Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) is a key technology in the advancement of the Smart Factory and Industry 4.0. It enables more consistent more efficient industrial Ethernet networks and only needs one pair of cores to transmit data.
Previously, 2‑ and 4‑pair Ethernet cables have been the standard. By shifting to single pair cables, the time and material saving enables new smart components to be integrated into the network, which were previously not networked via industrial Ethernet.
“With the Etherline T1 product family,” said LAPP Australia General Manager, Simon Pullinger, “LAPP was already ahead of the game in presenting prototype single-pair Ethernet cables for use in industrial machinery and systems.”
“Now, the first single-pair Ethernet cable joins more than 20,000 products available directly online from LAPP Australia, including the new Etherline T1 Y Flex 1x2x22/7 AWG,” Mr Pullinger said.
“The new Etherline T1 Y Flex 1x2x22/7 AWG cables maintain the same high data rates as previous technology, while significantly reducing the setup required,” he said.
According to Mr Pullinger, the new cables are ideal for a broad range of Industry 4.0 applications, including manufacturing, electrical connection, power generation and factory automation.
“The UL-certified two-core cable for highspeed information exchange has a small bending radius and outer diameter, is exceptionally lightweight, and is indispensable for connection at the field level.”
The new Power-Over-Data-Line compatible cable complies with IEEE 802.3bu and has been specially designed for transmitting digital signals in the frequency range up to 600 MHz over distances of up to 40 metres. It enables simultaneous power and data supply to SPE terminals with low energy consumption (up to 50 W).
The design of the SPE cable guarantees ideal protection against electromagnetic interference. Thanks to an aluminium-laminated foil and copper braid screening with a high degree of coverage (SF/UTP), it is double shielded. In addition, the PVC outer sheath is resistant to acids and alkalis and is partially oil-resistant. UL/CSA certification enables the product to be used in North America. As a UL-listed Power Limited Tray Cable (PLTC), the new single-pair Ethernet cable can also be installed openly on cable trays.
The new Etherline T1 Y Flex 1x2x22/7 AWG opens up a host of futureproof possible applications in automation technology, including uses relating to:
• dry and damp rooms, as well as for medium mechanical stress
• structured cabling in compliance with DIN EN 50173 and ISO/IEC 11801
• single-pair Ethernet applications – 1000Base-T1 in compliance with IEEE 802.3bp and 100Base-T1 in compliance with IEEE 802.3bw.
The IEEE 802.3 bp standard describes a physical layer that permits 1 Gbit/s via single-pair twisted pair copper cables over a distance of 40 metres with shielded cables or 15 metres with unshielded cables. Possible applications in manufacturing automation include connection of Gigabit communication devices in the control cabinet or sensors with high data rates such as high resolution imaging systems. However, the IEEE 802.3 bw standard allows the same cable lengths for 100 Mbit/s. In part because of the reduced distance, this technology may also be of interest for connecting devices in the control cabinet.
"Single-pair Ethernet is an important technology for the future. But to achieve broad market penetration we need standardised and uniform connectors,” said Christian Illenseer, Product Manager, Industrial Communication at LAPP.
“You need a single standard to ensure the compatibility of the components. We decided on the SPE Industrial Partner Network because we believe that this standard has the best prospects of success in the market,” Mr Illenseer said.
Two further cables will be available soon: the Etherline T1 FD P, a shielded 26AWG cable for Gigabit Ethernet and use in cable chains, and the Etherline T1 P FLEX 18AWG for 10 Mbit/s and distances of 1,000 metres.