MILWAUKEE, WI — Rockwell Automation is expanding its Allen-Bradley Stratix family of industrial switches and routers, and announcing new wireless and security products designed to meet industrial networking requirements. Expansions include: Stratix 5700 managed industrial Ethernet switch with embedded Network Address Translation; Stratix 5900 services router; and new fiber and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for the Stratix 5700, Stratix 8000 and Stratix 8300 switches. New products coming in early 2014 include the Allen-Bradley ArmorStratix 5700 switch and Stratix 5100 wireless access point. This major portfolio expansion will help manufacturers build a more cost-effective, unified and secure network infrastructure from the enterprise down to the end devices used in the production environment.
“Manufacturers are migrating to standard EtherNet/IP networks – one reason for this is to better leverage technologies and capabilities, such as big data, cloud computing and virtualization,” said Rachael Conrad, business manager, Networks and Security, Rockwell Automation. “The trend to EtherNet/IP has also increased the recognition of the importance of a secure environment from the enterprise down to the end devices.”
Using the world's leading network infrastructure software – Cisco IOS – the Stratix portfolio helps deliver more secure integration of business-critical services and support from operations to the enterprise.
“We have seen that Industrial Ethernet projects – including the selection and installation of Ethernet switches – are increasingly a shared responsibility between control-system engineers and network engineers,” said Bryan Tantzen, senior director, Internet of Things group, Cisco Systems. “This shared responsibility is one reason why Cisco and Rockwell Automation have partnered to deliver solutions that are designed to meet both controls and network engineers’ requirements. The Stratix portfolio allows them to use the same Cisco and Rockwell Automation tools they are already familiar with for easier management.”
The Stratix family of industrial Ethernet switches will be on display in Booth No. 1205 during the annual Automation Fair event. Stop by to learn more about how these expansions can help operations connect the unconnected in more secure and reliable ways.
Stratix 5700 switch with Network Address Translation (NAT) – As many machine builders have moved their machine networks to EtherNet/IP, they are looking to simplify integration of machines into a larger network, which can be challenging at times. Stratix 5700 managed industrial Ethernet switch with Network Address Translation (NAT) allows for high performance and simplified integration of IP-address mapping from a set of local, machine-level IP addresses to the end user’s broader plant network. By using NAT, OEMs can deliver standard machines and users can more easily install and connect these machines together without having to specify unique IP addresses to the machine builders.
Stratix 5900services router – The first services router in the Rockwell Automation network-infrastructure portfolio provides premiere routing and security services for Layer 2 or Layer 3 networks. Features include virtual private network (VPN), firewall and NAT functionality in a single product. These capabilities allow the Stratix 5900 services router to provide secure tunnels from a trusted network to a remote site over an untrusted network using a site-to-site VPN connection. It can offer an added layer of security between the machines and plant network with the use of firewalls, and can help OEMs integrate and protect the machine’s performance when connected to the larger plant network.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) and expanded fiber capabilities – As the number of devices connected on the plant floor continues to grow – running power and network cables becomes costly and difficult to implement, and limits the flexibility of the manufacturing process. PoE and PoE+ provide Ethernet connectivity and power over the same cable to an end device. This helps reduce wiring costs and adds flexibility to plant operations by allowing machines and devices to be easily moved and re-configured without having to run new power or networking cables, which can be expensive and time consuming. PoE is ideal for connecting to devices (e.g. wireless access points, IP cameras, phones and bar-code scanners).
Distance that devices need to be deployed can also be challenging – copper-media devices typically must be within 100 meters of each other, limiting where these devices can be deployed in the plant or site. Fiber media greatly expands the distance reach between devices. The Stratix 5700 switch now offers an all-fiber six-port switch, and the Stratix 8000 switch and Stratix 8300 switch now come with four- and eight-port small form-factor pluggable (SFP) expansion modules, providing a maximum 14 fiber ports. The Stratix products make use of SFP transceiver technology for its fiber connectivity, which can support any combination of single and multimode fiber requirements, maximizing the flexibility of deploying switches on the plant floor.
ArmorStratix 5700 switch – With ruggedized IP67 protection, the ArmorStratix 5700 switch can be mounted outside of the control cabinet, reducing the overall size and cost of a control cabinet and shrinking the machine footprint. With configurations in eight to 24-port units, the ArmorStratix 5700 switch also provides options for Gig and Power over Ethernet (PoE) in 10 and 18 ports. It utilizes the same IOS and feature set as the existing Stratix 5700 family of switches.
Stratix 5100 wireless access point – In manufacturing environments, wireless has extended beyond a PC’s email use, configurations, etc. and now is used for “mission critical” or real-time applications. The Stratix 5100 wireless access point leverages the 802.11N wireless standard that provides multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, and packet aggregation for increased speed, reliability, flexibility and segmentation needed in real-time applications. The Stratix 5100 wireless access point is ideal for autonomous or point-to-point solutions, where running network cables can be difficult, expensive and hard to maintain.