What is 'Industrial' Ethernet?
While the switching and network management functions (IGMP, QoS, RMON, SNMP etc) are largely similar across all applications for Ethernet networks, the industrial environment provides many challenges and points of difference that mean 'oils ain't oils' when it comes to selecting network switchgear when achieving high production uptime is essential. Simply put, devices for 'industrial ethernet' need to provide tolerance to extremes (and rapid changes ) of temperature, vibration, shock and EMI. Domestic and Commercial grade equipment is not subject to these environments, and is hence not designed nor built for them.
There are numerous other differences, with Industrial Ethernet products featuring:
- Rail mounting to suit switchboards (though Rack mount models are also available)
- Low voltage DC supplies - typically 24Vdc, but often with quite wide ranges.
- Redundant power supplies
- Relay fault contacts
- Fanless design to boost reliability
- GUI for ease of use
- High recovery speed redundancy protocols such as Hirschmann's proprietary HiPER-Ring™ and the standardised MRP