Rockwell Automation Enters Industrial Ethernet Switch Market, Introduces Full Portfolio of Switches and Infrastructure Products
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1201 South Second Street
Milwaukee, WI, 53204
Press release date: November 14, 2007
Portfolio includes first-of-its-kind managed switch co-branded with Cisco, integrating Cisco technology and optimized for EtherNet/IP
CHICAGO, Nov. 14, 2007 - To effectively manage real-time control and information flow throughout the manufacturing and IT enterprise, Rockwell Automation is introducing a full portfolio of industrial Ethernet switches and media, featuring a line of managed switches integrated with Cisco technology. The Rockwell Automation switch portfolio also includes Ethernet switch technology embedded in popular Rockwell Automation and third-party products allowing for flexible topologies, as well as lines of unmanaged switches and physical media. The portfolio contains many popular features that are in use today by IT and Controls organizations that deploy standard, unmodified Ethernet, with settings optimized for use in EtherNet/IP applications.
"The co-branded line of modular managed switches directly addresses the widespread network convergence activities we see in manufacturing and IT organizations today," said Brian Oulton, director, Networks Marketing, Rockwell Automation. "By combining the best features of Cisco and Rockwell Automation, we enable IT and manufacturing to bring their best practices together to create business efficiencies, agility and competitive advantage for manufacturers."
The Rockwell Automation switch portfolio includes modular managed, embedded, fixed managed and unmanaged switches:
Modular Managed Switches: This Rockwell Automation and Cisco integrated and co-branded industrial managed switch line is the first of its kind. The line uses the current Cisco Catalyst switch architecture and feature set, along with powerful configuration tools, helping to provide secure integration with the enterprise network and making IT professionals feel at home.
At the same time, it allows for easy setup and comprehensive diagnostics from within the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture(TM). The switch can be configured using Allen-Bradley RSLogix 5000 programming software. It also automatically generates Logix tags for integrated diagnostics and includes FactoryTalk View faceplates for status monitoring and alarming. All of these features are the preferred way for controls and automation professionals to integrate networked devices.
In addition, the modular managed switch includes a removable compact flash card for one-step device replacement and default configurations for the manufacturing environment. Modular and industrially rated, the product line scales from six to 26 ports with options for copper and fiber to meet a variety of applications. This switch line will be available for shipment in mid-2008.
"Cisco is pleased to extend its collaboration with Rockwell Automation in the joint integration and co-branding of a highly secure and easy-to-use switch that is ideal for manufacturing environments," said Shripati Acharya, director of Product Management of Cisco's Desktop Switching Business Unit. "Together with Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture and Cisco's market leadership in Ethernet switching, customers gain a cutting-edge switch that extends the benefits of industry-standard Ethernet from the back office to the factory floor for improved collaboration and information flow."
Embedded Switch Technology for Linear & Ring Topologies: Rockwell Automation embeds Ethernet switch technology directly into popular automation equipment - such as programmable automation controllers, distributed I/O and drives - to allow for better configuration choices for EtherNet/IP applications, such as daisy-chain and ring topologies.
The technology allows for high-performance ring capability (make/break < 1ms), complete with diagnostics. The hardware embeds popular switch features useful in high- performance applications without the need for configuration. These features include IEEE-1588 time synchronization, QoS (prioritization), SFTP for ring configurations (fault-tolerance), IGMP snooping and cut-through. These features are common to the new line of managed switches and help improve network performance and troubleshooting, and allow for more network availability. A standalone three-port module will be available with the initial release of products and will allow single port Ethernet devices to participate in the new topologies. This technology is openly available to third parties, beginning in mid-2008.
Fixed Managed Switches: Featuring simple setup and default configurations for EtherNet/IP, this line of fixed managed switches is designed to help ease deployment of Ethernet on the plant floor. It integrates setup and diagnostic information into Logix using the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP).
The small, fixed form-factor provides four or eight copper ports with an option for a fiber uplink to higher-level networks. It is perfect for OEM machinery, as well as for applications with small or highly distributed networked devices. The fixed managed switches will be available for shipment in early 2008.
Unmanaged Switches & Media: To round out the product portfolio, unmanaged switches and a line of industrial media also are available. These are industrial grade products with four to eight ports that offer a variety of copper and fiber options. The unmanaged switches are easy to apply because they do not require any configuration. Products also are available for more demanding on-machine (IP67) applications. These products will be available for shipment in early 2008.
"With this announcement Rockwell Automation is showing its plan to simplify industrial Ethernet networks for its customers," said Harry Forbes, senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group. "Now virtually any type of Ethernet infrastructure can be sourced from Rockwell Automation: managed or unmanaged, modular or fixed, mesh or ring, and embedded or separate infrastructures. Rockwell Automation also has included one-step device replacement and integrated configuration of both the Ethernet network and the automation application. The Cisco Catalyst features will certainly appeal to manufacturers' IT organizations. These products will alter the whole industrial Ethernet landscape in 2008. I'm impressed."
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) is a leading global provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage in their businesses. The company brings together leading global brands in industrial automation which include Allen-Bradley controls and services and Rockwell Software factory management software. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., the company employs about 19,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.
For more information on the portfolio of switches please contact the Rockwell Automation Response Center, 10701 Hampshire Avenue South, Bloomington, Minn., 55438, 800.223.5354, ext. 2046.
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Rockwell Automation Response Center 10701 Hampshire Avenue South Bloomington, Minn., 55438 800.223.5354, ext. 2046.
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