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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation

Switches for network redundancy
Localised data management in the Industrial Internet of Things

The fast ring and chain redundancy with a recovery time of 30 ms with up to 250 switches protects against failure of the entire network in the event of errors, thereby increasing network availability. (Picture: Weidmüller)
The fast ring and chain redundancy with a recovery time of 30 ms with up to 250 switches protects against failure of the entire network in the event of errors, thereby increasing network availability. (Picture: Weidmüller)

Industrial Ethernet, the most widely used communication standard, allows for the simple connection to control levels while also ensuring good communication between localised field devices and the control system. With its new managed switches in the Advanced Line, Weidmüller is providing a guaranteed future-proof infrastructure with high levels of availability, reliability and transparency. The Advanced Line managed switches can increase network availability by means of redundancy and control mechanisms, and also offer a range of diagnostic options for sophisticated automation networks. They support common protocols such as STP/RSTP or SNMP and can be intuitively configured via a browser-supported web interface. With model variants for Fast Ethernet, Gigabit and PoE as well as versions fitted with between 5 and 24 ports, the switches also ensure high levels of flexibility. The large temperature range means that the switches can be used in challenging environments such as production applications or in the field. The Advanced Line product line ranges from Full Managed switches for complex applications such as those with port monitoring, to Lite Managed switches for simple tasks within a network representing very good value for money.

High level of operational reliability thanks to quick redundancy mechanisms

Ring redundancy is used as standard in today’s Industrial Ethernet networks. This ring redundancy method increases the availability of automation networks and reduces downtimes while also optimising configurability and operability within the network. The Weidmüller Advanced Line switches support the combination of ring and line redundancy, involving the interlinking of multiple Ethernet switches in a line network. The configuration of the head switch and the tail switch at the outer ends of the chain incorporates the two ends into the network. Using the ring and line redundancy method allows administrators to create redundant topologies with a high level of flexibility in each network segment. When using the Weidmüller Advanced Line switches, a back-up path is created if one of the network segments fails, meaning that the network is restored in just 30 ms in a setup with up to 250 switches. This increases network availability while reducing cost-intensive downtimes.

The Advanced Line switches support common protocols such as STP, RSTP or SNMP, making them particularly easy to integrate into different automation landscapes. The web-based configuration of the Advanced Line switches is performed using a simple and intuitive user interface. As a result, users are able to benefit from direct access to all status information and operational functions of the switches within their familiar software environment.

Weidmüller also offers an external Backup and Restore module for smooth operation even in the event of errors.  This module provides a backup of the device configuration, making sure that reconfiguration can be performed directly on the device if required. This means that the configuration can be backed up without a network or a computer. A replacement device can therefore be put back into operation directly on site.

Model variants for Fast Ethernet, Gigabit and PoE (Power over Ethernet – for the remote supply of the periphery) as well as the options to have between 5 and 24 ports ensure a high level of flexibility, meaning that there is the perfect device for every application. All Ethernet switches have an industrial IP30 metal enclosure with integrated clip-in base for easy installation on the terminal rail (TS35). In addition to its simple installation, the switch is also characterised by its large temperature range. The switches can be used in environments from –40 to +75 °C. This allows for operation both within production and in the field.

The right product for every application

Depending on the particular version, the switches are fitted with a number of combinable copper or fibre-optic interfaces, meaning that different media can be used and large distances covered. Whether multi-mode or single-mode, 500 metre or anywhere up to 20 km – the SFP slots help to guarantee flexible use. With the modular port assembly, the transceiver simply needs to be plugged in. It is therefore also possible to change the technology at a later point in time.

The Advanced Line switches are available in the “Full Managed” and “Lite Managed” versions. The Full Managed switches are particularly well-suited for use in networks with complex tasks and particular requirements regarding redundancy, secured data transfer or the monitoring of individual ports.  The Lite Managed switches are the economical alternative for simple tasks in networks with little demand for managed processes.

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Power Supply Product
Bi-directional DC-DC converter series has extended voltage



2.5kW Bi-directional DC-DC converter series has extended voltage and temperature ranges
Picture: TDK

TDK Corporation (TSE 6762) announces the introduction of the EZA2500W-32048 TDK-Lambda brand bi-directional DC-DC converter model to its EZA series. The extended high voltage range now covers 260 to 400Vdc and the lower voltage 36 to 65Vdc. The operating temperature has been increased to -10 to +50°C. Double sided protective board coating and long-life dust resistant fans have also been included.

Designed for energy storage systems with rechargeable batteries, this 2500W digitally controlled, compact 1U power supply can seamlessly change conversion direction from high voltage dc sources, powered by solar or wind, to 48Vdc batteries and vice versa. Other applications include lithium-ion battery testing as well as the use of regenerated energy from robots, cranes, autonomous ground vehicles and lifts. The EZA2500 can be used to replace large power resistors currently used for lift braking and use that previously dissipated energy to charge batteries. That stored energy can be used to either provide peak power for high torque demands or as battery back-up for power cuts.

The output voltage and current can be programmed and monitored using the RS-485 communications port. Multiple units can be operated in parallel by using the RS-485 interface to set units for “droop mode” current share. Alarm signals are also accessible, as well as remote on/off and under/over voltage functionality. The high voltage (grid) to low voltage (battery) isolation is 3,000Vac, grid to ground 2,000Vac and battery to ground 500Vac.

The dimensions for the EZA2500 are 43.6mm (1U) high, 423mm wide and 400mm deep. All models in the EZA series are certified to the IEC/EN/UL 60950-1 and IEC/EN/UL 62368-1 safety standards with CE marking for the Low Voltage, EMC and RoHS Directives. A five-year warranty is standard.

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Smart Glasses
Modern Customer Support



Modern Customer Support with BEUMER Smart Glasses

Malfunctions and standstills that occur during manufacturing, further processing or dispatch, may become expensive for a company. Beumer Smart Glasses are a cutting-edge product providing fast and easy support. Beumer receive a video of asituation and are able to identify and solve the problem.

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New information
Industry 4.0 progress



In an ordinary year, PI (Profibus & Profinet International) would already – and once again – have presented its progress on Industry 4.0 work at the Hanover Fair – but this is no ordinary year. Nevertheless, the working group experts are working tirelessly on implementing concepts like the use of Profinet over TSN, fail-safe machine-to-machine communication and information models for vertical communication – virtually and at a safe distance, of course.

Obviously, this is not an easy time for an organization which has committed itself to the networking of automation systems, and especially also those of technical experts. PI has been part of the digital transformation from the very beginning, though, which makes it ideally equipped for this situation. This being the case, it is no wonder that the working groups chose to continue developing their concepts. Online meetings and processes have been part of everyday work at PI for many years, enabling effective and easy cooperation. To share this progress with Profinet users as well, PI is now implementing a number of different virtual methods of communication.

The focal point of this communication is the PI website,, where “Industry 4.0” is being rolled out again in its entirety.  PI is focusing on the highlights of its Industry 4.0 work here, beginning with Profinet over TSN, OPC UA Safety and vertical communication. Additional concepts will be addressed and added successively over time. PI won’t just be providing an overview of the technology and leaving it at that – technical details on solutions and use cases for applications will be added as well. This gives device manufacturers and users solid information for their own implementation of Industry 4.0-compliant integration.

In addition to this digital content, PI will also be visualizing the Industry 4.0 workshop to enable discussion with users and enter into dialog in these trying times – times which everyone at PI hopes will be over soon. Regardless, the working groups will continue to work hard on implementing Industry 4.0, in keeping with the motto: Go digital. Go Profinet .

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