The Delta Digital Pyramid
Industrial communication networks follow a hierarchical structure consisting of three levels: the Field Level (Layer 1), the Control Level (Layer 2) and the Information Level (Layer 3). These levels facilitate efficient data flow and control for industrial processes. An important evolution in this pyramid is the fourth layer, the Delta Digital layer. This layer is distinguished by advanced data-driven intelligence and offers significant benefits to industrial companies.
Field level (Layer 1)
The Field Level is the foundation of the industrial communication pyramid. Here, devices use simple communication options, such as on/off signals, 4-20mA current loops or serial point-to-point communication. The introduction of fieldbus technologies, such as ProfiNET, Profibus, Modbus, BacNet and CAN Bus, has led to distributed control between intelligent field devices and controllers, allowing industrial processes to run more efficiently and reliably.
Control level (Layer 2)
Above the Field Level is the Control Level, where Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Operator Interfaces are active. Fast response times, fast transmission speeds, synchronization between machines and processing of critical data are essential for the smooth operation of industrial systems. A Local Area Network (LAN) with the Ethernet TCP/IP communication protocol acts as an ideal network architecture for seamless connection between control units and computers. Managed Ethernet switches are critical at this level because they provide advanced configuration and enhanced network control.
Information Level (Layer 3)
The Information Level is the highest level of the industrial automation pyramid. Here it acts as the central node for data collected from the Control Level (Layer 2). This level handles large volumes of non-time-sensitive data, and Managed Ethernet switches continue to operate effectively to facilitate data flow.
Delta Digital Layer (layer 4)
The most notable addition to the industrial communications pyramid is the Delta Digital layer, also known as the Data Intelligence layer. Here, Delta Digital uses advanced data-driven intelligence, including machine learning algorithms and domain knowledge. This layer provides a holistic approach to data analysis, extracting valuable insights from the abundance of data coming from the underlying levels.
The Importance of the Delta Digital Layer
Delta Digital’s data-driven intelligence is critical for industrial companies because it enables them to extract valuable insights from the vast amount of data collected. By using machine learning algorithms, companies can develop and implement predictive models to optimize their industrial processes. These insights can help improve efficiency, enable predictive maintenance and optimize asset management.
The Four-Phase Delta Digital Pyramid of Success in Industrial Communication Networks provides an in-depth understanding of the different levels critical for efficient operation of industrial processes. The addition of the Delta Digital layer with data-driven intelligence is an essential development in industrial automation. Companies can now take advantage of advanced data analytics and machine learning to extract valuable insights from their data to optimize performance and strengthen their competitive position.