Industrial Networks: Definition, Types & Examples

Instructor: Prashant Mishra

Prashant is currently pursuing his bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering.

In this lesson, you will learn about industrial networks and their use in various enterprises. Different examples of industrial networks will also be discussed. Updated: 06/17/2022

What is an Industrial Network?

Networks, as we know, are a medium to transfer data. Networks, however, vary based on the volume of data being transferred. Industrial Networks refer to networks that deal with transfer of data on a large scale. This means, they allow us to connect various devices across large spaces and enable communication between them by allowing us to transfer huge chunks of data between them.

Traditional networks may sound highly efficient, but in reality, are limited to a very small number of systems. Industrial networks are designed to cater to real time needs and the demands of a large number of systems.

Levels of Industrial Networks

Industries are usually composed of many departments managing various different aspects of the business, sometimes spread out over various locations . For example, there could be manufacturing plants with specialized hardware as well as departments such as operations, sales, marketing etc. All these departments have specific needs but at the same time need to communicate with each other. This is achieved using various levels which allow for using optimized technologies and protocols at each level while also allowing communication across the different levels.

Industrial Networks in Enterprises

Industrial networks in enterprises help connect various computers across different departments to transfer data, reduce communication protocols, and increase data accessibility efficiently. They are also known as enterprise network or corporate network.

The key purpose of industrial networks here is to provide effective communication between various computers and prevent access by unauthorized computers. Generally, enterprise networks include local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN). An enterprise network is able to connect all the systems regardless of their operating systems.

Industrial Networks in Business Operations

Enterprise networks are limited to a single building. Consider a company which wants to connect all its systems present in different buildings in different locations. That's when industrial networks in business operations are used. They are also known as Business Networks. Business networks are used to connect many computers present in different locations.

Supervisory Network

Supervisory networks are another level of industrial networks. However, they differ from other networks in the sense, that they are used to connect various computers to supervise other computers and systems. They are mainly used in manufacturing industries.

Process Control Network

Process control network is a industrial network used to transmit data and transfer data between various control and measurement units. They are robust, determinate and compatible. They have good error resolving techniques, low sensitivity to Electromagnetic waves or induction, priority connection techniques, etc.

Technologies and Protocols used at different levels of Industrial Networks


Ethernet is a collection of different networking techniques used in local area networks (LANs). In Ethernet, data is divided into packets, to send them from one system to the other. These packets contain data to be transferred, source address, destination address. The Ethernet protocol manages error resolving techniques during transmission of these packets.

They are used in enterprise networks.

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