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Industrial PoE switches: What you should know about them

PoE switch transmit data from one device to another as well as supply power to the devices, including IP cameras, over the Ethernet cable. However, for applications in harsh environments, commercial-grade PoE switches are not suitable to withstand certain extreme conditions. As such, users turn to industrial-grade PoE switches,or industrial Ethernet switch which we examine in detail in this article.

What are industrial PoE switches?

Industrial PoE switches are also referred to as “hardened” or “ruggedized” PoE switches. Contrary to commercial-grade PoE switches that are often for offices and indoor environments, industrial PoE switches are, as their name suggests, ideal for certain harsh, rugged environments. The main reason for using industrial PoE switches is to resist extreme fluctuations in temperature, dirt and moisture. Normally, industrial PoE switches are needed in harsh environments with wide operating temperature and when power/network redundancy or specific certificates are requested.

When the applications are required to be installed in harsh environments, we will suggest industrial-grade solutions, not only because of functionality, but also because the weather conditions and the prevention of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS) need to be considered to keep solutions working perfectly, for instance traffic intersection monitoring.
How do industrial PoE switches compare with commercial ones?

the following are some of the differences between the two:

  • The environment and other specifications of industrial PoE switch (such as -40°C to 75°C temperature range, shock, vibration and immunity) exceed harsh and industrial operating environment. Commercial grade has a temperature range of 0 to 40°C.
  • Commercial switch power supply design is basically on a single supply basis, while industrial switch power supplies have generally dual/redundant power supply backups.
  • Industrial PoE switches generally use a fan-less enclosure for heat dissipation, while commercial switches are fan-distributed type.

Further, commercial PoE switches typically are placed on racks. This is not the same for industrial ones. When industrial-grade switches are installed in a harsh environment, space will be another consideration. Thus commonly we will see that industrial-grade PoE switches are designed with a DIN-rail type, due to more concern about space.



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