Fast Track Switching aids integration of industrial Ethernet

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Fast Track Switching aids integration of industrial EthernetHarting is launching its Fast Track Switching technology that enables manufacturing organisations to integrate their office and automation networks into a single Ethernet-based communications platform referred to as the Automation IT concept.

Unlike alternative proprietary Ethernet protocol approaches that use modified versions of the Ethernet standard compatible with automation technology applications, Fast Track Switching is based on standard Ethernet, but adds a new switching method to ensure that the specific requirements that automation technology places on performance and determinism are fully met.

Using Harting's Fast Track Switching, users can port an Ethernet-based system into the automation world with the full use of all of the degrees of freedom that standard Ethernet has to offer. This includes the integration of components and subsystems from outside the traditional automation environment - such as vision or RFID systems - which may not support automation-specific protocols but which generally have an Ethernet interface.

Automation environments

Fast Track Switching technology can also be used in diverse automation environments, so that a switch can be equally effective in Profinet and EtherNet/IP environments, for example.

The key components in Fast Track Switching are Harting's Ha-VIS FTS 3000 Fast Ethernet switches, which can detect and identify automation profiles (Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and customised profiles), accelerate their data-transmission speeds and prioritise them. The product family includes the Harting Ha-VIS FTS 3100s-A, which allows the connection of up to ten network devices over shielded twisted-pair cable. It supports Ethernet (10 Mbit/s) and Fast Ethernet (100 Mbit/s).

Detection, acceleration and prioritisation mechanisms guarantee the necessary determinism and performance that automation technology demands. As Fast Track Switching is also protocol-neutral, it can be used with all market-relevant Ethernet systems. In addition, vendor-neutral, flexible and cost-optimised installations are possible due to the fact that the switch, as a network component, solves the performance and determinism problems according to the Fast Track Switching concept.

Follow the link for more information about Harting's Fast Track Switching.

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