's sales partners across the globe. The conference focused on sharing the major success stories from many different industrial sectors, employing an array of Westermo's networking capabilities. It was truly inspiring to get a firsthand view of Westermo's international footprint by rubbing shoulders with the other top performers in our field of industrial data communications.
"The event was extremely lively and all the participants shared their Westermo experiences with a mutual enthusiasm, mostly driven by the past year's success and brand growth, along with the announcement of some new and exciting products to be released. Not only additional hardware solutions, but major developments in device firmware and additional features to the WeConfig platform by adding even more time- and money-saving functions.
"The highlight of the trip for me has to be the tour of Westermo's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. It was a privilege to witness the high-quality machinery, processes and the people behind the manufacturing of this robust range of switches. Knowing that all the products are designed, developed, manufactured and tested under one roof instills further confidence in suppliers and users worldwide in this product range. This is a major consideration Throughput takes into account when recommending Westermo devices for our harsh operating environments here in southern Africa."
Wireless for Wastewater:
Ensuring reliable communications in a harsh environment
In South Africa, one company has a major task: It is responsible for the supply of fresh water and the handling of wastewater for an entire province. The scope of the operation is huge: Keeping the two functions separate while ensuring that all systems are running smoothly is paramount.
On the wastewater side of the operation, the company was looking to connect its equipment for increased control and monitoring. The solution needed to be reliable, robust, and easy to integrate; stand up well in a very harsh environment; and make use of the 5.8 GHz radio frequency band.
The system integrator, Electron Durban, and distributor Throughput Technologies helped the end user select ProSoft Technology’s 802.11abg Industrial Hotspots, which they found met the customer’s needs. Electron Durban had worked with ProSoft solutions for other water applications, and the end user had experience with them on the fresh water side as well.
Nine Industrial Hotspots were installed. The site features 7 open sludge tanks, and there are two master radios that communicate to the hotspots on the sludge bridges. In turn, these communicate to the end user’s Rockwell Automation® CompactLogix™ controllers, allowing the company to monitor operations. (Previously, no radios were in place, with limited control available.)
The system integrator offered commissioning of the hotspots, but finding the work fairly easy, the end user took care of that part on its own.
"Other wireless options were considered," Bob Petrie of Throughput Technologies said. "The help from ProSoft and its partners was a key differentiator, though."
“We looked after the customer and assisted them in technical aspects of this application. An initial visit to the site and the complete design of the system was very helpful.”
The system has now been working well for more than a year, and the end user has worked with Electron Durban on securing ProSoft solutions for another site as well.
Alert the Right Person, at the Right Time, in the Right place, with the Right Information
TO INFORM AND ALERT
ALARM SUPERVISION ... ADVANCED CALL MANAGEMENT ... INFORMATION TRANSMISSION ... INTERVENTION FOLLOW-UP ...
Founded in 1994, Micromedia International is now, with over 8 000 sites equipped with its ALERT solution, the leader in industrial alarming and notification.
ALERT integrates advanced on-call management features, which enables you to define the person to warn in an easy and intuitive way.
ALERT controls the results of the calls and whether the alarms are taken into account. In case of failure, recovery and escalation procedures are triggered.
Immediately warn the right person with the right information. ALERT enables you to react appropriately and efficiently. ALERT increases the profitability of your facilities by limiting the time of breakdowns and shutdowns.
Give the operators the freedom to move around the site. ALERT enhances the efficiency and the profitability of your staff. ALERT thus gives greater confidence and peace of mind.
Be warned before it is too late. ALERT avoids breakdowns and costly untimely outages which can be dangerous for the site, staff, users or the environment.
OPC UA Gateway to the IIoT
You could be collecting tons of valuable data in your operation already, or you may be pondering how you can benefit from the knowledge in your equipment: In either scenario, you need a way to get to your data when you need it, so you can make informed business decisions that can help you reduce maintenance, operations, and energy costs, and improve your productivity while optimizing your resources. With our OPC UA-based module, you can now send your production data to your ERP or MES – and act upon the information to meet your business objectives.
Connecting Three Protocols
With the ProSoft module, you can now connect three protocols: OPC UA, EtherNet/IP™, and Modbus® TCP/IP – simultaneously and independently. The PLX32-EIP-MBTCP-UA allows you to send data from your EtherNet/IP- and Modbus TCP/IP-based equipment to your OPC UA clients so you can make changes that will benefit your operation. The OPC UA Server supports 10 OPC UA sessions at a time, enabling access to your equipment’s data.
Did you know that Bi-directional SFPs can help save money in refurbishment projects?
When improving and extending networks there isn’t always enough fiber optic cables installed for the new functions needed. This means that new cables must be added at a very high cost for the customer. It might not even be allowed to add cables to a fixed installation due to fire and security regulations.
The answer is to use Bi-directional transceivers (BiDi SFPs); these transceivers can transmit and receive light signals over the same fiber core. Normally there is one core that transmits and one that receives light, thus the two fiber cores in a fiber optic cable. The BiDi SFP transmits at one wavelength and receives at another therefore a blue and a green marking indicates which one to use at each end of the cable. Westermo BiDi SFPs come in a wide variety of versions; Multi Mode, Single Mode, 100Mbit/s up to 120 km, 1Gbit/s up to 80 km, with DDM diagnostics and without.
Did you know that 1-1 Network Address Translation make’s reusing the same subnet for multiple systems very easy?
Often when repetitive configurations are needed like in onboard train, machine or wind power farm networks, it is highly desirable from a manufacturing point of view to reuse the same configuration every time a network is built. Reusing the same IP address range and configuration is efficient and cost effective from a standardised manufacturing perspective but presents a problem when the systems need to be linked together. For example, when wind turbines need to link to a central SCADA or there is a need to implement an IIoT remote access system for assets monitoring or maintenance system.
The industrial Ethernet market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $20 billion to over $72 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% according to a research report by Global Market Insights.
The Industrial Ethernet market growth is attributed to the growing popularity of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to improve the efficiency of supply chain and production processes in industrial settings. Large-scale adoption of industrial Ethernet products, such as switches, gateways, connectors, processors, and controllers for structuring industrial networks, is expected to boost the market growth over the forecast timeline.
While industrial Ethernet operates on the same protocols used for Ethernet implementation in office-automation, the use in industrial setting requires consideration of the environment in which the technology needs to function. Some of the advantages of industrial Ethernet include improved interoperability, increased network distance, and the ability to have multiple nodes on links. The value proposition of industrial Ethernet aligns well with that of Industrie 4.0 and the IIoT. As industrial devices are increasingly required to feed data to enterprise-level cloud-based applications, the demand for Ethernet-enabled end devices in industrial networks is increasing consistently from all the end-use sectors.
The hardware segment is expected to hold a major share of the industrial Ethernet market by 2024 owing to the extensive adoption of Ethernet switches, hubs, gateways, and connectors to enable industrial automation functions. The service segment is projected to exhibit the fastest growth between 2017 and 2024 reporting a CAGR of around 27% owing to the need for effective installation, testing, and maintenance of the network infrastructure to ensure a long-term stability.
Technical Support Engineer
Support Engineer, Anton van der Westhuizen, takes care of the technical support functions for Throughput where his extensive experience comes into play. With a comprehensive telecommunications and IT background acquired over the past 20 years, Anton is available to assist Throughput customers with the installation and configuration of our product range.
Site surveys are also carried out to ensure proposed equipment and products will work as anticipated. Assistance in installation also ensures products will operate optimally.
Anton is available to receive your call - or Skype call - to assist talking you through installation issues, or debugging current issues.
Anton is an avid supporter of the Lions - but most of our customers forgive him.