Advantages of Industrial Ethernet

By: Courtney Hamby on July 31st, 2014

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Advantages of Industrial Ethernet

Industrial Ethernet  |  network  |  Ethernet Systems

describe the imageIndustrial Ethernet (IE) refers to the use of standard Ethernet protocols with a rugged connector and an extended temperature switch called the industrial ethernet switch, which is needed for automation or process control. Components used in plant process areas must be designed to work in harsh environments with temperature extremes, humidity, and vibration that exceed the ranges for information technology equipment intended for installation in controlled environments.

The use of fiber Ethernet reduces the problems of electrical noise and provides electrical isolation to prevent equipment damage. Some industrial networks emphasized deterministic delivery of transmitted data, whereas Ethernet used collision detection which made transport time for individual data packets difficult to estimate with increasing network traffic. Typically, the industrial use of Ethernet involves the use of full-duplex standards and other methods so that collisions do not unacceptably influence transmission times.

While industrial Ethernet systems use the same protocols as Ethernet applied to office automation, industrial plant use requires consideration of the environment in which the equipment must operate. Since closed-loop process control may rely on an Ethernet link, economic cost of interruptions may be high and availability is therefore an essential criterion. Industrial Ethernet networks must interoperate with both current and legacy systems, and must provide predictable performance and maintainability. Industrial networks often use network switches to segment a large system into logical sub-networks, divided by address, protocol, or application. Using network switches allows the network to be broken up into many small collision domains. This reduces the risk of a faulty or mis-configured device, generating excess network traffic.

When an industrial network must connect to an office network or external networks, a firewall system can be inserted, in order to control the exchange of data between networks. To preserve the performance and reliability of the industrial network, general office automation systems are separated from the network used for control or I/O devices.

Some of the advantages of Industrial Ethernet are:

  • Increased distance
  • Ability to use standard access points, routers, switches, hubs, cables and optical fiber
  • Ability to have more than two nodes on link
  • Better interoperability


High quality industrial Ethernet switches come with various benefits, such as industrial-grade reliability, network redundancy, seamless integrated security, and best price-to-performance ratio. Various options for Ethernet switches include managed, unmanaged, Gigabit Ethernet, PoE, IEC 61850-certified, EN50155-certified, according to the specifications of the users. 

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