On-Machine Ethernet switch shrinks the size and cost of control cabinets

27 August 2014

Rockwell Automation has launched its first on-machine switch – the Allen-Bradley ArmorStratix 5700. Built with ruggedised IP67 protection, the Layer 2 managed industrial Ethernet switch can be mounted directly onto a machine or application, helping to reduce the overall size and cost of a control cabinet.

“In many applications, cabinet space for system-level networks is limited or non-existent,” explains Mark Devonshire, product manager for Stratix switches at Rockwell Automation. “The ArmorStratix 5700 switch expands the On-Machine offering from Rockwell Automation – an industrially hardened portfolio of products that requires no cabinetry – and leverages pre-configured, quick-connect systems and simplified wiring layouts to reduce installation, troubleshooting and maintenance activities.”
The ArmorStratix 5700 managed switch is said to deliver integration of machine-level data that, due to cost or location, would otherwise remain isolated from business-level systems. Using the Cisco IOS network infrastructure software, the switch manages the transfer of production data to enterprise-level databases and information systems for improved decision making.
Commenting on the product the ARC Advisory Group  states that  machine-mounted Ethernet switches with M12 connectors and IP67 ratings are very popular among machine builders today. The new ArmorStratix 5700 switch – a joint Rockwell Automation-Cisco developed product – includes these features along with Cisco IOS which should help to resolve the information technology/operational technology struggles that currently occur in manufacturing plants. 
This industrial switch simplifies the design and development of machine-level networks through the use of configuration and monitoring tools which help enable easy setup and diagnostics from within the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system.

The switch comes standard with 8, 16 and 24 fixed-port configurations, and each base model comes with M12 Ethernet connectors, SD flash card, dual-power inputs and a panel-mounted design. An expanded ArmorStratix 5700 switch offering includes 10 and 18 fixed-port configurations, with 2 gigabit ports, hardware-based IEEE 1588, hardware alarms, and up to eight Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports.

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