Hybrid Wired/Wireless PROFIBUS Architectures: Performance Study Based on Simulation Models

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The problem of providing a hybrid wired/wireless communications for factory automation systems is still an open issue, notwithstanding the fact that already there are some solutions. This paper describes the role of simulation tools on the validation and performance analysis of two wireless extensions for the PROFIBUS protocol. In one of them, the Intermediate Systems, which connect wired and wireless network segments, operate as repeaters. In the other one the Intermediate Systems operate as bridge. The authors also describe how the analytical analysis proposed for these kinds of networks can be used for the setting of some network parameters and for the guaranteeing real-time behaviour of the system. Additionally, they also compare the bridge-based solution simulation results with the analytical results.