Unmanaged switches carry Ethernet infrastructure to harsh industrial environments

April 3, 2013
5- and 8-port Brad Direct-Link switch modules from Molex feature the patented Ultra-Lock technology.

Molex has introduced its Brad Direct-Link unmanaged switches, available in 5- and 8-port modules, both featuring the patented Ultra-Lock push-pull technology. The IP67 sealed switch modules are designed provide a fast, simple and secure on-machine Ethernet switching solution, thereby reducing network cabling and installation costs.

A small footprint, rugged design make the Direct-Link switches especially ideal for heavy-duty transportation and military vehicle applications, says Molex. The Ethernet switch modules allow users to quickly convert from traditional in-cabinet to on-machine mounting. Relocating the switch closer to the machine reduces installation time and costs for lengthy wiring runs, cabling and protected cabinet enclosures, contends the company. The durable Ultra-Lock system of switch connectors and cordsets features a full sealed connection and secure mating, with easy push-pull, plug-and-play installation.

“As our world becomes more connected, manufacturers and installers are increasingly specifying harsh-duty Ethernet devices,” notes George Kairys, product manager, Molex. “The Brad portfolio of rugged connectivity products for Ethernet infrastructure brings our customers high speed performance in a wider range of industrial applications requiring LAN networks for plant floor robotics and automated manufacturing cells.”

Related: PoE managed Industrial Ethernet switch targets surveillance applications

Suitable for installations located in extreme temperature conditions, the Direct-Link 8-port switches operate in -40 to +75 degrees Celsius. Tested to NEMA 6 and IP67 environmental ratings, the Direct-Link Ultra-Lock connection ensures continuous operation in ambient dust, pressure washing and submersion in water. The entire printed circuit board and internal connections are fully potted, protecting it from any moisture ingress or connector failures due to severe vibration conditions. Mechanical keying and radial seals eliminate the need for skilled installation and risk of operator error commonly found in other switch connector systems.

“Unmanaged Direct-Link switches provide cost-effective, robust performance across complex networks in a wide range of control and monitoring applications, where harsh environments create vibration, heat and other hazards. Brad brings Ethernet connectivity -- for PC-based or PLC-based control, supervision, data storage and protocol bridging -- where our customers need it most,” concludes Kairys.

The new Direct-Link switch modules are compatible with other Brad industrial products, including cordsets, receptacles, field-attachable connectors, I/O modules, PC interfaces, gateways, switches and diagnostic tools. More information is available here.

More: Belden launches Industrial Ethernet infrastructure design workshops

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