Modern DCS heavily depend on reliable, robust and secure networks. Network equipment enables clients to communicate with servers and controllers to obtain information from the field.
In addition to the traditional Ethernet communications from operator workstations to controllers, there's an increase in Ethernet-based fieldbus networks to communicate to field equipment. Fieldbus protocols such as PROFINET, IEC 61850, Ethernet/IP and MODBUS TCP/IP are being used to communicate to lower level PLCs, smart transmitters, valve actuators, and even electrical equipment. Using fieldbus solutions allows for not only reduced wiring and installation costs, but they allow for more diagnostic information to be brought back in.
The products have the capability to define a default ABB configuration to have teams focus on plant production rather than becoming experts on technology like networks and virtual machines.