The following article is the first page from a white paper by Moxa dealing with five future challenges for industrial Ethernet switches.
The benefits of IP convergence, such as enhanced efficiency, improved manageability, and lower total cost of ownership, have long been driving forces behind the impressive growth in the number of industrial Ethernet deployments for supervisory and control-level applications.
According to studies conducted by IMS Research, the global number of industrial Ethernet nodes at supervisory and control levels will continue to grow at an average rate of roughly 15% from 2010 to 2015. However, the number of field-level nodes for industrial Ethernet will grow at an average rate of about 36%.
These projections confirm steady industry-wide acceptance of industrial Ethernet technology, but also pose hidden threats to industrial network availability resulting from inherent challenges found at field-level environments. This paper will discuss how future industrial Ethernet networks can introduce new challenges for industrial switch reliability, bandwidth availability, switch security, switch manageability and network redundancy.
If industrial Ethernet technology is increasingly deployed at remote field locations, industrial Ethernet switch reliability will have to be durable enough to handle harsh field site conditions, which can include high-voltage transients, severe shock and vibration, and extremely high temperatures.
High-voltage transients can result from ESD, surge, burst, EFT, and lightning strikes. Industrial switches should be capable of repelling high-voltage transients with high electromagnetic protection.
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