5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Industrial Switch

Ethernet is rapidly expanding into industrial environments where equipment must stand up to operating temperatures of -40C to +75C, vibrations, and shocks. These harsh environments are under pressure to share information quickly for increased productivity, improved quality, inventory control, and reduced operational costs.

Ethernet Switch technology plays a critical role in these networks. Following are five questions to ask when choosing your Industrial Ethernet Switch brand.

1. Does the manufacturer use Switch and Phy chips from leading manufacturers to ensure reliability and interoperability with your network?

Check the published MTBF rates on the manufacturer website. This will give you insight about the quality of components used in the design and manufacture of the product.

If the MTBF rates are high, you can have confidence that you will get a reliable product made with quality components. If the MTBF rates are low, or unpublished, proceed with caution.

Perle DIN Rail Switches only use robust and reliable high-end components from leading chip manufacturers to ensure product reliability and network interoperability.

2. Are they built with temperature rated components and fully heat chamber tested?

You need to avoid finding out too late that chosen products are not fully designed to operate in extreme temperatures.

There are a lot of products on the market claiming to operate at -40C to +75C. However, they use “commercial-grade” components that have not been qualified to operate in the claimed temperature ranges. When “commercial-grade” parts are exposed to extremely high or low temperatures, product failures are inevitable.

For example, integrated circuits on the PCB overheat causing premature failure of the product. Or, under-rated connectors do not allow for proper contact between the device and the cables. These failures eventually stop all data communications in these high and low temperature environments.

Every component on every Perle DIN Rail Switch has been designed and tested to handle operating temperatures of -10C to 60C or -40C to 75C.

3. Is there dual input power to provide redundancy during power failures?

Dual power inputs with industrial surge and spike protection reduce downtime when there is primary power loss. Reverse power protection is also recommended.

4. Is the chassis metal or plastic?

A rugged metal housing provides superior EMC performance and corrosion-resistance. You may also want to check that a DIN Rail mounting bracket is included as standard.

5. Does the manufacturer have a range broad enough to ensure that they will have a model to suit your specific environment?

Most manufacturers have a limited range, especially when it comes to supporting fixed fiber ports. Perle has the broadest range of Industrial Ethernet Switches on the market.

With over 700 models, Perle offers every conceivable combination of Ethernet, Fiber & PoE ports in a 5 – 10 port DIN Rail Switch. This makes Perle a one stop shop when it comes to finding the right Industrial Switch for your environment.

If network up-time is vitally important to your success choose quality products with care.

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