A fieldbus is therefore used where data must be transmitted quickly, reliably and safely. These are then passed on to control systems, but are also required by higher-level control systems for evaluations. This means that field devices are usually used in relative proximity to regular network infrastructures.
Modern machines now often have their own Ethernet connection. Internally, these usually continue to use conventional fieldbuses, but these are no longer visible to the outside world.
The use of Ethernet interfaces makes it easier to connect newer machines to the existing infrastructure, since they do not have to be connected via additional gateways. This makes them more cost-efficient overall. In addition, regular Ethernet is much faster and enables a higher data rate.
Another reason why Ethernet moves into the field level so late is historically due to the development of microcontrollers. Especially since the required performance was not given, but also because of the higher price, microcontrollers with Ethernet interface were not attractive. In the last years this has changed more and more. The now very high computing power in such a small space enables very uncomplicated and affordable Ethernet capability. It is now also possible to realize Ethernet connections directly to the sensor.
Despite all positive developments in Ethernet use, gateways are still needed for a longer period of time. Usually, automation systems are only modernized piece by piece and not completely. This also results in a colorful mixture of different fieldbuses and networks.