As I said several times, the industrial communications trend to Ethernet Technology for the advantages that it provides. However, this is not similar to affirm that everything will can communicate by frames or packets. There are many scenarios where serial protocols are being used because is not possible to update to Ethernet. For example, migrate to it requires to change cabling, reconfigure devices, deploy new networking equipment, programming changes, and many other measures. But if we can, we must deploy networking devices according to these harsh environments. Today, I will show one that can be used for its capabilities, Fortinet FortiSwitch Ruuged 112D-PoE.
It has 8 GE RJ-45 ports and 4 more GE SFP slots. It can be necessary for those situations when you need to connect devices by optical fiber. It is widespread used because permits more than 100 meters, or less, and does not affect electromagnetic interferences in comparison with unshielded twisted pair Ethernet cabling. It supports fiber single mode, multimode and long haul single mode with LC connector
This switch can be used to connect PLCs, HMIs, or other device that communicates by industrial based Ethernet Protocols such as PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, Modbus/TCP, and so on. It has redundant power input terminals in the range from 44 to 57V DC to give service for PoE ports if needed.
There are not any fans to cool itself to prevent damages. It is so important for those dusty places where can affect the operation stopping them if it is excessive. The switch can work in a temperature range from -40 to 75º C (-40 – 167º F) and can be mounted in DIN rail or wall depending your rack or facility. Related to the atmosphere, it tolerates up to 5-95% of non-condensing humidity.
As you know, the lifecycle of industrial components and systems are higher in comparison with IT world. In this way, Fortinet affirm this switch has a mean time between failures (MTBF) more than 25 years. For this, it is capable to work in OT scenarios.
When you connect to its web interface you can see the dashboard where you can identify different information.
As you can see on the left, you will find a menu from where you can configure different features. For example, authenticate user to a LDAP server, port mirror ports, syslog server, and so on.
It operates at Layer 2 but you can get more Layer 3 capabilities if you connect it to a Fortinet Fortigate unit. Furthermore, you can manage your Fortiswitch from Fortigate console by FortiLink protocol. You will not find all the features, but you can configure VLAN interfaces, switch on and switch off ports, enable or disable PoE, and others.
Even though Ethernet technology give us a lot of improvements not always we will be able to implement them in own facilities in particular when they are working for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It requires a very big effort in time, knowledge and obviously, budget .
Depending the activity, availability, probably, we will only get time on Christmas, Easter Week or summer Holidays, to do everything we need. In addition to that, be sure that you meet with others employees such as maintenance technicians that they have to do tasks relative to keep on good state of operation of our infrastructures. And as you know, they have more priority.
In spite of this, either it is possible to update or deploy a new facility we need to know which are the devices available that meet the requirements that we need. In the same way, industrial and automation control system vendors have been working to deploy new products for Cybersecurity purposes; the Cybersecurity product manufactures have developed industrial networking equipment. One of them, is Fortinet FortiSwitch Rugged 112D-PoE that I have shown. All features can be found by clicking here.
Other choice to find the best solution for our needs.
See you next time!