Ethernet emerged in the automation control room in the 1990s, it connected servers to workstations and, via a separate network interface card, provided access to master PLCs and controllers.

After the issue of rapid recovery following a communication path failure was solved by Hirshmann's hiper ring in 1996, Ethernet's dominance pushed on to become the distributed control network of choice, it is also commonly used for the field bus networks beyond.

The outcome of increasingly reliable, yet featureless hardware of the time resulted in devices lasting well beyond their sell-by-date. Whilst considered a benefit by some, as a period of obsolescence extends, sometimes well beyond end of life notices, major sustainability issues can result.

If you add in the raft of modern day issues relating to network security and the high performance demands of a modern SCADA system, these legacy networks are a significant threat to sustainability.

IT4A have seen cases where upgrade is deemed necessary only when second user spares can no longer be sourced on eBay!

IT4A help Customers overcome all the challenges of network obsolescence; hopefully well before the last chance 'eBay' saloon runs dry! We have access to the widest range of current products and the expertise to allow as seamless a migration as is possible.