Is Office Ethernet Hardware Tough Enough for Industrial Use?

Considerations include operating temperature, humidity, operating voltage, redundancy, vibration, and more. See comparison table.


In selecting physical media, data links and industrial network hardware for industrial Ethernet, it is important to ensure optimal performance, ease of maintenance, and long-term reliability. Rugged industrial Ethernet products have been designed to network in tough environments, to support industrial protocols being transmitted across these networks, and accommodate industrial environments.

When specifying industrial-grade network components, consider reliability and risk-related issues, such as mean time between failure (MTBF).

Designs of industrial Ethernet products provide the same lifespan as other automation components—10 to 30 years or more. Typical commercial grade products are built to achieve a 5-year average lifespan.

Industrial Ethernet hardware devices are usually DIN-rail mounted or bolted directly onto the machines that receive transmitted data.

In addition, equipment typically occupies less space to allow greater density within a control panel.

Industrial Ethernet devices rely on passive heat dissipation and may be available in dustproof and waterproof housings.

Redundant power, redundant media paths and even redundant devices can help assure 24/7 uptime.

For more information, see the Belden whitepaper, “A Robust Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure...,“ available at

(Table courtesy of Belden; learn more at

Also read, from Control Engineering:

Mission critical Ethernet network design advice from Belden seminar;

Belden: Hirschmann Mach 1040 Gigabit Ethernet Switch for high network availability, safety; and

Hirschmann releases new line of industrial cyber security products.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering,

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.