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Moxa Switch Enables Synchronization of Automation Systems

Time synchronization is critically important for decentralized systems in industrial automation, such as any real-time automated process where multiple controls are distributed throughout the facility rather than using a single controller at a central location.

Using the new EDS-405A-PTP Ethernet Switch from Moxa, it is now possible to synchronize clocks of all connected devices distributed over Ethernet networks to sub-microsecond accuracy, thus enabling precise motion control of all machines and robots so they cooperate in perfect unison.

Compact and offering the versatility of five ports, the Moxa EDS-405A-PTP is one of the world’s first Ethernet switches using hardware-based time sync to fully comply with the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) specified in the new IEEE 1588v2 real-time clock (RTC) standard. Switches with hardware-based time sync make it possible to achieve nanosecond-level time synchronization accuracy between PTP master and slaves.
When configured as a boundary clock, the EDS-405A-PTP can act as a slave related to the grandmaster clock, while simultaneously working as a master clock related to its local slaves.

The managed switch uses nanosecond-accurate time stamps to modify timing packets and synchronize clocks distributed over the network. In addition, it can perform as a transparent switch that measures the residence time of PTP packets and then modify their time stamps to improve synchronization accuracy.

Real-time synchronization not only eliminates the master clock’s processing load, it also minimizes delays and disruptions to better support the precision control of robotic systems, now commonly used as part of advanced manufacturing applications.

The EDS-405A-PTP supports Modbus TCP, PROFINET, and EtherNet/IP protocols for easy SCADA/PLC management and monitoring. It features a fast boot up time of less than 10 seconds, and fast network recovery within 20 ms with a full load of 250 switches. Management functions – such as IGMP snooping, IEEE 802.1Q VLAN, QoS, RMON, and relay warning – make network planning more flexible and easy. The compact size, fanless design and wide operating temperature range make the EDS-405A-PTP a perfect choice for device level networks in harsh industrial environments.