In September R3 Solutions is releasing the "Summer Release" for its wireless ethernet bridge with many new and improved features. The release and the parallel introduction of the new Bridge E marks the start of a 6-month software release cycle and a new design approach in which the proven EchoRing technology is adapted even more consistently to the requirements of industrial use.
The EchoRing technology is based on the token ring approach proven in network technology: All network nodes connected within a system permanently exchange information about the respective channel states and, in this way, automatically ensure the optimal and delay-free flow of all data streams, even in the case of briefly necessary channel changes. Latency and reliability are deterministic, which means that the technology meets all the requirements of ultra-reliable real-time communication (URLLC). EchoRing can wirelessly network almost any industrial installation – existing or new – without significant setup effort, supporting numerous communication protocols such as Profinet, Ethernet/IP, and many more. For each data source, all that is needed is a compact Bridge E equipped with an Industrial Ethernet interface, which, in conjunction with other bridges, replaces the previously wired transmission paths with wireless ones.
R3 Solutions, Berlin/Germany, a leader with high-performance solutions for the wireless transmission of industrial data in a wide variety of machine-to-machine communication applications, presents the latest version of its EchoRing Ethernet Bridge, which will be called Bridge E from now on.
In the future, there will be 2 major software releases for R3’s products per year: a "Summer Release" with new tested functions for users and a "Winter Release" aimed at system maintenance. The Summer Release of Bridge E incorporates experience from using EchoRing technology in many different industrial applications, such as robotics, mechanical engineering, and the automotive industry. The priority here was maintaining wireless transmission's proven reliability and security while integrating practical and user-friendly functions.
The focus of the software developments was on the easy use of Bridge E with significantly improved functionality. The new Plant User Interface (Plant UI) control and configuration interface is the most visible change, allowing industrial users to manage highly scaled Bridge E installations centrally.
The Plant UI is part of the now Windows-based Config Server, which provides configuration, update handling, and device control. This new server software package makes the previously required dedicated Config Server as additional hardware obsolete and the setup and maintenance of the EchoRing network even more straightforward.
Also new is the so-called EchoRing Runtime Control Interface (ERCI). The control interface is available directly in Bridge E and the Plant UI. It enables the status of the Bridge E devices to be recorded on a script basis and their functions to be adjusted during operation using a control command. Data traffic in the EchoRing network can be controlled even better and more diversely via Quality of Service. 5 priority queues are available for prioritizing the traffic according to class. Developers were able to reproducibly improve the reliability in terms of packet loss during data transport (Packet Loss Rate) by one order of magnitude to less than 10-7.
The functions for configuring and commissioning the bridge have also been advanced. Firmware updates and configuration changes can now be carried out remotely using the existing Ethernet connection without physical access to the hardware.