What is the fieldbus protocol?

By Amy Goetzman | September 26, 2023

Meet the Connector: What is the fieldbus protocol?

A fieldbus is a serial bus system used to exchange data between different system components over long distances and under high external load.

Fieldbus is a communication protocol used in automation and control systems to facilitate real-time data exchanges between different connected devices and equipment. For example, sensors, actuators, controllers, and instruments in a manufacturing or industrial environment can communicate with each other using fieldbus protocols. Fieldbus also enables these systems to communicate with datacom networks for reporting or remote monitoring, acting as gateway devices or translators between the system and standard data communication protocols such as Ethernet, TCP/IP, and various wireless technologies.

Fieldbus protocols include:

Profibus (Process Field Bus): One of the most widely used fieldbus protocols, Profibus is used for process automation (Profibus-PA) and factory automation (Profibus-DP) applications.

Modbus: Modbus is simple, widely used open-source fieldbus protocol.

Foundation Fieldbus: This digital communication protocol is primarily used in process control and instrumentation for real-time control and data acquisition.

DeviceNet: DeviceNet is a fieldbus protocol developed by Rockwell Automation and is often used in PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) systems.  

CANopen: CANopen is a fieldbus protocol based on Controller Area Network (CAN) technology.      

Each fieldbus protocol has unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which one to use depends on the specific requirements and equipment used in a particular application. Similarly, the choice of which connector to use in fieldbus applications is also highly application-specific. Commonly used connectors include M8s and M12s, D-Subs, RJ45s, terminal blocks, and coupler devices.

WAGO’s 750-366 fieldbus coupler supports the Device Level Ring (DLR) protocol set up in conjunction with an EtherNet/IP network to ensure that I/O communications remain online in case of a single point of failure.

Markets, Sectors, and Applications for Fieldbus Protocols

Industrial, Transportation, Datacom/Telecom

HARTING’s T1 Industrial SPE connector supports fieldbus applications in automation networks.

Related products:

  • M-Type connectors
  • SPE connectors

Like this article? Check out our other Meet the Connector, Networking, and our Datacom/Telecom Market Page, and our 2023 Article Archive

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Amy Goetzman
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