Drives and Controls Magazine
IP67 Ethernet switches mount onto machines
Published:  19 August, 2014

Rockwell Automation and Cisco have jointly developed an Ethernet switch designed to be mounted directly on machinery. The rugged, IP67-protected Allen-Bradley ArmorStratix 5700 is a Layer 2 managed industrial Ethernet switch that can be mounted onto a machine or application, reducing the size and cost of control cabinets, and shrinking machine footprints.

“In many applications, cabinet space for system-level networks is limited or non-existent,” explains Mark Devonshire, Rockwell’s product manager for Stratix switches. “The ArmorStratix 5700 switch expands the Allen-Bradley 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 switch integrates machine-level data that, due to cost or location, might otherwise remain isolated from business-level systems. Using Cisco’s IOS network infrastructure software, it manages the transfer of production data to enterprise-level databases and information systems.

This switch is said to simplify the design and development of machine-level networks using configuration and monitoring tools that enable easy setup and diagnostics from within the Rockwell’s Integrated Architecture system. Automated monitoring simplifies network optimisation and convergence.

The machine-mounting Ethernet switch was developed jointly by Rockwell Automation and Cisco

The switch is available in 8, 16 or 24 fixed-port versions, and comes with M12 Ethernet connectors, an SD memory card, dual-power inputs and a panel-mounted design. Expanded versions include 10 and 18 fixed-port configurations with 2Gbit ports, hardware-based IEEE 1588, hardware alarms, and up to eight Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports.