IDEC 8-Port Unmanaged Ethernet Switch Delivers Key Industrial Managed Switch Features

Giving users an improved and economical plug-and-play option, the IDEC SX5E series 8-port unmanaged switch supports QoS, IGMP snooping, and broadcast storm protection functionalities.

IDEC Corporation has added the SX5E-HU085B 8-port unmanaged industrial Ethernet switch to its product portfolio. This device provides many managed switch features to support the rapidly expanding quantity of Ethernet, IoT, and IIoT devices used in critical and challenging commercial and industrial locations. No software configuration is needed, and flexible installation options make this an economical yet high-performance solution.

Industrial networking installations commonly rely on certain advanced functions that are typically only available on managed switches. Managed switches have their place in network designs, but they require extensive configuration expertise, can be more difficult to manage overtime, and cost more than other options. To address these and other issues, IDEC has incorporated the most essential managed features into this new unmanaged switch.

QoS is a networking feature, usually only available on managed switches, for prioritizing specified network traffic so the most critical packets are handled first. The QoS function in the SX5E unmanaged switch automatically guarantees priority for EtherNet/IP packets which are used extensively for crucial industrial automation tasks. For instance, a programmable logic controller (PLC) communicating with other intelligent automation devices using EtherNet/IP will receive precedence over other general traffic. QoS can be easily turned on/off with a single external DIP switch to give the user flexibility.

Ethernet traffic may consist of some messages broadcast to all devices, and others multicast to select devices. IGMP snooping allows a switch to monitor conversations between hosts and routers, and to create and maintain a map or filter of which links need which transmissions. By delivering messages only where they are needed, IGMP snooping significantly reduces networking traffic and required resources.

For Ethernet networks installed in a facility, careful design, and protocol choice can take advantage of network rings for redundancy. However, improper ring connections can result in duplicate messages that will cause the network to stall. Broadcast storm protection detects this issue and discards duplicate messages. It can be turned on/off with a single external DIP switch.

This switch operates at 10 and 100 Mb/s, with auto-negotiation of speed and full or half-duplex mode, and every port automatically detects and adjusts for straight-through or crossover cable connections. Store-and-forward technology ensures each communication frame is fully received into memory and CRC-checked for integrity before forwarding it to the destination. This feature introduces a small switching delay, but it secures the highest-quality communication.

The SX5E is built to withstand the most extreme conditions. With a rugged metal housing that is IP30 rated, the switch can operate at temperatures ranging from -40 to 75°F, and it is designed with superior electrical noise resistance, making it suitable for almost any installation environment. The switch can be mounted on a standard 35mm DIN rail, or panel-mounted using an accessory direct mounting bracket. The switch is carrying approvals for UL508, CE, RoHS, and FCC. Class I Division 2 hazardous location approval is pending.

For easy installation, the power supply terminal block is pluggable, and IP30-rated RJ45 covers are available to protect unused ports. To keep the network switch up and running in the event of power interruptions, the switch can be supplied from two separate redundant power supplies for zero failover time, even if one power supply fails.

Today’s industrial and commercial applications commonly use large numbers of PLCs and HMIs, with increasing quantities of intelligent devices like RFID readers, smart relays, and IIoT sensors. Whether a project is for building automation, traffic control, power utilities, water treatment, processing industries, or any type of machinery or equipment, the IDEC SX5E unmanaged switch will provide the best price/performance ratio, along with ease of use.

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