Field Network Overview

What is a field network?

In the factory automation industry, networks are used to connect a wide variety of devices, including host PCs and servers that collect operating status information, PLCs and other controllers that control equipment, sensors and measuring instruments that monitor statuses, and servo motors and other drive equipment that perform positioning and other tasks.

What is a field network?

In general, the device and terminal levels are referred to as field networks (fieldbuses), but the controller and computer levels are also sometimes considered part of the field network.

IEC 61158

Companies across the world have developed a wide variety of field networks, resulting in high demand for manufacturers to develop devices that are compatible with these networks. The IEC 61158 global standard was established in response to this strong demand for standardization.

The IEC 61158 standard is related to fieldbuses. It sets forth detailed specifications that need to be applied at each level of the fieldbus protocol stack. Protocol stacks specified in IEC 61158 are for networks defined as Communication Profile Families (CPF) in the related IEC 61784 standard.

CPF Network
1 FOUNDATION Fieldbus (H1, HSE)
2 CIP (ControlNet, EtherNet/IP®, DeviceNet®)
5 WorldFIP
8 CC-Link (CC-Link Ver. 1/Ver. 2, CC-Link IE Control, CC-Link IE Field)
10 Vnet/IP
11 TCnet
12 EtherCAT®
13 Ethernet POWERLINK
14 EPA
15 Modbus RTPS
17 RAPIEnet
18 SafetyNETp
  • Note that some information, such as the applicable standards and specifications, may have changed since this page was published.

November 2015

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