Manage Your Network

Aug. 29, 2011
Ethernet, Security and Complexity Call for Managed Switches and Routers

More automation processes moving to Ethernet-based control and a growing concern for network security and safety are leading to increasingly managed switch and router functionality.

A virtual local area network (VLAN) is an important function for managed switches, says Charlton Buck, product manager, North America, industrial communications and power networks, at Harting ( "As an example, you may want a packaging line to use certain ports—port 4, filling; port 5, washing; port 6, accumulation—to ensure your manufacturing batch process is not being accessed by potentially malicious users," he explains. "You can set up policies on your batch process ports—port 1, mixing tank; port 2, water softener; port 3, boiler—to restrict user access, or if you want to access a particular server without cross-traffic from other routers."

Fully managed switches, used primarily where Ethernet is the primary automation control, also have applications in network redundancy and remote viewing, notes Mike Wightman, sales manager, fiberoptic products, at Ultra Electronics, NSPI ( Managed switches can also trigger email messages to a smart device in alarm situations, and can have self-healing ring (SHR) capabilities to keep the network up and running.

Industrial network traffic increases as companies seek ways to increase their net income and improve margins, Buck notes, adding that more information is being extracted from atypical resources. In some cases, managed switches can make better use of network bandwidth. For example, having machine control on the same network as voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones or printers could slow down the network. "This is similar to using a 100 ft fire hose to water your tomato garden, wash your sports car, and put out a three-alarm house fire," Buck says.

"More and more data are being placed onto Ethernet backbones (such as alarm systems, HVAC, office machines such as printers and servers, audio and video), making the systems more complex," Wightman says. Increasing complexity leads to increased data traffic, and in turn a need for faster processing speeds. "Most industrial networks have standardized on 100 MHz Ethernet switch speeds for their control applications. However, this bandwidth can be saturated quickly if customers also require video over IP for manufacturing surveillance cameras, for example. The GHz platform addresses these concerns, and provides a migration path for control networks should future products require increased data throughput."

Secure Gigabit
EDR-G903 Firewall/VPN secure router supports three combo Gigabit ports with built-in RJ45 ports and SFP slots for connecting to a WAN, a LAN, and a WAN or DMZ. The dual WAN feature is ideal for establishing a reliable Internet connection backup and for providing a secondary option for load sharing two Internet service providers. It supports intelligent firewall functions and Quick Automation Profile helps enable more than 25 common fieldbus protocols.

Wireless Smarts
Smart Switch industrial frequency-hopping Ethernet radios for the 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz spectra intelligently route packets over the network, managing the wireless network like a standard Ethernet switch, creating peer-to-peer wireless Ethernet communication. The radios provide long-range wireless connectivity and support 1.1 Mbps data rates. A serial port can be used to pull data from a serial device and send to a client via wireless Ethernet.
ProSoft Technology

Gateway to Ethernet
Ethernet Remote I/O communication gateway and backplane enable LB/LB remote I/O to speak a new communication protocol as a virtual bridge between traditional field instruments and Modbus TCP-based Ethernet with data transfer rates to 100 Mbps. A single gateway controls up to 80 analog or 184 discrete signals. The high transfer frequencies require LWL connections for long distances, while the copper lines are suitable for distances up to 100 m.

Gateway Switch
BL20 Economy gateways for EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP for distributed I/O have an integrated Ethernet switch that allows a line topology between multiple gateways without using an external switch, eliminating the need for additional cable runs to the PLC. BL20 gateways accommodate up to 32 I/O modules and are available with an integrated power supply, eliminating the need for an additional power module to feed the I/O bus.

Stratix 8000 and 8300 managed switches software Release 6 have enhancements to broken wire detection, precision time protocol and Smartports. New Stratix 6000 software features include spanning tree protocols, SNMP and VLAN trunking. The new release has added flexibility in building network architectures.
Rockwell Automation

What's Your Line
BasicLine, ValueLine and PremiumLine unmanaged, lean managed and fully managed switches have options for Gigabit, Power over Ethernet and media conversion; IP30-rated metal housings; vibration-resistant construction; hazardous-area approvals; and extended operating range of -40 to 60 ºC.

Switch Handles Stress
Eight-port, EN50155-certified, IP67-rated EKI-6558TI and EKI-6559TMI managed Ethernet switches with redundant X-Ring have watertight and weatherproof cases. EKI-6559TMI has two fiberoptic ports to guarantee interference-free connections and extend communication range.
Advantech Industrial Automation

Edge Switch
Magnum Power over Ethernet PES42 Power Source edge switches support up to four surveillance or access control devices as well as a fiber trunk back to a central control point. It has integrated ac/dc, 125 Vdc dual source, 48 Vdc dual source, 24 Vdc dual source, or integrated ac power input.

One for Many
cifX network controllers support EtherNet/IP, Profinet, EtherCat, DeviceNet and Profibus. Available in PCI, Mini PCI, CompactPCI, PCI/104 and PCI Express formats, the cards use the same software host interface for all protocols, allowing quick and easy change of protocols by loadable firmware.
Hilscher North America

Heal Thyself
G408M fully managed industrial Gigabit Ethernet switch has a self-healing ring capability. When a fiber or cable break is detected on any of the ring ports, the switch reroutes network traffic in milliseconds. An alarm output, available on the terminal block, can signal error conditions to a PLC or other supervisory devices. Ports 1-4 are copper only; ports 5-8 can be either copper or fiber ports.
Ultra Electronics

Any Port
26-port 7026TX-AC rack-mounted switch for a 19 in., open-frame rack or machine cabinet features 24 10/100BaseTX copper interfaces and two Gigabit SFP expansion ports. 7026TX-AC accepts ac power for industrial machines; dc-powered 7026TX is aimed at conventional industrial applications. Both have N-Link redundancy and N-View OPC server.

Fast Recovery
10/100BaseTX to 100BaseFX managed, redundant industrial switch uses redundant copper or fiber links with switching recovery times below 300 ms. The eight-port switches can be SNMP-managed via web browser to configure the latest industrial networking capability including IGMP snooping, VLANs, QoS, port mirroring and trunking.
Transition Networks

GigE and Fiber
FL mGuard GT security devices provide all-in-one routing, firewall and VPN capability and support speeds to 1 Gb. They support fiber as well as copper connections for application distances >100 m or in electrically noisy environments. With SFP connectors, a single GT/GT can work with single, multimode or long-haul fiber.
Phoenix Contact

Integrated Switch
Anybus X-gateway CANopen functions as an adapter (slave) on the EtherNet/IP network and as a manager (master) on the CANopen side. The gateway is equipped with an integrated two-port switch on the EtherNet/IP side, enabling EtherNet/IP installations in bus or line topology without the need for external switches.
HMS Industrial Networks

Deterministic Switching
Fast Track Switch technology recognizes prioritizes and accelerates the Ethernet messages needed for specific applications. The identification characteristics of these messages are easy to configure within the switch, so important messages, can be accelerated by way of the cut-through method to overtake other messages blocking their path.

Stack 'Em
EL326 Layer 3 rack-mount, managed industrial Ethernet switch provides 24 ports of Gigabit Ethernet and 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks for industrial environments. Advanced port security (static and dynamic) supports several authentication and encryption protocols, rate limiting and ACL features. Dedicated stacking ports enable the stacking of up to four switches, thereby providing redundancy and the ability to add capacity as required.

Great Strides
Stride line of industrial-grade unmanaged Ethernet switches and media converters with aluminum housings automatically determine and remember devices connected to each port and only route messages through the appropriate ports, increasing speed and bandwidth, even under heavy I/O and data exchange.

Switch Quickly
QuickSwitch 6259R RoHS-compliant, manually operated, 16-channel ST simplex fiberoptic A/B/Offline network switch has MEMS-based mirror/prism switch technology that supports Gigabit data rates. It allows devices connected to the Common port of each channel access to the A or B port on each channel. The front-panel LED display indicates all of the switch positions and unit power status.

Stands Alone
Standalone Ethernet hub for X20 slice I/O can be used as a 4x or 6x hub or even 2x hub for extending Ethernet sections up to 200 m. In addition to standard Ethernet, the modular hub can be expanded with an X20 bus controller module with an integrated 2x hub for Ethernet Powerlink.
B&R Industrial Automation

Mach1040 19-in. rack-mount Layer-2 Gigabit Ethernet switch has 16 frontor rear-facing Gigabit Ethernet RJ45/SFP combo ports that support 100 Mbps and Gigabit transceivers. The rear-facing option provides a cleaner look and restricts unauthorized access to cabling. Four ports are available with power over Ethernet.

Seven-port 852-104 100BaseTX + Two-Slot 100BaseFX industrial managed Ethernet switch provides multiple confi guration methods, alarm contact to signal errors via email, event monitoring/reporting and port testing. The switch provides XPress Ring and Jet Ring redundancy technologies for networking convenience and reliability.

EL6692 EtherCat bridge terminal improves synchronization for highly complex machines and production lines with numerous EtherCat masters. In the most complex systems, data may have to be exchanged between individual EtherCat systems, or the distributed clocks of diff erent systems may have to be synchronized. The bridge terminal is an ideal solution as it cost-eff ectively implements these tasks directly in the I/O system. In addition to normal data exchange, the EtherCat bridge permits distributed clock synchronization.
Beckhoff Automation

Skorpion IP (EIPR) industrial-grade router/switch has a stateful fi rewall, port forwarding, network address translation (NAT), port address translation (PAT) and dynamic host confi guration protocol (DHCP) on both the LAN and WAN sides. The built-in fi rewall provides security by allowing an industrial network to communicate through the IT network to the Internet, while blocking unwanted communications from the IT network.
Contemporary Controls

NETernity CP921RC-30x 6U CompactPCI 24-port Gigabit Ethernet switch is a fully managed Layer 2/3+ switch with support for futureproof IPv6 switching and routing. New functionality includes failover groups (FOG), a feature designed to support redundancy links across backplanes from nodes to switches, redundant switches and redundant links to external networks.
GE Intelligent Platforms
44 (0) 1327 322821

NE1A-EDR01 Ethernet/IP-DeviceNet routers are UL-listed and allow the operating condition of a DeviceNet safety system to be confi gured and monitored from a general-purpose Ethernet device. An ED router makes it possible to program controllers and slaves from a network confi gurator on a PC connected to Ethernet or EtherNet/IP networks.
Omron STI

Scalance XR-324 managed industrial Ethernet switches in a 19-in. rack housing connect to 24 Vdc or 110–230 Vac and integrate plant fl oor networks with enterprise networks via a Gigabit backbone. Each slot in the switch can accommodate a selection of two-port electrical or optical media modules available with single-mode or multimode fiber.
Siemens Industry