Exclusive: Switch management to PLC

EtherNet/IP Profile switch from Hirschmann responds to the increasing application of Ethernet as a plant floor network.

By Control Engineering Staff April 23, 2007
EtherNet/IP Profile switch from Hirschmann incorporates EtherNet/IP directly in its firmware, letting users manage, monitor, and configure the switch directly in their PLC programming software.

EtherNet/IP Profile switch from Hirschmann responds to the increasing application of Ethernet as a plant floor network. The fully SNMP and EtherNet/IP managed switches offer a broad set of standard features and are available in all Hirschmann Open Rail switches (RS20/30 and MS20/30). Switches in the field can be upgraded to this functionality with a simple firmware update.

Ethernet has evolved from a connection to IT to the network of choice, says Hirschmann, in many instances for HMI connections, I/O control, drive integration, video, and more. As these networks have grown more complex, so has the burden of learning to manage and optimize them. Designed to make network management easier, EtherNet/IP Profile switch incorporates EtherNet/IP directly in its firmware, letting users manage, monitor, and configure the Ethernet switch directly in their PLC programming software (for example, Rockwell Software’s RSLogix™ 5000). The switch is simply added to the I/O tree in the same way a rack of I/O points, drive, or other node would be. From that point, switch parameters are exposed as tags and are available for use in programming code.

Network data are easily available to the HMI, bringing network status and diagnostic information to the display in a straightforward fashion. Having this information in the PLC data table makes the integration seamless. Users can incorporate network information such as switch status, port link status, and network counters, and even enable and disable individual ports.

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