When determining the correct switch to use for a PROFINET application, choosing between a managed switch and an unmanaged switch is usually the first decision. Both types of switches are perfectly capable of operating via PROFINET, though the application or environment usually determines which type is the best option. Managed switches are typically used in industrial settings requiring configuration and/or monitoring options, whereas unmanaged switches are designed for plug-and-play, simple Ethernet communication applications.
A managed switch provides more information and customization options than an unmanaged switch, though at a higher cost. Managed switches provide information that can help prevent downtime while improving troubleshooting when a system goes down. When the cost of a system downtime runs high, so does the importance of using a managed switch. Unmanaged switches on the other hand, provide less information, but at less cost. An unmanaged switch is just that – unmanaged. All a user has to do is plug it into a system and the device begins operating as expected.
Comtrol offers both managed and unmanaged industrial Ethernet switches for reliable network and system communication. For more information and to help determine the correct switch for your application, please refer to our RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet and RocketLinx Power over Ethernet switch comparison charts.