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Fieldbus is the name of a family of industrial computer network protocols used for real-time distributed control, standardized as IEC 61158.

A complex automated industrial system — such as manufacturing assembly line — usually needs a distributed control system—an organized hierarchy of controller systems—to function. In this hierarchy, there is usually a Human Machine Interface (HMI) at the top, where an operator can monitor or operate the system. This is typically linked to a middle layer of programmable logic controllers (PLC) via a non- time-critical communications system (e.g. Ethernet). At the bottom of the control chain is the fieldbus that links the PLCs to the components that actually do the work, such as sensors, actuators, electric motors, console lights, switches, valves and contactors.