Phoenix Contact Launches First FL Managed Ethernet Switches.

Phoenix Contact Launches first FL Managed Ethernet Switches.
[Source; Phoenix Contact UK]

Phoenix Contact introduces its first managed Ethernet switches for direct connection of sensors and field devices into Ethernet networks.

Called the FL Switch 2303-8SP1, they smooth the integration of modern sensors  and terminal devices onto industrial networks. They support Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) on eight ports to the10 Base-T1L standard for transmission distances of up to 1km.

This simplifies the direct integration of sensors in production, infrastructure, and building automation Ethernet networks without fuss or additional gateways. Managed switches are particularly suitable for automation protocols like Profinet and support network redundancy as well as relevant security features.

Three classic Ethernet ports with 100/1000 Mbps are available for connecting the higher-level network in star, ring, and line topologies. There is also an option to supply connected devices from the switch via the two-wire cable with the PoDL (Power over Data Line) standard and the 24 V DC Power Class 11.

What makes managed Ethernet switches important?

Unmanaged switches allow Ethernet devices to communicate with one another and allow a plug and play within a fixed configuration. Yet they do not allow any changes to that configuration, simply allowing devices to talk to one another.

Managed switches offer this too, but in a more flexible manner by allowing users to manage, configure and monitor the settings of a local area network (LAN). For example, to control over LAN traffic by prioritising certain channels and having the ability to create new virtual LANs.

This can keep smaller groups or devices segregated to help manage traffic more efficiently and optimise system performance. They also offer simple network management protocol (SNMP) that relays network configuration data allowing remote access to troubleshoot the system.

Another key feature that sets managed Ethernet switches apart is the idea of redundancy for duplicating and recovering network data. In many industrial applications, redundancy is critical in the event of network issues when then devices go offline.

Another important feature of Phoenix Contact managed Ethernet switches is security. The security features vary in different managed switches, but most tend to include features like data encryption access control lists to keep out unauthorised users.

Although more expensive, managed Ethernet switches like the FL switch 2303 outperform unmanaged switches in areas like network configuration, SNMP capability, redundancy, and enhanced security.

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