15 Jun 2024

Industrial Ethernet installation

Fluke Networks Announces LinkIQ-IQ - Trusted Testing for Industrial Ethernet Installation and Maintenance

Fluke Networks has announced it has launched the LinkIQ Cable+Network Industrial Ethernet Tester (LinkIQ-IE), which is designed to verify cable performance up to 10 Gb/s, and solve network connectivity problems, identifying connected switch, port and VLAN data, optionally running targeted ‘ping’ tests, and confirming the presence and capacity of available PoE..

The company says the continued rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) means that there is a growing need for easy-to-use tools for fast and effective troubleshooting. By combining Fluke Networks’ state-of-the-art cable measurement technology and a range of network connectivity tests, the LinkIQ-IE speeds the discovery of network failures.

Around 70% of all newly installed factory automation nodes employ industrial Ethernet. Installation technicians must be able to verify cabling performance to ensure network performance, they also need to ensure that the user’s traffic can reach its destination. A large percentage of industrial Ethernet service calls result from cabling-related issues.

“Troubleshooting industrial Ethernet problems often involves the use of complex tools such as protocol analysers or trial-and-error approaches such as running bypass cable in the hope of solving the problem,” said Robert Luijten, Training Manager of Fluke. “We designed the LinkIQ-IE to provide answers to key troubleshooting questions in seconds through an easy-to-use gesture-based interface, all at a price that puts it in the reach of factory maintenance teams.”

“The LinkIQ-IE fulfils a need for data communications troubleshooting and is the ideal tool for maintenance engineers to eliminate cabling issues quickly,” says Jaap Westeneng of Endress and Hauser, instrumentation specialists for industrial automation. “It can also give you an indication of the transmission speed the cable is capable of handling, which differentiates the LinkIQ from other twisted pair testers. It is intuitive and easy to use and responsive. As a visitor to industrial settings to undertake troubleshooting, being able to compile a report via the industry-standard LinkWare PC Reporting Software is extremely valuable.”

The LinkIQ-IE simplifies the operator experience through providing a single TEST function with results automatically displayed based on what the unit is connected to. The unit provides adapters for the most common industrial Ethernet connectors simplifying connection.

Key features of the LinkIQ include:

Network testing – users can verify connectivity and response time to key network devices with one touch of the screen. LinkIQ-IE can be configured to perform IPv4 or v6 ping tests and will display the response time for four pings to a target device of the user’s choosing. The test results display the DNS and DHCP servers and the gateway router. LinkIQ-IE also displays the IP address of the nearest switch.

Two-pair cable tests – Cable performance tests up to 100 Mb/s can be specified for two-pair cables, widely used in industrial environments.

Open cable attached – the wire map and length of each pair is displayed.

Supplied remote ID attached to cable end – performance up to 10Gb/s is indicated.

Additional remote ID units can be purchased (up to 6) and connected to patch panels – the LinkIQ-IE can display the Remote ID number making it easy for technicians to determine where a link is going.

Cable is connected to a switch port – LinkIQ-IE will show the name of the switch plus the VLAN, port name, speed, and duplex.

If PoE is advertised, it will display the power and class (up to 90 W or Class 8) and then load the switch to verify the power can be delivered.

Language support – The LinkIQ user interface now supports 12 languages.

Reporting – A new version of the LinkWare™ PC software, the industry's de facto reporting solution, is also available. This new version provides reports including the expanded network testing, allowing users to document their work.

Company info: Fluke Networks