Product Innovation

FLEXtra PROFINET Switch Connects IT and Control Worlds with Flexible Port Assignment

The demands on the networking of industrial Plants are Increasing due to growing data volumes, intense pressure for efficiency and the obligation to meet the highest standards.

PROFINET or Gigabit Ethernet?

Whether Ethernet or PROFINET - when it comes to the optimal implementation of industrial machine networks, the question usually arises: Will PROFINET or Gigabit Ethernet be used? With the new FLEXtra PROFINET switch from Helmholz, the plant manufacturer has the perfect solution. Since communication usually takes place not only at the fieldbus level with PROFINET but also at a higher level with Industrial Ethernet, both communication options are available with the FLEXtra PROFINET switch.
The user can decide which of the 16 RJ45 ports are used for PROFINET and which are used for Gigabit Ethernet. In addition, the new FLEXtra PROFINET switch is also suitable for the smallest control cabinets and sub-distributors due to its vertical cable entry. The PROFINET cables are routed directly from the switch into the cable duct. The design is completed by a clear LED display on the front of the switch for clear status and diagnostic information. In addition to the remarkable design, the FLEXtra PROFINET switch is equipped with 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s ports. This makes the switch suitable for both PROFINET traffic and communication between control elements and various machines. One of the most important functions of a PROFINET switch is the prioritization of PROFINET telegram traffic in the machine network. The managed switch can distinguish whether a telegram is a web request, an FTP file transfer, a media stream or a PROFINET telegram. In the event of a high transmission load, important telegrams can thus be prioritized to prevent telegram losses from occurring. This means a clear and unambiguous segmentation between Ethernet and PROFINET.

Extended Possibilities

In addition to PROFINET, the FLEXtra PROFINET switch supports other management functions, such as MRP (ring redundancy), VLAN (virtual LANs), SNMP, port mirroring, QoS/ CoS mapping, SNTP and extensive statistics. With 2 digital outputs and 4 digital inputs as well as a detailed PROFINET EA image in the PLC, the state of the ports can be monitored and controlled. A redundant power supply and an SD card for saving the configuration complete the application possibilities. With the help of a GSDML file, the switch can be integrated into the engineering tool. This makes it easier to set up and manage diagnostic alarms from within the system.

New Variant in Planning

A variant of the FLEXtra PROFINET switch with 4 fiber optic ports and an unmanaged Gigabit switch in the same design are already under development. With the current PROFINET and Ethernet switch portfolio from Helmholz, the usually high demands on the machine network in times of increasing automation can be met both reliably and efficiently.