Industrial Ethernet: New switches

Unmanaged, managed, custom industrial Ethernet switches meet many rugged needs.
By Control Engineering Staff March 6, 2008

Ethernet switch announcements recently received include the following. (This isn’t a comprehensive list of suppliers or recent products. Additional industrial Ethernet vendors and resources are listed here:

Who Puts the ‘ Industrial’ in Ethernet?

and in the

Control Engineering Buyer’s Guide

. Also search ”

Ethernet switches

” atop for other recent coverage.)

The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech introduces the EKI-7656C 16+2 combo port industrial managed redundant Gigabit Ethernet switch. This compact and industrially hardened switch offers advanced traffic control for optimum network performance and security, along with rapid self-healing fiber optic ring capabilities to ensure network uptime in adverse environments. The 18-port EKI-7656C has16 Fast Ethernet (10/100Base-TX) and two combo gigabit (1000Base-T) ports, which support copper (RJ-45) connections and optional industry-standard Small-Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) modules, said to give users the power and flexibility to configure the switch for their unique application requirements. About the size of an “AA” battery, SFPs are available in single-mode and multi-mode fiber models, for fiber connections ranging from 500 m to 110 km (1,800 ft to 68 mi.) To meet the real-time fault-tolerant needs of manufacturing, Advantech developed the ultra fast X-Ring, which in the event of a fiber cable fault or similar problem, switches to the backup connection in less than 10 ms, ensuring solid and reliable network communications.

AutomationDirect: Stride industrial Ethernet switches :


’s line of Stride industrial-grade unmanaged Ethernet switches and media converters are built for industrial environments, specifically for PLC, HMI, and drive users. Available are 5-port and 8-port Ethernet switches, 4-port and 8-port Ethernet switches with one 100 BaseF fiber port, and an Ethernet-to-fiber media converter. They automatically determine and remember devices connected to each port, and only route messages through the appropriate ports to increase speed and bandwidth. Even under heavy I/O and data exchange, Stride switches and the Ethernet control network maintain more consistent cycle times. They support 10BaseT (10 Mbps) and 100BaseT (100 Mbps) on RJ45 ports. Each port independently auto-senses speed and duplex, interfacing with legacy (10 Mbps) or fast (100 Mbps) Ethernet devices. All units feature redundant power inputs with industrial surge and spike protection.

B&B Electronics

: Fully managed industrial Ethernet Managed Switches have critical enhancements for factory floor operations. Features include redundant ring topology for recovery in less than 300 ms, alarm outputs for system event notification, and dual power inputs for network reliability. Wide temperature and Gigabit versions are available. Separately, Ethernet Extenders utilize existing copper wire for Ethernet connectivity.

Contemporary Controls offers custom designed industrial Ethernet switches : Operations manager, George Karones, says Contemporary Controls can execute a customer’s idea in the least amount of time and expense, while focusing on the right product attributes that bring the customer value. Designs may come from Arcnet, CAN, and Industrial Ethernet, including EIS switches, designed for industrial temperatures, twisted-pair, and fiber optics. Select models of the EIS Series meet UL 1604 and/or UL 864 requirements. After engineers discuss the problem with a customer, they design the EISX switch, meeting compact size and extreme environmental needs. “That has always been our strength…fulfilling those special requirements for our customers,” explains Karones.

Ethernet Direct Corp. released . HUE-421S has 4 10/100TX and 2 multimode fiber ports. This entry-level 6-port industrial Ethernet switch supports IEEE 802.3/802.3u/802.3x with 10/100M, full/half-duplex, and MDI/MDI-X auto-sensing RJ-45 ports.

GarrettCom Inc .’s Magnum 6K32F Industrial Managed Switch

offers maximum fiber-port configurability in a hardened rack-mount package for industrial networking applications. It offers up to 32 10/100 fiber or copper ports and 8 Gigabit (Gb) ports in a space-efficient package. The highly configurable switch is designed for use in industrial networks with numerous fiber segments requiring Gigabit backbone interconnections among network centers. It doubles the number of fiber ports and Gb ports available in the company’s Magnum 6K32T switch, providing extra capacity for managing high-data-content industrial applications. Fiber is the cabling media of choice in industrial networking because of its superiority in areas such as noise-immunity, distance, security, bandwidth, ground loops control, and overall network reliability. They have LAN software support, network management security and ease-of-use features, and are available in two versions: MNS-6K basic and MNS-6K-Secure. Four configuration slots in the Magnum 6K32F support more than 30 port modules offering a comprehensive variety of port types and combinations, including Power over Ethernet (PoE). GarrettCom offers a PDF format

data sheet on the Magnum 6K32F switches


Kontron CP6923: 6U CompactPCI GBit Ethernet switch

in three rugged levels offers users and OEMs scalable ruggedness to meet different needs of individual applications,


says. It is a PICMG 2.16 compliant 6U CompactPCI managed Ethernet switch with 24 link ports and two 10 GbE XFP uplink connections. The three rugged levels are defined as R1, R2 and R3. The R2 and R3 versions have E2 capabilities (extended temperature range, -40 °C to +85 °C). R1 is designed for standard application requirements in air-cooled environments. R2 withstands higher shock and vibration in accordance with the EN60068-2-27/64 (similar to VITA 47’s EAC6) specification. The R3-version is fully conduction cooled and meets VITA 47’s ECC4 requirements. It has the latest technologies for non-blocking layer 3 switching and routing and has a 24-port GbE layer 3 switch with 19 link ports to CPCI boards and 1 link port to second fabric boards (all ports 10/100/1000Base-T).

Microsens is offering a new 5 Port Gigabit Ethernet Mini Switch . The switch was designed to optimize costs.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL) offers the SEL-2725 Five-Port Ethernet Switch, said to operate in extreme conditions without losing data. The unmanaged, Ethernet edge switch and media converter has four wired ports and one fiber-optic port. Applications include electrical substations, generating plants, industrial plants, and other mission-critical sites. Connect Ethernet ports of up to four devices in the same cabinet or panel to an SEL-2725, using Category 5 shielded, twisted-pair (STP) cable. Use the fiber-optic port with fiber-optic cable to safely link the switch to a station Ethernet network. The $450 switch meets or exceeds IEEE 1613 (Class 2) standards for communications networking devices, company says. SEL also provides fiber-optic and STP (wire) Ethernet cables.

Westermo DDW-220

is an Ethernet extender enhanced with a built-in four port Ethernet switch, which allows one unit to be used to create Ethernet solutions. Existing twisted pair cables can be used to establish a high speed remote connection between two Ethernet networks.

– Edited by  Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief
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