Top 10 Reasons to Buy an Industrial Ethernet Switch
An industrial Ethernet switch allows devices to connect with each other in harsh and rugged environments. It is widely used in industries to interconnect with devices so that an exchange of information and monitoring can take place. The demands of a particular industry may vary when it comes to the interconnectivity of devices, points such as operation in harsh environments, ease of use, security, etc. are of prime importance. Industrial Ethernet switches are an integral part of industries throughout the world, so let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons why one should buy an industrial Ethernet switch.
1. Interconnectivity of Devices and Networks
An industrial Ethernet switch at its basic function allows different devices present in an industrial plant to connect with each other so that they can communicate. It also allows different networks to connect with each other by sending and receiving data. The interconnectivity of devices and networks allows plant control and monitoring to become a manageable job ensuring that every device is connected and communicating. Industrial switches have a wide array of ports allowing for multiple devices to operate on a single switch. Certain features in industrial network switches allow monitoring and configuration of devices remotely without the need for staff to attend to such operations regularly.
2. Long Distance Operation
Industrial Ethernet switches allow a long-range of operations for their devices and networks. In comparison to the commercially available Ethernet switches, the distance of operations offered by the industrial Ethernet switches is quite long. In general, Ethernet switches can cover a distance of 100 meters, however, when a fiber optic cable is used, the operating range in terms of distance can be extended up to miles, thereby allowing devices to connect with each other over long distances. Industries with plant devices located at remote locations can utilize this feature of Ethernet switches to connect their devices over the network.
3. Effectiveness Against Noise
Noise and interference can play a crucial role in data transmission as a distorted signal may cause the network to malfunction ultimately leading to downtime for the industry. Therefore, industrial switches come with a built-in capability to reduce any noise or interference in the signal thereby improving network quality. The use of fiber optic cable reduces the noise as it is most commonly used in industries in places where long-distance operation is required.
4. Operation in Extreme Temperatures
Industries with processes that involve an extreme range of temperatures need better connectivity amongst their devices and demand that the network is reliable enough to operate in such an environment. Industrial switches are specifically designed to handle a wide range of temperatures, it is commonly available in an operating range of -10°C to 70°C with an extended temperature range of -40°C to 75°C.
5. Corrosion Protection
Plants with manufacturing facilities especially in the industries like chemical, wastewater treatment, and marine have environments where the risk of corrosion exists. Corrosion can damage the switch with the passage of time which can eventually lead to downtime for the industries. Industrial switches ensure protection against this aspect of industries and offer corrosion protection with conformal coating for their switches according to the standards set by international organizations.
6. Vibration Protection
Manufacturing industries have environments that involve constant vibrations and shock that can disturb the communication of devices and cause disruption in network communication. Industrial network switches come with features like anti-vibration and anti-shock that ensures communication of devices despite such harsh environments.
7. Rugged Housing
The harsh environments in outdoor industries have certain elements that are not perceptible. The presence of dirt, dust, and moisture can degrade the internal components and circuitry of the switches. To take care of such elements and to make sure that industrial switches are protected against such environments, an array of housing materials are designed such as metal and waterproof.
8. PoE Capability
Industrial switches also come in a Power over Ethernet configuration, where a single Ethernet cable can transfer power as well as data. This configuration saves industries the extra cost of cabling including the time and resources needed for their installation. It is a very convenient way to integrate devices that are PoE-enabled to connect to a network that takes very little time to deploy.
9. Unmanaged Switches
Industrial switches that offer simple plug-and-play operation without having to configure the ports of the switch are known as unmanaged switches. They are low-cost and provide a basic level of communication and connectivity. They are suitable for industries where communication and connectivity are not that complex and a cost-effective solution is desirable.
10. Managed Switches
Managed Ethernet switches are used in industries where devices need to be monitored and configured remotely. In general, managed Ethernet switches allow you to manage and control the LAN traffic remotely without having to manually check for these. Managed switches come with redundancy features and are comparatively expensive to implement.
Industrial Ethernet switches are a robust solution for industries with diverse needs and allow operation in harsh environments. It comes with features such as an extended temperature range, anti-shock, anti-vibration, corrosion-resistant, and rugged housing. Its ability to operate in such rugged and harsh environments makes it an obvious choice for industries that have a variety of operations with a need for reliable communication between devices and an agile network.