Application checklist: Do you need rugged or commercial Ethernet hardware?

Weidmuller offers a list of choice points based on an Ethernet network application.

By Control Engineering Staff April 13, 2009

IP67 connectors allow on machine, distributed Ethernet connections

Make industrial-grade Ethernet connections on the machine with M12 plug-in connectors . Weidmuller M12 connectors are said to be designed for the most extreme environments and

Customers need to know the details of their applications to make the best choices when selecting the equipment to run an Ethernet network. Bruce Hofmann, Weidmuller product manager, offers examples based on an actual application to help discern between commercial and industrial Ethernet equipment. Industrial : If the application has a very high ambient temperature, the equipment needs to survive in the environment, and run within a comfortable margin of the temperature range. Commercial : What are the parameters in the application? For an application running a sound and lighting system from a clean and climate-controlled main control room, commercial Ethernet switches are fine. Industrial : In the same application, devices in the field are mounted inside enclosures spread out over several miles. The field devices, however, were subjected to temperatures ranging from 0 Industrial : Consider electrical interference. Lighting controllers mounted right beside the Ethernet switches were multichannel dimmers that put out a substantial amount of electrical noise. Industrial : Temperature extremes would cause prompt failure using commercial Ethernet switches for field units. In addition, the switches would not have functioned properly next to the lighting controllers. Specific parameters justified the need to use industrialized equipment due to the working temperature range and noise immunity characteristics. Commercial with modifications : Another option would have been to use commercial grade products, but pay to Weidmuller Also see:

Plug into Industrial Ethernet Protocols


– Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief Control Engineering News Desk Register here to select your choice of free eNewsletters .