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This work shows some digital automation technologies available used to improve and enhance industrial automation systems. The latest industrial automation systems use highly distributed architectures where a number of digital modules are interconnected by communication networks for data acquisition and lower level control functions. In the most modern industrial automation systems, the data communication among the individual automation devices plays an important role. Important achievements in this area include the OSI model, Project 802 of the IEEE, and the Manufacturing Automation Protocol (MAP) concept for enabling the compatibility of bus systems and local area networks of different vendors. This paper describes Mini-MAP architecture; the hierarchical levels in industrial automation systems; the transmission media more adjusted for this type of network; the transmission methods; the main topologies used in industrial communication networks; and some considerations that involve the design of an industrial network.
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