You’ll be configuring a industrial data communication network, investigate different variations and evaluate the impact of different parameters on the network performance.
Stage 1: Network Configuration
You’ll consider an industrial plant where different processes are equipped with different field devices with communication capability, a number of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and a master station which supervises the operation in the entire plant. Depending on the communication hierarchy, the system will look like:
Each process has five field devices who communicate the measurement data and they are controlled by three PLCs, which can send control information to set the parameters.
You can configure the field devices, PLCs and master station as traffic generating devices in Opnet Riverbed Modeler. You’ll consider configurations with Ethernet, Ethernet-WLAN and Fiber Optics. For generating the scenarios, choose office/campus network with 1 km x 1km dimension (when creating empty scenario).
Configuration 1: Ethernet Communication
Consider the field devices, PLCs and the master station as the Ethernet stations. Configure the field devices in the processes as star networks. You can use Ethernet 16 hub to connect the field devices with the PLCs, and PLCs to the master station. For connecting the components, you can use 10BaseT or 100baseT links.
Configuration 2: Ethernet-WLAN Communication
Configure the field devices in processes 1, 2 and 3 as WLAN stations. These WLAN stations will connect with the Ethernet WLAN bridge, which will be connected with the PLCs (Ethernet stations) at the next level.
Configuration 3: Fiber Optic Communication
Configure the Ethernet network in configuration 1 as a FDDI channel. That is, field devices, PLCs and master station will be FDDI stations, connected by FDDI hubs. The links will be FDDI links. Make sure you change the delay in advanced attributes of FDDI links to distance based.