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Using Harting’s Fast Track Switching, a user can port an Ethernet-based system into the automation world with the full use of all of the degrees of freedom that standard Ethernet has to offer.

This includes the integration of components and subsystems from outside the traditional automation environment – such as vision or RFID systems – which may not support automation-specific protocols but generally have an Ethernet interface.

Fast Track Switching technology can also be used in diverse automation environments, so that a switch can be equally effective in Profinet and Ethernet/IP environments, for example.

The switching technology allows manufacturing organisations to integrate their office and automation networks into a single Ethernet-based communications platform – the Automation IT concept.

Fast Track Switching is based on standard Ethernet, but adds a new switching method to ensure that the specific requirements that automation technology places on performance and determinism are fully met.

The key components in Fast Track Switching are Fast Ethernet switches in Harting’s Ha-VIS FTS 3000 product range, which can detect and identify automation profiles (Profinet, Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP and customised profiles), accelerate their data-transmission speeds and prioritise them.

The product range includes the Harting Ha-VIS FTS 3100s-A, which allows the connection of up to 10 network devices over shielded twisted-pair cable.

It supports Ethernet (10Mbit/s) and Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s).

The detection, acceleration and prioritisation mechanisms guarantee the necessary determinism and performance that automation technology demands.

As Fast Track Switching is also protocol-neutral, it can be used with all market-relevant Ethernet systems.

The HARTING Technology Group is an industry leader in the fields of electrical, electronic and optical connection, transmission and networking. Headquartered in Espelkamp, Germany, HARTING remains family owned after more than 65 years in business, and despite its European roots has become a global company, with subsidiaries in 32 countries worldwide and manufacturing operations in Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Romania, USA and China.

In the UK, HARTING Ltd., based in Northampton, has over 100 employees, and turnover is currently in excess of GBP12 million. HARTING Ltd. has Investor in People Accreditation and is ISO 9001 certified.

HARTING’s UK manufacturing operation, HARTING Integrated Solutions, manufactures and tests high-speed multi-layer backplanes and cable assemblies.

Harting produces a range of high-quality electronic interconnection solutions, including D-Sub, 2 mm metric, DIN 41612 and IDC types as well as MicroTCA card edge connectors.

In the field of industrial connectors, HARTING manufactures the industry-leading Han(R) heavy-duty connector family and other products for the industrial environment including industrial Ethernet switches and hubs, Automation IT products to link IP67 industrial and IP20 office systems, M8 and M12 connectors and their associated subassemblies, and RJ Industrial connectors for both copper and fibre-optic communications.

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