‘Ruggedized’ switches for industrial applications

Two new ‘ruggedized’ eight-port, Fast Ethernet network switches, designed primarily to complement video surveillance systems in demanding, heavily industrialised environments, have been released by Duxbury Networking.

The Lantech IES- and IPES-2208CA models are ideally suited to applications in mining, municipal, transportation, assembly-line and other operational disciplines where reliable and robust network installations are demanded.

“These challenging environments require constant network availability underpinned by fault-tolerant network components to prevent failures and obviate downtime in production and other mission-critical tasks,” says Andy Robb, chief technology officer at Duxbury Networking.

The two switches, designed to complement the star topography characteristic of 100BaseTX networks, include advanced SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) support. “This allows for the real-time monitoring of voltage, temperature and current values as well as the automation of workflows, the definition of configurable discovery rules and the introduction of extendable templates,” he says.

“It also enables IT support teams to setup 24×7 monitoring systems – within hours of installation – to help maintain quality of service (QoS) benchmarks with the minimum of delay.”

The Lantech switches feature Pro-Ring redundancy, a proprietary protocol capable of detecting cable breakages or link faults and automatically finding backup paths within 20 milliseconds. This holds good for networks of up to 250 Lantech switches. An alarm system is included, able to notify a designated network administrator via email or sms should a problem occur.

A built-in factory reset button, supported by the units’ ‘watchdog’ design, can restore all settings back to factory default and automatically reboot the switch on command.

In addition to its sibling’s features, the IPES-2208CA model includes power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality, designed to reduce cable installation complexity and minimise or eliminate the need for electrical outlets.

Compliant with the 802.3af standard, the switch is able to feed each of its PoE ports with up to 15.4 Watts of electricity, allowing a single cable to provide both data connection and electrical power to devices such as wireless access points and IP (Internet Protocol) cameras. Energy saving is also a key function of the device.

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‘Ruggedized’ switches for industrial applications