Drives & Controls Magazine September 2023

n TECHNOLOGY FLUKE NETWORKS HAS launched an industrial Ethernet tester designed to verify cable performance up to 10Gb/s and to help find the causes of network failures. The LinkIQ Cable+Network Industrial Ethernet Tester (LinkIQ-IE) can identify connected switches, port and VLAN data, run targeted “ping” tests, and confirm the presence and capacity of available PoE (Power over Ethernet) sources. Around 70% of new factory automation nodes now use industrial Ethernet. According to Fluke, many industrial Ethernet service calls result from cablerelated issues, and technicians must be able to verify cabling performance to ensure that network traffic will reach its destination. “Troubleshooting industrial Ethernet problems often involves the use of complex tools such as protocol analysers or trial-anderror approaches such as running bypass cable in the hope of solving the problem,” explains Fluke’s training manager, Robert Luijten. “We designed the LinkIQ-IE to provide answers to key troubleshooting questions in seconds through an easy-touse gesture-based interface – at a price that puts it within the reach of factory maintenance teams.” The instrument has a single test function and displays results automatically on a colour touchscreen, based on what it is connected to. It comes with adapters for most common industrial Ethernet connectors. The tester’s functions include: n Network testing Users can verify connections and response times for network devices with one touch of the screen. n Two-pair cable tests Cable performance up to 100Mb/s can be tested for two-pair cables. n Open cable attached Wire maps and the lengths of each pair is displayed. n Remote ID attached to cable end Performance up to 10Gb/s is shown. n Cables connected to a switch port The LinkIQ-IE will show the name of the switch plus the VLAN, port name, speed, and duplex. In PoE applications, the instrument can show the power and class (up to 90W or Class 8) and load the switch to verify that the power can be delivered. A new version of Fluke’s LinkWare PC software can generate reports including the expanded network testing, allowing users to document their work. Jaap Westeneng, product manager for asset and inventory mangement at Endress+Hauser, says the new instrument ”fulfils a need for data troubleshooting and is the ideal tool for maintenance engineers to eliminate cabling issues quickly”. Industrial Ethernet tester helps to find causes of network failures Fluke Networks’ industrial Ethernet tester helps to discover the causes of network failures