Why Industrial Router Certifications Matter
Alex Pirvulescu, Director of Product Management at Perle
Certifications ensure that IT equipment will reliably work in the harsh conditions found in industrial environments. Here are some certifications to consider when choosing which industrial router will best meet your application needs.
How MTBF Helps You Compare Rugged Routers
Manufacturers calculate Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) for reliability assessment. This represents the average time a user can expect the equipment to operate before a system failure.
Not all MTBF calculation models are created equal. Some companies use Telcordia's SR-332 standard, resulting in artificially high MTBF values. ML-HDBK-217-FN2, developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, is the most rigid standard due to its roots in the military. Choosing IT equipment that uses ML-HDBK-217-FN2 to calculate MTBF will give a user a far more accurate assessment of the reliability time of the product. So, when looking at the MTBF value, it is essential to look at which standard was used by the manufacturer to calculate it.
Bouncing Back: Crucial Certifications for Shock and Vibration Tolerance
Industrial environments are generally defined as warehouses, plants, manufacturing or fabrication facilities, construction, and mining sites. All these locations use heavy machinery and equipment that produce vibrations and shocks that can impact the performance of an IT network. To ensure an industrial router will maintain constant communication in these environments, the gold standard is products certified to MIL-STD-810G. The U.S. military established this standard for certifying equipment as field-ready by defining a rigorous testing system that simulates various environmental conditions such as shock, vibration, and more. This certification is critical for military equipment and is highly sought-after among manufacturers of rugged IT equipment.
For electronic equipment designed to operate in heavy-duty on and off-road vehicles, users should look for the SAE J1455 certification that the Society of Automotive Engineers developed.
For equipment that will be used by the railway industry and subjected to shocks, jolts, and vibrations in railway rolling stock applications, EN 61373 is required. Passing these tests is the only way to ensure continuous network communication.
Most industrial router manufacturers test to one protocol. Perle designs routers for all three to ensure optimal performance and reliability in all environments.
Understanding Safety Certifications
Some certifications don't apply to industrial settings alone. IEC 62368-1 is the primary electrical safety standard that all IT networking products and their power supplies must meet. It combines the requirements previously covered by IEC 60065 and 60950-1 to ensure the equipment is designed with safeguards to protect users from pain and injury from shock or property damage in the case of fire.
IEC 61010 provides additional safety guidelines and requirements for electrical equipment used in non-commercial settings such as laboratories or measurement and control system environments. It specifies safety features, protective measures, and performance requirements for IT equipment and addresses various potential hazards, such as electrical shock, fire, mechanical hazards, and energy sources.
Most router vendors rely on one of these standards. To guarantee the highest possible safety and protection, Perle's routers achieve both.
Navigating Hazardous Classified Locations With Industrial Routers
The list is short when looking for an industrial router approved for safe and reliable operation where flammable gasses, liquids or vapors are handled, processed or used.
The International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx) offers a globally recognized certification scheme for equipment in explosive atmospheres, addressing risk of ignition or explosion due to flammable gasses, vapors or dust. Achieving IECEx certification is incredibly difficult, as it requires the manufacturing process to use only approved components of a certain standard.
Perle tracks parts production responsibly so that their rugged routers not only meet IECEx certification standards but also meet ATEX/Ex Class 1 Zone 2 requirements and EU Directive 2014/34 – all of which regulate equipment intended for potentially explosive environments.
In addition, Perle industrial cellular routers are compliant with ANSI/ISA 12.12.01 under groups A-D (acetylene, hydrogen, ethylene, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, fuels and solvents).
Certifications for Emissions-Friendly Routers
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards control unintended electromagnetic or radio frequency interference from devices. Most router vendors attain Class A certification, which is suitable for commercial and industrial settings.
Due to its use of high-standard components and streamlined product design, Perle's routers comply with the FCC's Class B certification, which means its devices can be used where especially low emissions are required to avoid any interference with other equipment or human hearing.
Carrier Certifications in Industrial Cellular Routers
When your operations rely on a 5G or 4G LTE router, you need to be certain it integrates well with the carrier's network standards. Some telecom operators offer certifications to indicate device compatibility, security and adherence to their performance standards.
As an example, AT&T developed FirstNet in collaboration with the U.S. federal government to create a reliable infrastructure for first responders after 9/11. Perle routers fulfill the specifications for AT&T's certification as well as those of Verizon, T-Mobile and Orange.
Meeting European Standards: The CE Declaration
Outside the U.S., the Conformité Européene (CE) certification is the most common standard. It ensures that electronic devices comply with all relevant EU regulations before they can be legally placed on the market.
Perle routers have passed all tests necessary to achieve the CE marking.
Railway Certification: Stay on Track and Elevate Industrial Router Reliability and Compliance
In addition to EN 61373, various other certifications are used to ensure reliable operations in railway applications.
- EN 50155 & EN 50121 are standards for electronic equipment used in railway applications that cover aspects such as temperature, humidity, shock, power supply, emissions and electromagnetic compatibility.
- IEC 60571 & IEC 62236 address factors like environmental requirements, but also electromagnetic compatibility of signaling, thus making sure a router doesn't cause any interference.
To ensure maximum compatibility and reliability in countries around the world, Perle routers meet the demands of all four certifications.
A Smoother Ride: Certifications for Vehicle Area Networking
Creating a vehicle area network is becoming a common practice in fleet management, public transportation and first responder vehicles. Three certifications are especially relevant when industrial cellular routers are deployed in a vehicle.
E-Mark is a certification used in the European Union to indicate that a vehicle or vehicle component meets the necessary regulations, laws and directives. An E-Marked product is considered compliant and can be sold and used without the need for further testing or assessment. The mark can also be recognized outside of Europe, as many countries follow similar compliance requirements and accept E-Mark reports as proof of compliance.
ISO 7637-2 ensures the conducted electrical transients of equipment are compatible when installed in vehicles with 12V or 24V electrical systems.
ISO 16750-2 specifies tests and requirements for specific mounting locations of electronic systems and components in a vehicle.
These certifications are essential in creating a reliable vehicle area network, and Perle industrial routers have them all.
To find the right router for your organization, it's important to know which certifications are required for your environment.
To learn more about industrial LTE routers built to the highest performance standards, reach out to our expert team.