Scalance X324 Switches Deliver Unprecedented Flexibility

The shop floor is a constantly changing environment, with constantly changing requirements. The need to provide users with the ability to adjust to these requirements led to the design and delivery of the latest members of the Scalance family of modular Ethernet switches from Siemens Industry Inc.

“We wanted to deliver a switch that added value today, but that would keep rolling with whatever changes come in the near future and so continue to deliver that value when other products pass their replacement dates,” says Raj Rajani, Siemens.

Specifically designed for 19” cabinets to accommodate the expected convergence of industrial and enterprise Ethernet networks, the Scalance XR-324 series offers Gigabit networking through 12 slots, each of which can accommodate a two-slot media module. “Most industrial Ethernet products on the market today don’t go lower than 8-slot modules, meaning that if you need nine slots, you have to buy 16. We’ve done away with that and enabled our customers to buy what they actually need today, and easily expand as those needs grow,” says Rajani.

The XR-324, which has four models, is completely modular, allowing for a varying degree of customization. Users can select different media types to support specific applications, as the new switches accommodate both electrical and optical (10/100/1000 Mbit/s) modules. Users also have power options. Depending upon requirements they can choose between 24V DC or 110 to 230V AC. They can also install the switches in whichever network topology they have laid out, whether that is a line, star or ring topology.

Moreover, in a ring topology, the XR324 can adopt the function of a redundancy manager. As long as the transmission links are intact, the XR324 acts as though it was the start or end point of a linear topology and prevents circulating frames. Should the switch detect a link failure in the ring, it rapidly closes the connection between its ring ports and thus restores a connection between all components of the ring.

And, of course the new switches deliver all the assets and features or the overall Scalance brand: reduced downtime through easy configuration and fast device replacement, built in web-based management, fast commissioning, complete diagnostics and the reliability of standard redundant point-to-point connections and power supply.

Adds Rajani, “With the modularity found in the Scalance XR324 switch you can start with the number of ports you need, add more later, and build as your needs grow. With Gigabit capacity on all ports the Scalance XR324 is designed for engineers working on the plant floor of today, but thinking about the plant floor of tomorrow.”

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