By Irena Ho, Technical Writer and Editor
When people talk about network systems, the things you may remind are routers and modems, the most commonly used by most people in their homes. Except for routers and modems, many other devices are the base of the network system. Today, we will focus on Ethernet Switches. Also, we will discuss Industrial Network Switch, including the features which differ from regular Ethernet Switch.
What is an Ethernet Switch?
An Ethernet switch is a type of network hardware foundational to networking. Ethernet switches connect network devices, like computers, Wi-Fi access points and servers in an Ethernet LAN network so that they can communicate with each other and to the internet.
In a word, an Ethernet Switch handles the data and the particular addresses to send the message. It can decide which computer to send and receive the message directly to the right computer. The efficiency of the switch by providing faster and more secure network communication.
Here we list some important applications of Ethernet Switch:
- Manage the flow of data across the network.
- Medium to large-sized LANs containing several linked managed switches.
- Widely used in SOHO(Small Office/Home Office) applications. SOHO primarily uses a single switch to access the various broadband services.
- Connect the devices physically by a computer network.
- Transfer data to other devices.
What is an Industrial Network Switch?
To Compare Regular Ethernet Switches, Industrial Ethernet switches specifically meet flexible industrial applications’ needs. They are functionally closer to industrial network communication, such as interconnection with various field buses, redundancy of devices, and real-time devices.
Why choose an Industrial Network Switch?
Industrial Network Switch adopts Industrial Grade Design. In addition to many harsh environments in industrial scenarios, such as coal mines and ships, the industrial environment has special requirements for EMI (electromagnetic compatibility), temperature, humidity, and dust. Among them, the temperature has the most extensive influence on industrial network equipment.
Here listed eight characteristics of special design for industrial grade:
- Components: Industrial Network switch components have higher requirements for selection and should have better adapted to the needs of industrial production sites.
- Mechanical environment: By adopting IP30/40 standard, Industrial Ethernet switches can better adapt to harsh mechanical environments, including vibration, shock, corrosion, dust, and water.
- Climate: Industrial Ethernet switches are better for poorer climates, including temperature and humidity. It can operate in temperature ranges from -40℃ to 75℃. 5%~90% of humidity also in the standard as well
- Electromagnetic environment: Industrial Ethernet switches have stronger anti-electromagnetic interference capabilities.
- Operating voltage: Industrial Network switches have a wide operating voltage range (range from 9~56V DC, some switches support power supply by AC) and commercial switches require higher voltages.
- Power supply design: Commercial switches are basically single-supply, while industrial switch power supplies are generally dual-power backups which improve the redundancy of the power supply.
- Installation method: Industrial Ethernet switches install in DIN rails and racks. Commercial switches are generally rack and desktop.
- Cooling method: Industrial Ethernet switches generally use a fanless enclosure for heat dissipation. Conversely, commercial switches are fan-distribute. This makes the cooling function more reliable. Moreover, it reduces the amount of module use, which is smaller than the size of Switches.