Smart Factories promise to deliver improved production quality, asset optimisation, safety, and cost reduction, but they require reliable always-on network connectivity between devices, sensors and operations control software. Many engineers struggle with the growing complexity and costs of increased network connectivity on the plant floor, especially as they are forced to deal with cramped cabinets and legacy systems. Activating pre-configured automation protocols To address these concerns, Moxa has introduced its new SDS-3008 Smart Switch, the industry's slimmest, most intuitive Ethernet switch. The 8-port industrial-grade switch is configured using an easy-to-navigate dashboard that allows users to activate pre-configured automation protocols in one click and remotely manage the unit on HMI/SCADA systems. Machine builders, plant managers, and engineers have expressed a need for practical network connectivity solutions that do not require specialised training or personnel to operate or deploy, explained Ariana Drivdahl, Product Marketing Manager at Moxa Americas: "Our SDS-3008 Smart Switch fully resolves the issues of costs, space limitations and complexity. It integrates devices with different protocols so that they can operate smoothly with little cost and maintenance effort, delivering highly secure, scalable connectivity from plant floor to enterprise network." The switch's compact size gives it the flexibility to fit in almost any control cabinet Optimal networking solution With its uncomplicated protocol configuration, flexible mounting design, and intuitive interface, the SDS-3008 is the optimal networking solution for virtually any Smart Factory application. When compared to managed switches that support many advanced functions that are not necessary for typical factory operation, the SDS-3008 is especially economical. It supports the core industrial protocols—EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus/TCP—and includes built-in network monitoring and control functionality. It also supports Moxa's ABC-02 automatic backup configurator for quick event logging and configuration backup, RSTP/STP for network redundancy, along with a range of useful management functions, including IEEE 802.1Q VLAN, port mirroring, SNMP, and warning by relay. Accelerating Smart Factory initiatives Engineers who normally spend hours navigating complex web or command-line interfaces to configure their Ethernet switch will welcome the SDS-3008's simple user interface. The graphical function menu and one-page configuration dashboard allows engineers to clearly visualise status, diagnose problems and operate the unit. The SDS-3008 further accelerates Smart Factory initiatives through its industry-first form factor. Boasting a width of only 2 centimetres (0.78 inches), the SDS-3008 breaks the mould of the typical bulky, boxy switch. Engineers work in a variety of control cabinets that are often small and overcrowded. The switch's compact size gives it the flexibility to fit in almost any control cabinet, and it supports both DIN-rail and rackmount installation. With the optional 1U rack accessory, users can combine four smart switch units on a 19-inch cabinet.
In the fast changing wireless landscape, several converging trends have encouraged industries to adopt the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) cellular standard for M2M applications: the gradual decommissioning of legacy networks, the cost-benefits of LTE technology, and the increased demand in rich media and real-time monitoring. OnCell G3470A-LTE cellular gateway Moxa, a leading manufacturer of communications equipment for the Industrial Internet of Things, is helping system integrators embrace and take full advantage of LTE to transform M2M applications by introducing their first LTE cellular gateway, the OnCell G3470A-LTE. The unit features an integrated, high-speed 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch that allows up to 4 devices to be connected with the ability to NAT and route between the cellular connection and the wired ports. "Our new OnCell G3470A-LTE provides higher cellular bandwidth and a more reliable connection to Ethernet networks for cellular applications with minimised latency and a lower cost-of-ownership," said Ariana Drivdahl, Product Marketing Manager. "With video data transmission demand increasing in industrial automation, LTE devices are the perfect solution. However, big bandwidth support doesn't guarantee seamless connectivity -- the LTE device must be reliable enough for continuous video transmission and that's the core value the new OnCell G3470A-LTE delivers." With Moxa's OnCell Central Manager v2.0 software To enhance reliability, a key for industrial users, the OnCell G3470A-LTE is equipped with built-in power and antenna isolation to fight against EMI, along with Dual SIM support for cellular connection redundancy, dual power input, and innovative GuaranLink™ technology for connectivity. Together these features ensure uninterrupted video streaming over LTE networks in harsh and demanding industrial environments. The new OnCell G3470A-LTE comes with Moxa's OnCell Central Manager v2.0 software, an industrial-grade centralised solution that allows up to 2000 OnCell network devices to be configured, managed, and monitored on the Internet.
Moxa announced a new 900 MHz wireless access point/bridge/client that provides industrial users with a very compelling option to achieve reliable wireless connectivity through walls or over long distances. By frequency-shifting 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi to 900 MHz, Moxa's AWK-3191 is able to support maximum data rates of up to 54 Mbps and distances up to 30 km line-of-sight. Moxa is leading the industry with this type of 900 MHz wireless technology, according to Drivdahl. The existing 900 MHz solutions from other manufacturers have generally offered low throughput between 1 to 2 Mbps, or were not based on Wi-Fi standards. With Moxa's AWK-3191, users can achieve an impressive 6 Mbps data rate over a 30 km point-to-point connection and a theoretical maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. In addition, master/slave and AP/client operation modes are available to support point-to-point and point-to-multi-point communication. This combination of features makes the AWK-3191 a highly flexible and cost effective solution for wireless applications involving highly obstructed sites or long distances, such as open-pit mines or offshore platforms. Rugged enough for any harsh industrial environment, the AWK-3191 is rated to operate at temperatures ranging from -25 to 60°C for standard models and -40 to 75°C for wide temperature models. Its industrial-grade design is compliant with various standards and approvals including for EMC (FCC part 15, Subpart B). In the event of external interference, the AWK-3191 allows engineers to adjust the 900 MHz central frequency and bandwidth (5/10 MHz and 20 MHz) to optimise wireless performance. Highlights: 900 MHz transmission for superior wireless penetration and distance AP/client and master/slave modes for point-to-point and point-to-multi-point connections QoS (WMM) and VLAN for efficient network traffic Maximum security with WEP/WPA/WPA2/802.11X and powerful filters -40 to 75°C operating temperature range (T models) Power and antenna isolation design for higher operation stability Ariana Drivdahl, Product Marketing Manager for Moxa Industrial Wireless said: "Traditional Wi-Fi signals cannot penetrate thick surfaces like concrete walls, and lose strength quickly over long distances. What we've done is frequency-shift Wi-Fi to 900 MHz, which enables great penetration through objects and long distance transmission, while allowing us to retain the benefits of Wi-Fi throughput and security." "The AWK-3191 900 MHz wireless AP/bridge/client is Moxa's answer to long distance wireless communication for industrial applications. It allows for client devices to be located in difficult to reach areas, and it saves on installation and wiring costs in remote locations. Also, it eliminates the need to re-wire a plant's infrastructure when relocating machines on the plant floor."