Course at a Glance
Code: CID
Course Length: 3 Months

In this interactive 3 month LIVE ONLINE course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify, prevent and troubleshoot industrial communications problems
  • Fix over sixty of the most common problems that occur in industrial communications systems
  • Successfully troubleshoot industrial communications systems





Course Details


Modern industrial control and information systems employ a proliferation of technologies, including various hardware standards and protocols. For many of the personnel working with these systems the technologies are 'plug and play' and are just there to be used. The problems arise when decisions have to be made regarding the most suitable technologies for a given application, or when things go wrong and troubleshooting has to be performed. Without a thorough grasp of the working of the technologies involved, and without the availability of (and the ability to use) suitable diagnostic tools, this becomes a formidable challenge.

The world of industrial communications abounds with three-letter acronyms, protocols, layered communication systems, fieldbuses and device networks. There are numerous networking and industrial bus standards, synchronous and asynchronous protocols, baseband and broadband systems, bus and star topologies, connection-oriented and connectionless protocols. In addition, there is a pronounced migration towards the use of Ethernet and TCP/IP. No wonder some of us are feeling a little confused.

To complicate matters, many technicians and electricians who were initially trained in process instrumentation or electrical maintenance are now expected to perform network maintenance - truly a major challenge. This program demystifies the jargon and places the most popular systems, technologies, hardware standards and protocols in an OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) perspective. It explains how these technologies operate and equips participants with the tools and skills to do basic hardware and protocol-related troubleshooting on both serial (RS-485) and Ethernet type networks.

Course Outline

MODULE 1: Data Communications Basics

Overview of industrial data communications
Basic data communications principles
Error detection
Dealing with noise

MODULE 2: Serial Communications

RS-232 overview
RS-232 troubleshooting
RS-485 overview
RS-485 troubleshooting

MODULE 3: Introduction to Protocols

Protocol concepts
File transfer protocols

MODULE 4: Networking Basics and System Components

OSI model
Medium access control
Repeaters, hubs, bridges, switches, routers

MODULE 5: Industrial Ethernet

CSMA/CD (half-duplex) Ethernet
Fast Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet
Industrial Ethernet components and Techniques

MODULE 6: TCP/IP Internet Layer Protocols

The TCP/IP protocol suite
IP addressing techniques and routing concepts

MODULE 7: TCP/IP Host-to-Host and Application Layer Protocols

Host-to-Host layer protocols: TCP and UDP
FTP, DHCP, HTTP and other application layer protocols
PING, ARP, TRACERT and other TCP/IP utilities

MODULE 8: Fieldbuses

Fieldbus concepts
Foundation Fieldbus

MODULE 9: Modbus

The Modbus messaging protocol
Modbus Serial RTU
Modbus Serial ASCII
Modbus TCP/IP

MODULE 10: Wireless Communications and Networking

Microwave basics
Wireless networking components
IEEE802.11 WLANs


OPC concept
Overview of OPC specifications
OPC DA3.0 data access

MODULE 12: Network Security

Access control
Authentication and encryption
WLAN vulnerabilities and solutions


Learning and Teaching

Benefits of eLearning to Students

  • Cost effective: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Interactive: live, interactive sessions let you communicate with your instructor and fellow students
  • Flexible: short interactive sessions over the Internet which you can attend from your home or office. Learn while you earn!
  • Practical: perform exercises by remotely accessing our labs and simulation software
  • Expert instructors: instructors have extensive industry experience; they are not just 'academics'
  • No geographical limits: learn from any location, all you need is an Internet connection
  • Constant support: from your instructor(s) and a dedicated Learning Support Officer for the complete duration of the course
  • International insight: interact and network with participants from around the globe and gain valuable insight into international practice 

Benefits of eLearning to Employers

  • Lower training costs: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Less downtime: short webinars (60-90 minutes) and flexible training methods means less time away from work
  • Retain employees: keep staff who may be considering a qualification as full time study
  • Increase efficiency: improve your engineering or technical employees’ skills and knowledge
  • International insight: students will have access to internationally based professional instructors and students


How Does it Work?

EIT eLearning courses involve a combination of live, interactive sessions over the Internet with a professional instructor, set readings, and assignments. The courses include simulation software and remote laboratory applications to let you put theory to practice, and provide you with constant support from a dedicated Learning Support Officer.

Practical Exercises and Remote Laboratories

As part of the groundbreaking new way of teaching, our online engineering courses use a series of remote laboratories (labs) and simulation software, to facilitate your learning and to test the knowledge you gain during your course. These involve complete working labs set up at various locations of the world into which you will be able to log to and proceed through the various practical sessions.

These will be supplemented by simulation software, running either remotely or on your computer, to ensure you gain the requisite hands-on experience. No one can learn much solely from lectures, the labs and simulation software are designed to increase the absorption of the materials and to give you a practical orientation of the learning experience. All this will give you a solid, practical exposure to the key principles covered and will ensure that you obtain maximum benefit from your course.




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The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.