The Coexistence of Serial and Ethernet Devices
Although Ethernet-based communication interfaces are the trend, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of all your existing serial devices to pursue a full revamp. When upgrading a system, a number of considerations need to be taken account, of which equipment cost plays a major deciding factor. For example, replacing a CNC machine is extremely costly, which would tremendously impact the budget of most businesses. Another considerable cost burden is the deployment costs attached to replacing dozens of serial-based power meters, as more IP devices would require more investment on networking switches and SCADA-licensed nodes. Therefore, it makes sense to keep the RS-485 power meters, which come with the benefits of multidrop wiring. Furthermore, replacing other legacy devices such as IEDs also comes with high acquisition and deployment costs.
Adding serial-to-Ethernet device servers between your serial devices and modern systems is a cost-saving and effortless solution to not only enjoy the simplicity of serial communications but also take advantage of what Ethernet offers you.