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IDEAL Networks introduces handheld Ethernet network and cable tester


IDEAL Networks has launched NaviTEK IE, the first purpose built handheld network tester, designed for commissioning, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting of PROFINET Industrial Ethernet networks, plus standard Ethernet IP networks.

The new, rugged NaviTEK IE copper and fibre troubleshooter has been developed to simplify the process of testing both cabling and networks in Industrial Ethernet networks that utilise the PROFINET protocol. Previously, a laptop with specialist software would be required to identify and test network nodes and configuration, which could prove cumbersome inthese typically ‘desk-free’ environments.

“With its compact, touchscreen design, NaviTEK IE has been designed to be a more convenient and efficient alternative to using a laptop, while catering for the physical differences between Industrial Ethernet cabling and other networks,” explains Tim Widdershoven, Marketing Director for IDEAL Networks. “With just one tester, technicians can troubleshoot at any point in a network and benefit from greater functionality than any other individual tester on the market.”

The tester offers all the same features as the popular IDEAL Networks NaviTEK NT Pro, but with a range of additional tools specific to the needs of Industrial Ethernet, where packet delivery time is critical for operation. For instance, the system health check feature on NaviTEK IE enables frontline technicians to pinpoint potential issues before they become network failures and result in downtime. With an easy-to-understand traffic light system, the health check provides a quick indication of how each device is performing. Clicking on each device provides further details of the issues discovered so corrective actions can be taken.

“In Industrial Ethernet applications, preventative maintenance is often key to keeping operations running profitably and efficiently. Consider a bottling plant for example,” says Tim. “A sensor that is operational but also generates errors could easily be overlooked however it could malfunction and result in factory downtime. With the health check feature, this is avoidable, as you can act on the problem when you see an ‘amber’ indication.”

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