IT in Manufacturing

Modularity for scalability

September 2021 IT in Manufacturing

As industrial networks continue to evolve, the connectivity requirements for applications grow as well with more devices becoming interconnected. Building a flexible, scalable and reliable network capable of accommodating the growing scale and diversity of industrial networks is now becoming a major concern. Therefore, businesses are looking for truly versatile solutions that are easy to maintain to ensure smooth operations while keeping costs down.

Centralised underground security monitoring system

In the mining industry, automated underground control systems are deployed and integrated to achieve optimal operational efficiency. There are numerous automated underground control systems to keep mining operations working smoothly and security monitoring systems to check on the staff and the status of machinery. As field personnel and machinery are constantly moving around between different sites across rough terrain, operators rely on a robust wireless communication system to connect personnel and machinery and capture multiple concurrent live image feeds to monitor underground activities.

Moxa’s MDS-G4000 Series of modular switches offers a mix-and-match Gigabit platform that provides adaptive networking capacity to meet the requirements of numerous constantly changing scenarios through high scalability, flexibility, reliability and effortless maintenance.

The MDS-G4000 product family supports a broad range of media interface modules. Each module is outfitted with four ports to allow for even more combinations, letting users scale networks at a granular level, based on requirements. No need to worry about future scalability or changing to different types of media ports as MDS-G4000 devices provide a single adjustable platform for the future.

On-demand network flexibility

Moxa’s solution

The security monitoring system includes both surface and underground communication systems. One of the challenges of this application is that devices located underground are difficult to maintain. To overcome this issue, the MDS-G4028-L3 series features a modular design that can be outfitted with a combination of different interface modules for up to 24 ports, providing network operators with the flexibility to reserve unused ports for future expansion as connectivity demands soar.

These Layer 3 Ethernet switches also support the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) feature, which uses ‘link state’ instead of ‘hop count’ to determine the network route. Compared to the Routing Information Protocol (RIP), OSPF has faster network convergence and consumes less traffic on the network. Because mining sites involve multiple machines and personnel working together, it is critical to ensure the safety of the whole ecosystem. Operators need to continuously monitor the network status and ensure operations are uninterrupted.

To increase the reliability of the entire network, the MDS-G4028-L3 series features hot-swappable modules that can easily be replaced without any tools, which minimises downtime. Furthermore, the dual isolated power inputs provide backup power if one of the power inputs fail. In addition, the software supports VRRP, which will automatically reassign traffic to another switch if a switch fails, to avoid causing significant problems on the network. The rugged, compact housing includes a robust DIN-rail mounting kit that fits in confined cabinet spaces and is built to withstand heavy vibrations that are common at mining sites. The front-wired cabling coupled with panel display indicators further simplifies deployment and provides real-time status checking.

Support for Layer 3 routing functionality enables these switches to facilitate the deployment of applications across different networks, making them ideal for large-scale industrial networks. In addition, the MDS-G4000–L3 Series features an HTML5–based, user-friendly web interface providing a responsive, smooth user experience across different platforms and browsers.


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