Mencom Introduces Industrial Wireless Access Point to Protect Sensitive Data on the Manufacturing Floors

Posted on February 14th, 2018

The manufacturing industries and the utilities have been getting more automated, delocalized and more complex since the introduction of modern information technologies. The advanced smart grid system as an automated and distributed energy delivery network exemplifies how the complex network infrastructure works through connecting individual smart applications to operate traditional and modern renewable power plants together.

Since the cost of leased lines is lofty and some locations are not even accessible by traditional methods such as wired broadband or fiber backbone, dedicated and private communication lines to every device are no longer viable options to build such a large network. Therefore, these large network connections should be established either through the public Internet where broadband internet access is available or through the cellular wireless network so that end-users can easily access and control devices at a minimum cost.

These networks, however, are prone to encounter possible security issues during the data transfer. If sensitive data that was conventionally relayed over the private network is transferred over a public network without encryption, the system becomes vulnerable to various threats and can be compromised by malicious activities such as network penetration, unauthorized control, interception, and eavesdropping.

In order to secure the sensitive data, Mencom offers Industrial Wireless Access Points providing a reliable, robust, rugged, and cost-effective solutions to industrial applications that require a wireless connectivity. They are suitable for a wide array of applications and withstand harsh conditions typically found in the harsh manufacturing environment. In addition, a state of the art encryption and the ability to create a virtual network among wireless clients are integrated so that communications between clients can be easily and intuitively controlled while imposing restrictions on data and excluding malware can be done at the same time. Equipped with a powerful 2 x2 MIMO Radio interface supporting IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz selectable bands, built-in DIN-Rail mount, these Wireless Access Points run in multiple modes such as – access point(AP) mode, wireless distribution bridge (WDS) mode or access point client operation mode.

Mencom Wireless Access Point embodies a strong wireless network manager to ensure the delivery of optimum performance in the network. WPS and Wi-Fi Direct technology options are also available to connect Wi-Fi easier and deliver an industry-wide peer-to-peer solution based on broadly deployed Wi-Fi technologies. These devices are designed to be fully operational between -20 and +60 °C.

Mencom now offers unique Inside-Outlet GFCI Power Port for Panel Interface Connectors

Posted on January 10th, 2018

Inside Outlet
Mencom’s unique Inside-Outlet (GFDP1) Power Port features three GFCI-protected receptacles; two outside and one inside the panel to provide a simple solution to comply with NFPA 79, The Control Panel Utility Receptacle Standard. In order to comply with the standard,

1. All utility receptacles must be GFCI Protected.
2. All External Utility Receptacles must be covered.
3. All covers must maintain enclosure rating.
4. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires the inspection of all GFCI outlets every month to check if the NFPA 79 standard requirements are satisfied.

Since the non-GFCI outlets inside a panel can be wired through the GFDP1 that is externally installed on the panel door, it provides the ability to conveniently test the outlets without opening the cabinet door while satisfying the NFPA 79 standards. The inspector can simply walk to the panel door, fips the protective cover, and push the test button. This easy step not only helps prevent potential safety hazards (such as Arc Flash) associated with opening an electrical panel but also eliminates the need for costly personal protective equipment (PPE) and a licensed electrician to access the inside of the cabinet.

Feature Highlights:
– 3 GFCI-protected receptacles (2 Outside & 1 Inside)
– 120V GFCI Receptacle to 120V Simplex Receptacle
– Easy and Safe TEST/RESET outside the panel
– Outgoing Terminals for GFCI Protected Power
– Finger-safe cover for internal connections to power ports
– UL Type 4, 4X, 12
– IP65 with Mencom metal/low profile housings

Mencom, as the industry leading manufacturer of Panel Interface Connectors, currently has well over 3,000 designs in production. Remarkably, however, their experienced engineer team is still creating new designs almost daily to meet the various market demands.

For more information regarding Panel Interface Connectors or other industrial electrical connectors, please contact technical sales force.

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Industry-Specific Ethernet Switches for Power/Railway Networking

Posted on December 5th, 2017

Industry-Specific-Ethernet-SwitchesThe IEC 61850 for utility automation is the international standard to regulate a unified and standardized communication protocol for electrical substation and power grid automation. The new IEC 61850 standard focuses its domain knowledge on the electrical power grid system. It is an object-oriented protocol which utilizes a data modeling scheme that clearly describes each component (such as process objects, protection, and control functionality) of the grid or the substation as standard logical nodes. This enables data access to the power grid system to yield more details. IEC 61850 Part 3 also defines requirements for network and hardware that are suitable for substation automation. These requirements include electromagnetic immunity (EMI), surge protection, vibration, shock resistance, and temperature ranges that the devices in smart grid system should comply with.

Mencom IEC 61850-3 compliant Industry-Specific Ethernet switches

– Operate in a wide temperature range from -40 to 85 °C
– Handle reliable, long distance transmissions through Fiber Optics connectivity
– Guarantee QoS (Quality of Service) management and real-time packet switching for GOOSE (Generic-Object-Oriented- Substation-Event)
– Guarantee a certain level of redundancy in order to minimize packet loss with RSTP (Rapid Spanning-Tree Protocol) and ERPS (Ethernet Ring Protection Switch) rings
– Guarantee a wide tolerance for vibrations and shocks (MIL-STD-810F)
– Comply with the tough electromagnetic immunity and emission standards

EN50155 Railway Networking

EN 50155 is a widely recognized international standard for electronic equipment used in any railway application. This standard covers aspects of this electronic equipment including temperature ranges, humidity, shock resistance, vibration resistance, power supply, electromagnetic interference/susceptibility, power surge, electrostatic discharge (ESD) and transient factors. Mencom railway-certified switches combine the powerful platforms of industrial Ethernet switches and all of their advanced features in a robust and reliable unit.

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Mencom Corporation Offers Industrial Ethernet Switches for Harsh Environments

Posted on November 7th, 2017

Harsh Environment Industrial Ethernet SwitchesMencom harsh environment industrial Ethernet switches series provide rugged solutions to manage hi-demanding advanced networks under the extreme temperature. Minimum operating temperatures for the harsh environment Ethernet switches range from -20°C to +70°C. The unmanaged switches in this series feature up to 20 Fast Ethernet or Gigabit ports, Relay Outputs and Profinet Packet Prioritization while the managed switches features Profinet CC-B compatibility. The managed switches also provide flexible advanced network management features to maximize network performance and minimize down-times, such as ERPS/RSTP ring, VLAN, QoS, and trunking. Additionally, the Gigabit switches are MIL-STD (Military Standard) certified for shock, vibration, temperature and humidity performance, and extended operating temperatures from -40°C to +85°C.

 Unmanaged Harsh Environments Switches
5 to 10 Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet ports, embedded Power over Ethernet (PoE) on selected models, and a variety of port configurations such as RJ45, SFP, and single- or multi-mode fiber optics
Atex Zone 2 certified for using them in well areas or mines with a high risk of explosion

Layer-2 Managed DIN-Rail Switches
A high degree of link redundancy, low control, and configurability
Designed to withstand strictest EMC requirements of compliance level 3 and level 4
High-performance components guarantee a real-time packet switching, even on full load

– Layer-3 Managed DIN-Rail Switches
High degree of security and Layer-3 switching capabilities
Real-time packet routing based on the local network’s IP address instead of MAC address of the destination device
Strictest Industrial EMC protection in compliance with Level 3 and 4

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Infographic: UL/NEMA Types for Enclosures

Posted on October 10th, 2017

When an enclosure is configured with various components, it is essential to consider where the enclosure will be placed and how harsh the environment is so that it can properly protect the inside components from foreign substances. Choosing an enclosure with appropriate protection ratings is one of the most important things in the configuration process. There are several standards widely accepted in the manufacturing industry such as UL, NEMA, CSA or IEC classification. Mencom enclosures are listed with UL/NEMA rating and the infographic below illustrates what kinds of protections can be provided at each class and what the differences are between them. It also shows the comparison between UL/NEMA Enclosure Type and IP ratings.


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Mencom Corporation Introduces New Low-Profile Housings for Panel Interface Connectors

Posted on September 14th, 2017

Low Profile Panel Interface Connectors

Mencom is pleased to announce new Low Profile enclosures for Panel Interface Connectors (PIC). The PIC, also known as programming ports or programming interfaces, provides the ability to communicate with a device inside a cabinet without opening the cabinet door. This helps prevent potential safety hazards (such as Arc Flash) associated with opening an electrical panel. Utilizing a PIC allows users to maintain compliance with stringent safety industry regulations while saving time and money.  The use of a PIC eliminates the need for costly personal protective equipment (PPE) and a licensed electrician to access the inside of the cabinet.

Mencom’s new Low Profile PIC design protrudes from the side of the cabinet 75 percent less than the standard metal housings. The Low-Profile housings are UL listed and available in three sizes; one single cover (LP1), two single covers (LP2) and one double cover (LP3). The transparent polycarbonate cover allows users to see which components are within the enclosure. These enclosures provide an IP65 rating, and feature a unique locking mechanism. The lock is located on the sliding latch and can be operated using a standard flat head screw driver.

For those environments that do not require as much protection, all of our PIC designs are available as a plate that is mounted directly to your cabinet, without the need of a standard or low profile housing.

Mencom, as an industry leader of PICs, currently has well over 3,000 designs in production. Remarkably, however, our experienced engineer team is still creating new designs almost daily to meet the various market demands.

In addition to the standard and low profile Panel Interface Connectors, Mencom also offers circular port adapters that allow you to pass a variety of components from RJ45 cables to USB cables through your panel. We even have an RJ45 pass-thru that is rated to IP67 while in use, or when capped off.