Launched in 1994 by HMS Industrial Networks, Anybus technology and products have proved themselves as a worthy cog in the industrial automation machine, making up for the most used 3rd part range of fieldbus connectivity products. Anybus’ functionalities can’t be confined within those of a fieldbus. It can be thought of as a range of generic products that provide support to all types of industrial fieldbus networks.
Anybus products are made up of hardware and software that allow industrial devices to communicate with each other. In addition, if required, Anybus can be implemented as an embedded system to act as a gateway between devices that follow different protocols. Industrial automation is the major market for Anybus products. Robots, sensors, weight scales, HMIs, etc. are already using this wonderful piece of technology to make the entire communication process as transparent and reliable as possible.
Anybus products can be divided into a total of three categories, all of which are quite different in their working and functionality. These are detailed below.
1. Embedded Anybus Technology
Embedded Anybus Technology allows integration of communication modules within specific hardware to give it network capabilities. Anybus embedded interfaces support a total of 15 industrial networks and the product portfolio consists of:
- Master/Slave credit card interfaces
- Single chip solutions
- Plug-in solutions
All these solutions provide communication capabilities to products such as drives, robots, inverters, valves, PLCs, etc. One of the best things about these products is that they are interchangeable, meaning once they’ve been integrated, they may be replaced by another Anybus module.
For instance, consider an Inverter needs DeviceNet and Ethernet/IP capabilities in the US market but also needs to be compatible with other interfaces such as Profibus, Modbus, etc. to compete in the European and Asian markets. Anybus eliminates compatibility issues. After designing the hardware with a generic Anybus interface, all that’s required is swapping the Ethernet/IP interface with one that supports Profibus. Therefore, this gives you multi-fieldbus connectivity without requiring any lengthy redesigns.
2. Anybus Networking Products
These products have been designed to provide System Integrators an easy way to form connections between their existing automation products and fieldbus networks.
These are din-rail mounted products and include:
- Serial to Fieldbus gateway connectors
- Fieldbus to Fieldbus Bridge
In effect, they provide a quick and reliable way to connect one fieldbus network to another.
3. Anybus-PC Interface Products
Embedded PCs, CNCs, Robot Controllers, and other intelligent systems require high throughput when it comes to network connectivity. Anybus PCI solutions are fit for the job as they are based on high performance/high volume embedded Master and Slave interface range.
Why choose Anybus?
Anybus isn’t the only available solution in the market. Instead of choosing Anybus for your hardware, you may design and develop a fieldbus solution with your inhouse team. So, why shouldn’t you?
Time is of the essence. An implementation of Profibus would take an inhouse engineer several months to complete. Once completed, more resources would be utilized getting the fieldbus certification for your product. Next, you’ll need to keep yourself updated which means keeping up with the new standards, resubmitting for certification, etc. all of which requires time and money.
However, if you go with an Embedded Anybus product, the time for implementation would be somewhere around 1–3 months, depending on the complexity of the solution. As Anybus is already certified, the entire product certification process would be over in no time. Furthermore, it would be a responsibility on HMS’s part to keep their product up to date, leaving you with absolutely no worries. As a result, you’ll save time and money and gain the ability to divert your inhouse team to more specific issues.
Interested in learning more about Anybus products?
You may also be interested in reading: