What is a Network Certification?
A network certification is a method of determining if your system meets all of the manufacturer specifications for physical media, network hardware, and topology. The network certification also provides documentation detailing:
Physical Layout of all cabling, network devices, and taps. Network performance
map including Time Domain Reflectivity, attention, grounding characteristics,
and RFI/EMI noise immunity.
This documentation provides a stable point of reference, both ensuring present performance and dramatically increasing the ability to resolve network problems quickly when they arise. A certification should be performed on any new installation to ensure reliable operation on start-up. Partial certifications should be performed anytime network modifications or additions are made.
Many of our industrial customers rely on annual re-certifications to proactively reduce downtime associated with network degradation. Industrial communication networks are critical to the operation of any modern industrial plant and the proper design and maintenance of those networks is a key factor in overall plant productivity.
Why you should certify a network: Download the White Paper Here
What type of networks does Delta Automation certify?
Delta Automation has over 50 man-years experience in the design, installation, and maintenance of a broad range of industrial communication networks, including, but not limited to:
Modicon Remote I/O (both coaxial and fiber optic)
Modicon Modbus Plus
Allen Bradley DH, DH II, DH+, DH-485
Allen Bradley ControlNet, DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP
Industrial RS-485, RS-422, and RS-232 Serial Networks
What specific test does Delta Automation perform
to certify a network?
Though most industrial networks share common requirements for optimal performance each type of network has specific qualifying factors that should be measured against the manufacturers specifications. Among the tests that Delta Automation performs for network certifications are:
Structural testing - This includes verifying that cable media is routed in the appropriate cable tray or conduit and maintains the appropriate distance from sources of RFI/EMI. Connections to network devices, taps, and splitters are checked for mechanical and electrical integrity. Cable routing is tested against manufacturer specifications for network topology (daisy chain, star, Trunk-line/drop).
Using equipment such as Time Domain Reflectometers, loss measurement analyzers, and calibrated attenuators, the electrical characteristics of the industrial networks are tested against manufacturer specifications for the intended bandwidth. This is important not only for testing network capacity against present requirements but to ensure the network has the capacity for future expansion or increases in network traffic. Some of the more common electrical criteria measured are signal strength, dB losses, and signal to noise ratio.
Delta Automation can also perform analysis of network traffic during normal operation to identify network bottlenecks and faulty network equipment, often leading to suggestions for minor changes that significantly increase plant floor data throughput.