What are industrial ethernet switches used for?
An industrial ethernet switch, also known as a power over ethernet (PoE) switch, delivers electrical power and data transmission capability to connected network devices. This means you don't have to have an independent power source for each device. Choosing the right PoE switch can help your network stay up and running even in unfavorable circumstances or conditions. Here are five ways an industrial ethernet switch can support your network.
1. Keeping your network connected
Your industrial network may be the backbone on which your entire company operates. According to CNS Partners, reliability of your internt connection is a must. When you have the right industrial ethernet switches in place, they will provide continual power for your network and allow all network communication to run through a single ethernet cable. This reduces multiple points of failure and makes it easy to find and fix issues when something goes wrong.
2. Resisting harsh environmental conditions
An industrial PoE is built specifically to withstand wide swings in temperature as well extreme weather conditions including high humidity and exposure to moisture. While normal commercial ethernet switches typically operate best in a temperature controlled environment, and may fail at either end of a narrow temperature range, industrial switches are designed to stand up even in temps as low as -40°C or as high as 75°C. Industrial switches are also vibration and shock resistant, making them ideal for harsh work environments such as:
- Industrial and factory automation systems
- Outdoor electrical applications
- Rail and intelligent transportation systems (ITSs)
- Marine installations
- Oil and gas platforms
- Mining sites
3. Reducing noise and interference
Twisted wire cables are commonly used to span short distances of 100 meters or less. Many industrial applications require much longer distances to be spanned, and utilize fiber optic cables instead to achieve the necessary longer range of connectivity (according to Multicom, fiber can reach 12 miles.) However, high levels of electrical noise can cause interference with network connections. Industrial ethernet switches can damp down the noise, improving network connections from point to point.
4. Providing an unmanaged switch option
Managed ethernet switches are typically used for high-priority networks, but are expensive. For low-priority networks, unmanaged industrial PoE switches can provide a perfectly suitable solution at a lower cost. These PoE switches can deliver connectivity for as many as five to ten ports at once, connect one switch to another, and conduct basic basic packet filtering.
5. Delivering advanced managed switch capabilities
Using managed ethernet switches gives you all of the functionality as unmanaged ethernet switches, plus a bevy of advanced network management tools. You can use managed switches to improve any or all of the following:
- Traffic filtering: Managed PoE switches enhance traffic filtering with protocols that improve determinism and direct multicast packets to the appropriate port. By forwarding packets to specific devices, you gain increased efficiency and a faster communication rate across your network.
- Network topography and device mapping: For large, complex networks, device management system (DMS) software delivers a clear visual of the network topography, streamlining monitoring, troubleshooting, cable diagnostics, and network maintenance tasks.
- Network security: Managed industrial ethernet switches can help allow you to fully control your various port settings, eliminate unauthorized access, and fully protect sensitive data moving through your network.
Perle has over 734 models of rugged but easy to install and configure PoE switches that feature industrial protocol management support as well as enhanced reliability, superior security, and built-in network redundancy. Explore our range of industrial ethernet switches that deliver support for 10/100/1000 ethernet and fiber, across a variety of 5 and 10 port unmanaged, managed, and IDS PoE switch options.