The Challenge of Cables
Machines must communicate effectively to perform complex tasks. So far, only wired networks have been reliable enough for this role, yet with the advent of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, wires and cables are beginning to reveal their limits:
Scalability: Difficult installation and configuration of new units
Flexibility: Limited adaptability to new scenarios
Engineering: Additional weight and space are required
Maintenance: Hardware wear and tear caused through repetitive movements in harsh environments
EchoRing pushes industrial communications to new heights, enabling latency and reliability-critical applications to operate in a wide range of unexplored wireless scenarios.
Too good to be wireless?
EchoRing is, in function, a wireless industrial cable. It’s an ultra-reliable communications network that can easily handle the performance requirements of heavy industry and aerospace while freeing operators of the engineering and operational limits of wired systems. For this reason, EchoRing represents a keystone technology of Industry 4.0.
EchoRing can be explained through two key concepts: determinism and cooperation.
REAL-TIME CONTROL THROUGH DETERMINISM – THE “RING” IN ECHORING
- EchoRing ensures stable real-time performance through deterministic “token ring” technology
- A station within a token ring network can only transmit data when it receives the token (a small control packet), thus preventing interruptions from other stations
- A station holds the token for a predefined duration (THT: Token Holding Time) before passing it along to the next station
- Since individual THTs are known and controllable, the overall system latency is known as their sum total (TTRT: Total Token Rotation Time)
- In case of a token loss, smart methods are in place allowing for immediate recovery
RELIABILITY THROUGH COOPERATION
– THE “ECHO” IN ECHORING
- Stations in an EchoRing network cooperate independently and interchangeably, rather than as sub-units directed by a controller
- Signal reliability is ensured through a flexible “buddy” system – if an information packet fails to deliver on the first attempt, the sender’s buddy station immediately relays it instead (hence the “Echo” in EchoRing)
- Buddy stations are assigned automatically, based on calculations within the token
- The buddy station system is far more efficient than the standard re-transmission process employed by other wireless protocols
Fast Network Setup
EchoRing’s proprietary software is compatible with off-the-shelf hardware, allowing for fast and seamless integration into existing systems.