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Maximizing Your Industrial Ethernet Cabling UpTime

3 Aug 2020 | Electrical

Application note

Industry 4.0 is generating considerably big number of changes on the Industry.

With the migration from Profibus to Profinet, Industrial environments are becoming more connected through Industrial Ethernet which reduces costs and simplifies interconnection. At the same time, the unique nature of the factory floor brings new challenges to the Ethernet environment. Research shows that more than half of Industrial Ethernet failures are related to cabling, which include not only the “cable” but also the “connectors”, and it can be difficult to troubleshoot. Vendors have developed specialized cables and connectors that can operate in

Industrial environments, yet cabling problems can show up during the startup process while others can allow the connection to function properly until something accidentally cause communications failures.

Whether you’re a control plant engineer, a technician, or an electrician and responsible for industrial systems and processes to run efficiently, you know that any delays or production downtime can be costly.

Thorough understanding of Industrial Ethernet cabling principles is a necessity for preventing Industrial Ethernet problems. Here is a short summary of those principles:

Common Connector types:

  • Connectors specifically designed for industrial environments as they can be a point of ingress (e.g. moisture) and be resistant for shock and vibration. Most common Industrial Ethernet connectors are the following: RJ45 connectors (2 pair or 4 pair), M12-D (2 pair) and M12-X (4 pair)

Industrial Ethernet cabling configuration:

  • In the world of Commercial Building the terminations usually are RJ45-RJ45, whereas with Industrial Ethernet we can find multiple variations. A common industrial cabling configuration can have the same connector at both side (RJ45-RJ45 or M12-M12) but can have a RJ45 on one end and a M12 connector connected on the other end.

Testing Standards and Color Pin:

  • There are several standards to test the cabling, and each of their standard has their own specificities: TIA-1005 (normally used in US, but we see in Europe as well), ISO 11801-3 (International Standard)

Cabling testing methods:

There are two main Testing Methods, depending if it is included the connectors at the end of the cable or not.

  • End to End Test: O Include All the connectors, also the ones at the end of the cable.
  • Channel Test: O Include all the connectors except the connectors at the end of the cable (both). In some cases, this connector might not exist at the cable may be field terminated.

The different connectors or testing methods are not making troubleshooting task simpler. We have therefore developed a Poster around Industrial Ethernet testing, connectors and standards to help you visualize and understand the different variations. This poster is your quick reference guide with the objective to help you to maximize Industrial Ethernet uptime.

To learn more about Industrial Ethernet, visit www.flukenetworks.com/industrial