Extend the Life of your Investment

From |

Extend the life of your investment – Reuse copper cables laid for your existing legacy serial based network when you migrate to an Ethernet based network.

Migrating your serial based network to an Ethernet based networks could occur during the following situations due to obsolescence and retrofits to increase productivity

–       Migrating legacy control system

–       Migrating legacy distributed/remote IO

–       Migrating legacy network

This will likely involve replacement of the control system hardware, network interfaces and network cabling. Looking at the hardware cost and engineering cost alone, these will be a considerable investment.

If labour cost to replace the cabling and loss of revenue due to production downtime is considered, the amount of investment could go up a few times more.

Would you like to reuse the existing network cable even when you migrate to an Ethernet based network; allowing you to focus on the more complex portion of migrating the control system and network infrastructure, lower upfront investment for migration, fewer contactors to manage, lesser resources to commit, a shorter production downtime and yet reap the same benefits of newer technology.

Serial based networks on copper cable using RS422 or RS485 connection can extend to a distance of more than 100m which is beyond the limitation of Ethernet based network on copper cable. This would normally mean the need to add a copper to fiber optic converter in order to reach a distance of more than 100m.

Wouldn’t it be great if no additional hardware is needed and the distance could actually reach up to 20km?

Being able to have an Ethernet based network running on normal copper cables, reaching up to distance of up to 20km and having path redundancy for higher availability; does all these sounds too good to be true?

This is definitely possible and a reality however there is a trade off in terms of the transmission speed. The maximum transmission speed is up to 30Mbps depending on the distance, copper cable diameter and condition. A calculation tool shown below is available to estimate the transmission speed.

Extend the life of your investment


It is always a desire to have the highest possible speed however taking a step back, what is really required by the application which could have been running on the serial based network. Even at a transmission speed of 1Mbps, it is already a significant increase in speed.

The decision is a balance between cost and transmission speed. Why pay more for transmission speed that you do not need now?

Cabling does not go obsolete, does not need technical expertise to maintain and has a longer lifetime compared to the electronics. Moreover prices of electronics escalate a few times once it becomes obsolete.

You can always migrate the electronics first with a lower budget and the cabling later once the budget is available.  Do contact us if you are keen to know how we can help fulfill your migration needs at a manageable budget with lower risks.



Tell your friends about us!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.