The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: June 2007

Local wireless communications

1 June 2007

Proudly South African electronic research and development house, NetShield SA, has developed a compact, integrated solution to deliver robust wireless networking capacity to local industry.
The compact, locally researched, developed and manufactured NetShield NRS232-WI2-dual port RS232/485 Ethernet encapsulation device comes with an 802.11b/c and/or 802.11g wireless connection or a 10/100 Ethernet transceiver, a reliable and proven operating system stored in flash memory, an embedded web server, a full TCP/IP protocol stack and WEP security and optional SNMP management - providing users with a complete wireless networking solution.
NetShield's MD, Inus Dreckmeyr, says the NetShield NRS232-WI2, which includes 0-20 and 4-20 mA current loop control circuitry, was developed to address the drive within local industry for greater efficiency, quality control and inventory management.
NetShield’s MD, Inus Dreckmeyr
NetShield’s MD, Inus Dreckmeyr
"The NRS232-WI2 has been designed to ensure its suitability for South African conditions," he adds.
Dreckmeyr points out that the need for more efficient control of equipment such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), robots, process control equipment, temperature monitoring systems, barcode scanners, scales and mixing stations is increasing dramatically. Network communications - and increasingly, wireless networking - offers the industrial world many benefits, including:
* Reduced downtime and maintenance costs through remote monitoring and troubleshooting.

* Better management and decision making through realtime access to information.

* More accurate, consistent system performance, leading to better product quality.

* Automated quality control.

* The ability to leverage existing Ethernet wiring and corporate IP networks.
According to Dreckmeyr, NetShield's device networking solutions enable manufacturers, installers and network administrators to achieve greater efficiency and productivity on the factory floor by providing centralised access and control of all types of industrial automation equipment. Each machine can be controlled over a network or over the Internet from anywhere, any time.
"Our industrial device servers are so easy to install, they can network-enable virtually any serial device in a few minutes using simplistic installation tools. Installers can easily and inexpensively add a whole new level of communication, functionality and intelligence to their plants and entire organisations while maximising their investment in existing equipment," he explains.
For factory applications, NetShield offers a full complement of industrial-strength external device servers. They are equipped with isolated dual serial and Ethernet ports, ruggedised casings and DIN rail mounting (XPress line). In addition, they support Modbus protocols, and are FM-approved for hazardous locations Class 1, Div 2.
To enable access to a local network or the Internet, the NetShield WiiPort integrates a fully developed TCP/IP network stack and OS (operating system). It also includes an embedded web server that can be used to remotely configure, monitor, or troubleshoot attached devices from any location over the network or Internet.
The NetShield NRS232-WI2 runs on a single VDC supply, and has a built-in voltage supervisory circuit and connects to a coaxial cable or to a panel-mounted external antenna, which makes the system's integration very simple.
For more information contact Inus Dreckmeyr, MD, Netshield, +27 (0)12 424 9345,

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