Why do you need a PROFINET switch for a PROFINET network?

A PROFINET switch handles PROFINET frames with the highest priority and ensures that frame loss doesn't occur and that jitter in the transmission remains minor. That secures the PROFINET transmission and allows precise regulating in PROFINET systems.

A PROFINET switch supports mechanisms for neighborhood detection (LLDP protocol) in order to detect and check the topology of the network. This ensures that the setup and the network wiring of the system are correct.

A PROFINET switch enables the replacement of PROFINET components during running operations. If a PROFINET participant malfunctions while in operation, a replacement device is detected following installation on the basis of its position in the topology (by the PROFINET neighbors) and is automatically provided with its IP address and its PROFINET name. The CPU can then configure the replacement device and restart.

Because many different devices are often installed into automation systems, the "Finding devices via LED display" function supports the easy search for a participant.

In order to improve the reliability of networks, PROFINET switches support the ring redundancy technology MRP (Media Redundancy Protocol).

However, the operation of a PROFINET network is also possible with unmanaged switches.