Those seeking to explain the Manufacturing Automation Protocol (MAP) and its office equivalent, the Technical and Office Protocols (TOP), have struggled to find comparisons that will make them easier to understand. A good analogy is that with the ring main or domestic power circuit. Everyone in the more developed countries assumes access to domestic electricity, and would find it difficult to carry on their lives without an electric socket. They would also assume that, at least within a country, most sockets have a standard shape and size, no matter what has to be plugged into them. And they would assume that the same socket could power a lamp, an electric typewriter, a washing machine or a drill. There is a limit to the analogy, but it does correspond roughly with General Motors’ original conception of MAP. MAP began as a central communications core or ‘bus’ into which every piece of equipment for the factory floor must plug. If the equipment did not plug into the MAP backbone GM originally conceived, then GM would not buy that equipment.
KeywordsLocal Area Network Coaxial Cable Twisted Pair Data Switch RS232 Port
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