Industrial Network Generations

Aug. 20, 2013
Ethernet Keeps Extending Its Reach, But There's a Lot of Legacy Connectivity Doing Important Work, So They Still Need to Talk

Our most recent survey of the Industrial Networking audience identified some network switch use and application trends.

We learned that almost 70% of respondents said their speed requirement was 100 Mbps, while nearly all the rest said they needed Gigabit speed or faster. In addition, 61% of respondents connect with both copper and fiberoptic cables, while 31% use only copper and 8% use only fiberoptics. Further, 33% indicated their Ethernet switches are Power over Ethernet (PoE)-enabled.

SEE ALSO: Nothing but Growth for Ethernet

“We also see an increased need for Gigabit Ethernet, and the ability to mix copper and fiber connectivity on a single device,” says Diane Davis, director of Ethernet networking at Red Lion Controls. “The need for higher (Gigabit) speed is largely being driven by the use of cameras for security throughout industrial applications. Cameras and displays, in turn, are driving an increasing interest in Power-over-Ethernet.”

Industrial automation has embraced Ethernet and IP networking, and adoption of these technologies is growing, states Paul Wacker, product marketing manager at Moxa. “However, there’s still a huge installed base of devices and equipment with only serial (i.e., Modbus) connectivity,” Walker says. “In addition, there still are many manufacturers that don’t have the resources or expertise to add Ethernet to their products. Industrial Ethernet Gateways allow these serial devices to be connected to Ethernet, with built-in protocol conversion between EtherNet/IP and legacy protocols like Modbus RTU.”

Ethernet to All
PLX30 standalone DIN-rail-mounted protocol gateway provides one Ethernet port and up to four isolated serial ports for EtherNet/IP to Modbus TCP/IP; EtherNet/IP to Modbus Serial, 1 & 4 port; Modbus TCP/IP to Modbus Serial, 1 & 4 port; EtherNet/IP to Siemens Industrial Ethernet; and EtherNet/IP to ASCII, 1 & 4 port. They support multiple I/O connections to EtherNet/IP-enabled PACs, providing real time transfer of up to 4,000 words of data between HMIs and SCADA systems, power monitors and flow computers.
ProSoft Technology
(661) 716-5100

Access Access
Scalance X-200RNA redundant network access (RNA) modules are designed for high network availability, and connect terminal devices into redundant network structures. The modules comply with IEC 63439-3, and support star, ring or tree structures using Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) or ring structures using High Availability Seamless Redundancy Protocol (HSR). Diagnostics are available via LED, integrated web server or signaling contact.
Siemens Industry
(800) 964-4114

Simplify Mapping
Stratix 5700 managed industrial Ethernet switches include an optional integrated network address translation (NAT) feature for simplified integration of IP-address mapping from a set of local, machine-level IP addresses to the end user’s broader plant-process network. The switches are available with six, 10 and 20 fixed-port configurations, and include IEEE-1588 time synchronization, QoS (prioritization) and Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP). 
Rockwell Automation
(800) 223-5354

Priority Delivery
EKI-3000 light-industrial, unmanaged switches are five and eight port Ethernet switches in 10/100 and Gigabit versions. Priority ports prioritize the traffic, and delay the less immediately necessary data. Smart diagnostic functions help discover a fault on the system without painstaking port analysis. Advanced power saving functions save up to 60% consumption by shutting down ports that have no link, and budgeting power based on the length of the Ethernet cable according to the IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Standard.
Advantech Industrial Automation

Single port MB-Gateway module converts Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU. It has an automatic read function, and is equipped with one RJ45 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port and one RS-422/485 two- or four-wire serial port. It supports up to 12 Modbus TCP Client (master) Ethernet connections and up to 128 RTU server (slave) serial connections. The gateway module is 35mm DIN-rail mountable, and supports NetEdit or Web browser configuration tools.
(770) 889-2858


One Box Does It All
Spectre3G-W 802.11b/g/n wireless cellular router is a single-box solution that provides local machine-to-machine (M2M) network connectivity via built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, Ethernet 10/100 and I/O ports. It connects to the Internet via CDMA and HSPA+ cellular telephone networks, and can serve as a Wi-Fi access point (AP) or hotspot, and scan for and tie into existing short-distance, wireless networks.
B&B Electronics
(800) 346-3119


Media Friendly
In-cabinet, IP-20-rated Ethernet switches with a multimode fiberoptic port unit for environments requiring conversion from fiber to copper are approved for hazardous locations per UL and ATEX ratings. They conform to all necessary IEEE standards, support EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and Profinet, and are available in small expansion, five- to eight-port unmanaged configurations and eight-port managed options.
(800) 544-7769


Network Backbone
GHS gigabit modular Ethernet switch for use as an automation backbone device in automotive or infrastructure applications, or for connectivity to higher-level networks, supports all common Gigabit and Fast Ethernet standards and IT standard protocols, as well as Profinet and EtherNet/IP. On-board display provides access to diagnostics and configuration options without additional software and tools. It accommodates up to 28 ports with up to 12 for Gigabit, and has a -20 to 55 °C rating.
Phoenix Contact
(800) 322-3225

Exchange Data
MGate 5105-MB-EIP industrial Ethernet gateway for Modbus RTU/ASCII/TCP and EtherNet/IP uses the gateway as a Modbus master or slave to integrate existing Modbus devices onto an EtherNet/IP network to collect data and exchange data with EtherNet/IP devices. The gateway converts stored Modbus data into EtherNet/IP packets, so the EtherNet/IP scanner can control or monitor Modbus devices.
(888) moxa-usa


It’s Automatic
Ethernet Eco switch 852-1111 is plug-and-play, connects up to five network devices to an Ethernet network with data rates of 10, 100 or 1,000 Mbps. It includes automatic data rate adjustment (autonegotiation) or automatic transmit/receive cable detection (Auto-MDIX). Up to 2,000 devices can be managed via MAC address list. Full-duplex communication complies with IEEE 802.3x in an operating range of 0–60 °C.
(800) din-rail

Form Your Choice
Anybus CompactCom has multiple form factors: chip, full network connectivity solution on one chip for integration into the user´s PCB design; brick, for users with limited space or who want to add network connectors; and module with a complete, interchangeable communication module. Performance level 30 is for general automation, such as general-purpose drives, sensors and HMIs, while 40-series is for high-performance industrial communication.
HMS Industrial Networks
(312) 829-0601

Be Direct
Brad Direct-Link unmanaged switches in five- and eight-port modules have Ultra-Lock push-pull technology. Machine-mount, IP67, sealed switch modules reduce network cabling and installation costs. Direct-Link eight-port switches operate in -40 to 75 °C for NEMA 6 and IP67 environmental ratings, and are compatible with Brad industrial products including cordsets, receptacles, field-attachable connectors, I/O modules, PC interfaces, gateways, switches and diagnostic tools.
(800) 78-molex

Industrial Routers
Industrial routers include fast EBW-H100 cellular router with an integrated, two-port switch that uses both HSPA and GPRS for data transfer. EBW-E100 is a pure Ethernet router with one public and one local LAN interface.
Insys Microelectronics
49 (941) 586-92-0

Gateway to Automation
WebPort is a remote access gateway that allows users to interact with automation systems using native programming tools. WebPort provides data logging and alarm notification via email and SMS. It provides secure access via the Internet or cellular network using a VPN; datalogging and reporting; alarm and event notification via email, SMS or FTP; and simultaneous serial and Ethernet device connectivity.
Spectrum Controls
(425) 746-9481


Transmit. Repeat
WNM wireless network module sends process signals between remote field sites. A single unit transmits up to 30 miles, and acts as a repeater for a virtually unlimited transmission range. The bidirectional WNM uses spread-spectrum, frequency-hopping to avoid interference. Operating at standard frequencies of 902-928 MHz or 2.4-2.4835 GHz, WNM doesn’t require a regulatory license.
Moore Industries-Int’l
(818) 894-7111


Gigabit routers are designed to offer secure and reliable communication between Ethernet-based systems as well as higher-level networks. Integrated “stateful inspection” firewall and NAT masquerading security protect against unauthorized access. Additional features include prioritization and channeling of network data traffic, IP address mapping to reduce IP addresses, and adjustment of IP address areas.
(800) 849-9343

Ease and Power
EOTec 2104 industrial Ethernet switch comes preconfigured for ring redundancy. The switch uses self-healing ring topology, ease of operation of an unmanaged switch, but provides port mirroring, broadcast storm protection and priority queuing like a managed switch. In addition to offering 30 ms + 5 ms/hop recovery time, the switch allows for real-time data transfer with IEEE 802.3 Ethernet compliance.
Ultra Electronics
(512) 434-2800

Copper and Fiber
NT24k managed Gigabit Ethernet industrial switch with up to 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports has a modular format for different configuration options. Rack or DIN-rail models provide Gigabit and 100BaseT connectivity options in copper and fiber. It includes expanded shock and vibration tolerances and an extreme operating temperature range. Management features include web browser management, SNMP, jumbo frame support, port trunking, port mirroring, DHCP client, 802.1Q VLAN and 802.1p QoS.
Red Lion Controls
(717) 767-6511

Pass the Failover Test
RSP Ethernet switch series supports IEC-standard redundancy protocols, which provide failover times of 0 ms, based on the IEC 62439 standard. Security functions include authentication, Radius support, role-based access, port security, SSHv2, HTTPS and SFTP. They provide precision time synchronization in accordance with IEEE 1588v2. The switches are fanless with 11 ports, of which three can be used for SFP transceivers that support 100BaseFX or Gigabit Ethernet.
(314) 854-8000

RS-485 to Ethernet
Ethernet-over-RS-485 products deploy, transport and access EtherNet/IP data on existing functional RS-485 infrastructure. Hardened Ethernet routers and switches use existing twisted-pair wiring or proprietary cabling to rapidly create and enable extremely reliable networks without impacting existing functionality, reliability or security.
(858) 434-0605

Two's Better
PPM-Gige-2 two-channel Gigabit Ethernet LAN module has self-stacking I/O expansion and standard RJ45 connectors to plug into 10/100/1000 Mbps networks using standard Cat. 5 unshielded, twisted-pair copper. Two Gigabit Ethernet controllers combine a triple-speed, IEEE 802.3-compliant media access controller with a triple-speed Ethernet transceiver, 32-bit PCI bus controller and embedded memory. It has crossover detection and auto-correction, polarity correction, adaptive equalization, cross-talk cancellation, echo cancellation, timing recovery and error correction.
(817) 274-7553