Protocols have become an essential element in different industries. They are needed for various uses like oil & gas, automation, power generation and remote monitoring applications among others. Protocol conversion has also become vital. For that, a device or program known as a protocol converter is used which allows computer software or systems to not only exchange but make better use of information. The transfer is done by a process that involves conversion, encoding, representation and finally framing.
There are two main types of protocol converters, hardware, and software protocol converters. There are even some integrated converters as well. The one you need depends on your protocol converting needs and the device or program you have in place. But before you buy just any protocol converter, you should realize that choosing the right one is essential to ensure that the process is easy. Some steps you can follow as a part of the process are mentioned here.
Ø The Core Aim
When choosing a protocol converter, you need to make sure that it is compatible with your protocol conversion needs. For instance, if the question of what is the best ethernet to dh+ brand is in your mind, the protocol converter should be the answer to that.
Ø Number of Connections
The protocol converter you choose should have as many connections as you need. Some people who have simple converting needs can do with a device or program that has a single connection while some have up to 32 connections and various serial ports.
If you need high performance during the protocol conversion process, you should remember that devices with high baud rates have a high-performance rate, but they are quite expensive. In contrast, the devices with low baud rates might be slightly less expensive but can perform too slow for your liking. The former is always recommended.
It is also essential for the converter to support a protocol that is used by network wither. A few industrial automation protocols are RS-232 converter, RS-422 converter, RS-485 converter, HostLink Protocol and Honeywell SDS.
Ø Type of Conversions
The types of conversions you need to do also matters. Some people opt for simple conversions that don’t change the overall framing while others opt for complex conversions in which everything from framing to mapping information and even object models are changed. The latter has the edge over the former because it has a finite processing time.
Ø The Grade
When seeking a protocol converter, you should choose between a commercial grade or industrial grade options. Industrial grade converters are more reliable and long-lasting than commercial grade converters and have higher quality as well. They are also easy to interface with every equipment be it computers, SCADA, HMI, or even PLC.
When choosing a protocol converter, make sure that you choose a product that is certified by the ISO 9001 system or is offered by a company that abides by such standards of quality. It will ensure that the converter lasts for long and leads to better customer satisfaction.
The protocol converter you use should be easy and safe to use. It must come with a setup guide or an instruction manual that allows you to learn it easily and use it from day one.
It is also essential that you buy a protocol converter that comes with a warranty that takes care of every issue be it repair, malfunction and even offers replacement of defective products. It will ensure that you get the maximum value for money!