Rockwell Automation have joined forces with global supplier of networking equipment and Internet management solutions, Cisco, to develop a comprehensive portfolio of industrial Ethernet switches and easy-to-use ‘Reference Architectures’. The pairing of these two industries provides businesses with improved access to solutions that optimise network integration throughout the enterprise--from the manufacturing floor, through to the boardroom.
The Rockwell Automation/Cisco co-branded Stratix series of industrial Ethernet switches includes the Allen-Bradley Stratix 8000 modular managed switch suite. Compact by design, the modular Stratix 8000 has been optimised for operation in both IT and manufacturing environments. The Stratix 8000 uses the Cisco ‘Catalyst’ operating system and user interface, and can be configured using Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software. This allows users to set up, program and manage their switching applications using familiar methods. Logic tags are automatically generated, simplifying the integration of network diagnostics, while customised screen layouts can also be developed to permit status monitoring and alarming.
The Stratix suite also features a selection of additional switch offerings from Rockwell Automation. These include:
- Stratix 6000 fixed managed switch series: Designed to help ease deployment of Ethernet on the plant floor, the Stratix 6000 series features simple setup and default configurations for EtherNet/IP. The small, compact fixed managed switch series provides four or eight copper ports with an option for a fibre uplink to higher-level networks.
- Embedded switches: For daisy-chain and ring network topologies, Ethernet switch technology is embedded directly into end devices such as programmable automation controllers (PACs), distributed I/O and drives. This enables simplified configuration for EtherNet/IP applications.
- Stratix 2000 unmanaged switch series: These industrial-grade switches feature four to eight ports and are offered in copper and fibre connectivity options. The Stratix 2000 unmanaged switch series is easy to install and set up, as it does not require any configuration and uses simple cable connections.
Rockwell Automation and Cisco have also collaborated to develop a series of educational instructional reference documents called ‘Reference Architectures’. These include design guides, white papers and educational seminars, webinars, and profiles that offer best practice guidance for designing, implementing and maintaining plant-wide network architectures.