Every industry today is under pressure to lower costs yet increase flexibility. A particular example is the electric power industry where on the one hand there are initiatives to increase the two-way communication of data to meet the vision of the smart grid, and on the other hand, keeping costs down is essential.

At the substation level, many are being upgraded to industrial Ethernet communication networks, and as we reported in an earlier blog, that includes incorporating legacy serial devices to keep costs down. Another way to control costs is to address the Ethernet switching needs with a value-priced yet rugged, flexible switch.

Hirschmann has just introduced a new Gigabit Ethernet switch, which is ideal for meeting this need. If you are an engineer or system integrator in need of a substation hardened entry-level switch, this device might be very useful. Plus, it has an additional benefit – it comes with field exchangeable port modules for high flexibility.


Today’s substations are being upgraded for two-way “Smart Grid” communications at a time when utilities face high cost pressures. In this environment, the new Hirschmann GREYHOUND Gigabit Ethernet Switches are ideal.

Field Exchangeable Port Modules for Changing Network Requirements

The Hirschmann GREYHOUND family is one of the first lines of ruggedized switches available with customizable and interchangeable media modules to keep pace with evolving network needs. Changing port configurations is as simple as taking out a media module in the field and replacing it with another one.

The ports in these switches are themselves very flexible:

  • They come in varying port styles
  • There are no port location restrictions – they can be mounted on the front or rear of the device
  • A high number of ports is possible.

Thus, no matter what the copper, fiber or Gigabit port needs are, the GREYHOUND family of switches can meet the application requirements.


The new Hirschmann GREYHOUND family of Gigabit Ethernet switches features unique interchangeable media modules and a high level of port flexibility.

Industrial Ethernet Switches Ruggedized for the Harsh Environments

Designed for industrial environments, GREYHOUND switches are built to withstand the high temperatures, high vibration and electrostatic discharge often found in power utility, as well as industrial automation settings.

In both retrofit and new substations ambient temperatures can be very high. These switches deliver by being able to operate at temperatures as high as +70°C and as low as -40°C.

Download the white paper "The Case for Specifying Industrial Ethernet Cable for Harsh Environments"GREYHOUND Switches are Substation Ready

This new family of switches has both the power supplies (low voltage and high voltage) and approvals (IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613) to make these devices ready to use in any jurisdiction in the world. 

The Hirschmann Switch Operating System Provides High Reliability

Not only does the hardware itself provide excellent value, the software running the GREYHOUND switches is impressive. For all around network protection and uptime the switch operating system provides:

  • network management capabilities
  • diagnostics and filter functions
  • comprehensive security mechanisms

For example, the security features include MAC and port-based access control, automatic denial-of-service prevention, different privilege levels, configurable password levels and a number of other capabilities.

Flexible, Substation Hardened, and Cost Effective

For applications that face harsh environmental conditions and are under extreme pressure to keep costs low, such as substation communications, the GREYHOUND switch is an ideal low-entry product. Its combination of price, ports and software features is unique.

Most importantly, network administrators can react to changing application needs and adjust the switch port configuration in the field – with a fast and easy installation process.

How would field exchangeable port modules benefit your substation communications design? I look forward to hearing from you.

1FE is Fast Ethernet
2TX is twisted pair copper cable
3SFP is Small Form-Factor Pluggable Ports
4MM is Multimode
5SM is Singlemode 

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