Industrial Communications

Industrial communication is an important field of our institute. It represents the backbone of each distributed automation solution and has to fulfill particular requirements which differ from the IT communication. As an example, we would like to mention the necessary real-time capabilities, robustness and reliability in industrial applications.

Our current topics in this area of competence are:

  • Industrial Ethernet
  • Industrial Wireless
  • IT Security
  • Systematic testing of communication systems
  • Plug-and-Play

Industrial Ethernet

The current situation in industrial communication technologies is represented as follows: Field bus systems are communication systems that had been specifically developed for the automation technology. They are forming the proven and millionfold used first generation of the industrial communication. The second generation of  industrial communication systems is based on Ethernet. However, the requirements of automation cannot be met by using Ethernet as it is. This had led to the fact that a multitude of real-time Ethernet concepts had been defined. The current focus of the work of our institute in the field of real-time Ethernet is the standard PROFINET.

IT Security

Due to the demand of a consistent networking a new challenge arose by using industrial Ethernet which had been completely unknown in the first generation of industrial communication systems: IT security. The risks of office communication related to IT security also exist in production systems. However, the demand for reliability of automation systems is much higher referring to machines and systems so that malfunctions due to attacks or malicious manipulations cannot be tolerated. Thus, the successful establishment of IT standards and remote technologies will highly depend on getting the IT security under control in spite of all advantages offered by this approach.

Industrial Wireless

By implementing industrial Ethernet it seems to be natural to use radio based communication standards from the IT field at the factory floor such as WLAN, Bluetooth or ZigBee. This way, it is for instance possible to link up mobile or moving machine parts easily to stationary parts of the machine. It is also easy to realise ad-hoc installations. But also here the same questions arise as for Ethernet: How can you guarantee the necessary real-time capability using radio-based communication systems, what about IT security? Whereas  international standard WirelessHART had been created in the field of process automation, the developments in the field of factory automation are still in progress. Another quite important question of radio-based communication is the coexistence capability of different radio technologies.

Systematic test of Communication Systems

Due to a series of research projects the institute disposes of outstanding metrological equipment and employees who are specifically certified for software tests. Therefore, we would like to further structure and develop the field of test services for communication systems. The spectrum is starting from comparative performance evaluations (benchmark) on the basis of empirical measurement or simulative approaches via conformance tests of IT protocols or coexistence evaluation of radio-based communication systems up to system integration tests of networked automation systems.


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Jasperneite
E-Mail: juergen.jasperneite(at)
Phone: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2401
Fax: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2409

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Witte
E-Mail: stefan.witte(at)
Phone: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2404
Fax: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2409

Prof. Dr. Stefan Heiss
Mail: stefan.heiss(at)
Phone: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2402
Fax: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2409