Case Study

Better Diagnostics With PROFINET Switches for Faster Time to Market

Product Line Monitoring Systems


A leading manufacturer of filling, bottling, and packaging machines utilized Ethernet switches and PROFINET technology to create an integrated industrial network. The use of the PROFINET protocol is common in manufacturing. However, before all of the benefits of Ethernet-based technologies can be taken advantage of, machine builders have to overcome a few challenges. One of the main challenges is that machines builders often come from a technical field of mechanics and electrical engineering and do not have much IT knowledge, so they find it difficult to work with the new IT infrastructures that are deployed. This manufacturer, based in Europe, is already using the protocol in its machinery and equipment. By using the PROFINET protocol, the company can increase the diagnostic capabilities of their PLCs, reduce the time it takes to build their machines, and deploy untrained staff to replace devices within a few minutes.

System Requirements

  • Minimal IT knowledge required for easy migration from PROFIBUS to PROFINET
  • The new switch must perform well on PROFINET networks
  • The network must perform reliably all the time

Moxa Solution

The company is able to meet all of the key project requirements by deploying Moxa’s EDS-408A-PN, which is a managed switch that is capable of cyclically exchanging information with the PLCs over the PROFINET protocol. The machine builder only needs to load the GSD file into the PLC and does not need to perform any configurations. In addition, the PLC can automatically correct the name of the PROFINET device if it is not assigned correctly. This simplifies the first steps of machine development and saves the manufacturer time. In addition, the managed switch can exchange information between adjacent devices using LLDP (Link Layer Discovery Protocol), which enables PROFINET DCP (Discovery and Configuration Protocol) in accordance with the IEC 61158 standard.

The PROFINET switches can be integrated into the PLC using SIMATIC Step 7 or the TIA portal. This allows the PLC to determine which ports are active, the status of the redundancy mechanisms and redundant power supplies, and the data transmission speed. The PLC can evaluate this information or pass it on to the HMIs. The information can be integrated directly in the programmer’s development environment, which generates added value for programmers and end-users without the need for additional tools or interfaces.

Moxa’s portfolio of switches includes 8-port managed Ethernet switches for PROFINET networks. As the devices have the PROFINET protocol built-in, the switches can be directly integrated with the engineering software SIMATIC Step 7. The short boot-up times and recovery times of less than 20 ms for Moxa’s Turbo Ring and Turbo Chain self-healing technologies can improve the performance of PROFINET networks. Modern industrial control networks consist of a multitude of PLC models and Fieldbus devices, including SCADA systems at the management level for decentralized monitoring, and HMIs for on-site monitoring and control. Network components that use PROFINET enable fast and secure data transmission to deliver reliable network status information for decentralized analysis. The performance and reliability of the PLC network can be improved by using devices with high redundancy, fast boot-up times, status parameters, and flexible topologies. The switches also support management functions such as IGMP snooping, IEEE 802.1Q VLAN, QoS, port mirroring, SNMP, bandwidth management, and alerts by email or relay output.


Why Moxa

  • The EDS-408A-PN enables PROFINET by default and can be easily integrated into the SIMATIC Step 7 engineering software
  • The EDS-408A-PN switch is convenient for automation engineers who want to perform configurations through SIMATIC Step 7 and monitor automation HMIs
  • The EDS-408A-PN switch can boot up very quickly, supports Turbo Ring and Turbo Chain fast-recovery technologies, and can optimize PROFINET network performance

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