ComBricks Drawings

The following series of drawings show how the basic ComBricks modules may be combined and used in PROFIBUS networks to provide 24/7 performance checking, logging and remote acccess to see current real-time network status and recorded information. Simpler ComBricks sets, such as that shown immediately below, maybe be used both for short term temporary deployment, but also for longer term ongoing network performance verification checks, particularly necessary where high plant availability and reliability must be ensured, but also for hub applications. Further details for each of the different standard ComBricks kits and modules are shown via this link, with how to get started with your first ComBricks installation explained here.

Basic ComBricks Monitoring Kit

Note : Although use of the above ComBricks Eco Monitoring Kit may seem restrictive, due to not being able to check network waveforms and signal levels, they are primarily installed to check and alert for very low level message error statistical weaknesses, such as Message Repeats or Illegal Messages, as these are usually the very first signs of network weakness and potential looming failure!

Occasional message failures of this nature will not be seen by the control PLC, but ComBrick kit allows maintenance staff to track these, only needing to address in more detail should they start to occur more frequently, hence allowing for ‘preventive maintenance screening’ in good time before any related plant failure might occur. At this stage ProfiTrace kit would be needed to look into the location and causes of these weaknesses, allowing waveform checking etc.

It must also be noted that, with more complex PROFIBUS networks including repeaters and/or fibre optic links, waveform problems on remote segments, beyond repeaters or fibre links, would not be visible at the ComBricks unit, if connected near the PLC/Master anyway!

Enhanced Monitoring with Waveforms

With a ComBricks Scope repeater available, as in the above diagram, we are able to check the waveform shape and voltage levels on the connected segment, as well as checking for message failure statistics, if any. But it is important to remember that waveforms checks on any one segment will not apply to signals arriving from any other segments of that network if these are connected by repeaters or fibre optic modules, as these units will totally re-shape waveforms passing through them……but these devices will not change or influence actual message details, hence any failure statistics.

Segment waveforms and connected device driver voltage level checks are still very useful if coming from devices within the connected segment, as they enable early indication of device or connection weaknesses, often before these can lead to any related message failures.

Basic 4 Network Monitoring

Above diagram being updated to remove outdated kit pricing, following 2021 changes. Further diagams planned.