22 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

US firms propose an industrial Ethernet connector

US firms propose an industrial Ethernet connector

Four US firms have joined forces to draw up an open specification for an industrially hardened Ethernet connector. The four – Rockwell Automation, communications cabling giant Anixter, cabling infrastructure specialist Panduit, and telecommunications cabling supplier, Simeon – have agreed on a specification that they hope will be accepted by the rest of industry.

Ethernet, originally developed for office installations, is increasingly being installed in factory environments. Until now, however, there has been no agreed standard connector for use in these tough environments.

“There was a real need to complete some comprehensive Ethernet physical layer testing in the industrial environment,” explains Jim Westerman, senior marketing manager in Anixter`s industrial communications group.

The specification drawn up by the four participants is based on the widely used RJ45 connector and incorporates an IP67 seal. It is designed to resist the moisture, dust, corrosion, vibration, shock and electromagnetic interference that may be encountered in industrial environments.

“This development represents a major step in bringing open Ethernet standards from the office environment to industrial applications,” says Andreas Somogyi, Rockwell`s Ethernet programme manager. “This spec allows us and other manufacturers to introduce industrial Ethernet products more quickly, while providing end-users with the level of consistency they need to integrate a complete solution.”