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The Ethernet network is more and more used to interconnect industrial devices. The objective is to study the performance of such a network to support real-time communications. For this, we firstly propose a general representation to model a switched Ethernet network by using a sequence of elementary components such as buffers, multiplexers, etc.. Secondly, we aggregate the individual temporal properties of each component given in the Cruz' (1991) survey to obtain a global formula enabling to calculate the maximum end-to-end delay for any industrial communication scenarios. Finally, we deduce the limits of the switched Ethernet network regarding the number of input/output cards connected to the network, to the sizes of periodic and aperiodic messages.