Fiber optic cabling is often required when extending industrial networks to monitor or control remote assets where distance, environmental factors or signal speed requirements preclude the use of copper cable or wireless solutions.
Incorporating fiber optic cabling introduces additional project complexity and risk compared to a copper cable-only network. Legacy communication protocols and limited equipment choices can make the task especially challenging. They face important decisions to ensure control objectives are achieved using fiber optic cable.
Three primary areas must be addressed to define the ideal solution:
Control engineers must analyze these three areas to ensure control requirements are met cost-effectively and reliably so the risk of downtime is minimized. Important parameters to consider in each of these areas are addressed below.