The ControlNet protocol is a globally accepted industrial networking standard (IEC 61158) that was specifically designed to meet the real-time, high-throughput requirements of an industrial network. A key characteristic of ControlNet is its deterministic, repeatable transfers of all mission-critical control data while also supporting non time-critical data transfers on the same physical wire. Non time-critical applications such as program downloads can occur over ControlNet without affecting the real-time performance of the network.
ControlNet uses the highly efficient Producer/Consumer model for network access. Nodes that have data to transmit, produce a data packet with a data identifier onto the network. All nodes connected to the network then consume the data packet and determine — based on the data identifier — whether they are configured to further process the data. This allows a single produced data packet from a single node to be consumed by multiple nodes without requiring multiple transmissions — a feature referred to as multicast).
ControlNet is well suited to be the backbone network for both control of I/O data and messaging of information. It supports RG6 coax and fiber (including ring) options, IP67 media options, media redundancy, options for intrinsically safe environments, and products that provide processor redundancy.
Building upon several decades of constant innovation and global market leadership in industrial fiber optic networking, NSPI has created the most robust line of ControlNet Fiber Optic Self-Healing Ring and Dual Self-Healing Ring repeaters that are currently available. In addition, we provide ControlNet repeaters for Point-to-Point, Daisy Chain, Star and Cascading Tree topologies.