12 July 2013
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Industrial ethernet switch eases integration

The integrating assembly machines into a plant's network architecture can prove difficult as OEM IP-address assignments rarely match those of the end-user network IP-address requirements.

IP addresses are generally unknown until the machine is being installed, which can add cost and time to the commissioning of the equipment, and delay moving that equipment into production. Rockwell Automation has addressed this problem with the Allen-Bradley Stratix 5700 managed industrial ethernet switch, which now includes an optional integrated network address translation (NAT) feature.

The hardware-based NAT feature allows for high performance and simplified integration of IP-address mapping from a set of local, machine-level IP addresses to the end user's broader plant-process network. This can greatly benefit manufacturers that are integrating identical machines into a production line, especially when multiple equipment builders are being integrated into a common production line.

The NAT feature allows OEMs to deliver their standard machines to customers without having to program unique IP addresses into them. The end user can then use the NAT feature to more simply integrate the machines into the larger network. Because the machines are identical to their standards, they are easier to maintain.

Product manager Mark Devonshire explained: "In addition to integrating NAT into the Stratix 5700 switch, we are able to offer customers an optimised solution by eliminating the need for additional components that require extra cabinet space, extra wiring, and additional configuration and management support.

"Additionally, the NAT setup is part of the overall switch configuration environment, making it easier to maintain," he added.

The Stratix 5700 range is currently available with six, 10 and 20 fixed-port configurations. The product includes features, such as IEEE-1588 time synchronisation, QoS (prioritisation) and Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP). Additional features allow for increased network availability, and help improve network performance and troubleshooting-enhanced security.

Author
Paul Gay

Related Websites

http://www.rockwellautomation.com

Related Companies

Rockwell Automation UK Ltd

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