Technical Articles

IEC 61158: Industrial Communication Networks - Fieldbus Specifications

Title: Enhancing Connectivity and Efficiency: A Deep Dive into IEC 61158 Fieldbus Specifications in Industrial Communication Networks




Industrial communication networks play a crucial role in enabling seamless data exchange, control, and monitoring in industrial automation systems. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has introduced the IEC 61158 standard, which focuses on fieldbus specifications for industrial communication networks. In this article, we will explore the significance of IEC 61158, the key fieldbus specifications it encompasses, and the impact of these standards on enhancing connectivity and efficiency in industrial environments.


Understanding IEC 61158


IEC 61158 is a comprehensive standard that addresses the specifications and requirements for fieldbus communication protocols used in industrial automation and control systems. The standard provides a framework for defining communication networks, data exchange formats, timing requirements, and interoperability standards to facilitate reliable and efficient communication in diverse industrial applications.


Key Fieldbus Specifications


1. Communication Layer: IEC 61158 defines the communication layer for fieldbus systems, including the data transmission protocols, network topologies, data framing, addressing schemes, and error handling mechanisms. The standard specifies the formats, procedures, and timing requirements for transmitting and receiving data packets over the fieldbus network.


2. Network Architectures: The standard outlines different network architectures and communication models, such as master-slave, peer-to-peer, and broadcast networks, to support various communication patterns and control strategies in industrial automation. IEC 61158 provides guidelines for configuring network nodes, establishing connections, and managing network traffic.


3. Data Exchange Formats: IEC 61158 specifies the data exchange formats, message types, and protocols for transmitting process data, control commands, alarms, and statuses between devices on the fieldbus network. The standard defines message structures, data encoding, and protocol parameters to ensure reliable and accurate data transfer.


4. Timing and Synchronization: The standard addresses timing requirements, synchronization mechanisms, and clock accuracy for coordinating communication between fieldbus devices. IEC 61158 includes provisions for timestamping, network synchronization, event triggering, and real-time data transfer to support time-critical applications in industrial systems.


Significance of Compliance with IEC 61158


Compliance with IEC 61158 is essential for manufacturers, system integrators, and users of industrial communication networks to ensure the interoperability, reliability, and performance of fieldbus systems. Adhering to the fieldbus specifications outlined in the standard offers several advantages:


- Interoperability: By following the communication protocols and network standards defined in IEC 61158, fieldbus devices from different manufacturers can communicate and work together seamlessly, promoting interoperability and compatibility in industrial systems.


- Reliability: Compliance with IEC 61158 enhances the reliability, determinism, and fault tolerance of fieldbus networks, reducing the risk of data loss, communication errors, and system failures in industrial automation applications.


- Efficiency: The standardization provided by IEC 61158 promotes efficient data exchange, optimized network utilization, and streamlined communication processes, leading to improved operational efficiency, reduced downtime, and enhanced productivity in industrial environments.




IEC 61158 sets the fieldbus specifications for industrial communication networks, fostering reliable, efficient, and interoperable data exchange in industrial automation systems. Compliance with the standard ensures the seamless integration, high performance, and robust communication capabilities of fieldbus networks, contributing to the connectivity, efficiency, and competitiveness of industrial processes. Adhering to the fieldbus specifications of IEC 61158 facilitates the development of innovative, versatile, and interconnected industrial systems that enable advanced control, monitoring, and data management in diverse industrial applications.



Contact: Eason Wang

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