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New industrial practices making Ethernet cabling important

By Donna Donnawitz
September 20, 2012
When you think about industrial networks, you probably think about all kinds of specialized serial solutions that are ultra reliable and can withstand just about anything. That image makes sense and was accurate. But times are changing and so are industrial networking needs.

A recent Cabling Installation & Maintenance report explained that the third industrial revolution is under way. This new period of rapid advances in the industrial sector is made up largely of improved networking systems in the sector, enabling more intelligent and efficient operations.

Many experts agree that this smart industry trend will focus on an Ethernet revolution in industry. This represents a major shift in how things get done. For the most part, an industrial network only uses Ethernet for fringe data functions. The reason is simple - Ethernet is plagued by dropped data packets and latency. You can't have a mechanical assembly robot getting confused because the data packet telling it what to do gets dropped. It just wouldn't work. But Ethernet has become more reliable and the cost factor that goes into advanced serial, automation and control networks makes Ethernet attractive for these purposes.

This doesn't mean there won't be a place for specialized industrial networks, but they will have to integrate better with Ethernet technologies. This could lead to a major need for serial-to-Ethernet technologies.

According to the news source, one of the major hurdles in moving forward in this new industrial revolution is the harsh conditions faced by industrial equipment. Let's face, whether you are using Ethernet or not, it's a problem if extreme temperatures melt your network cables. Moving forward, industrial Ethernet systems that support resilient cabling and network systems will likely play a critical role in moving the sector forward to a future where more intelligent technological systems are used and automation is even more prevalent.

The report explained that following industry standards for safety and hardiness in industrial cabling solutions will become extremely important as industrial networks expand. This will make everything from the cables themselves to termination techniques and other installation practices critical.

Regardless of the precise trajectory of the industrial networking industry moving forward, it is clear that the network will play a key role in the sector. As a result, serial-to-Ethernet solutions and advanced cabling architectures will likely become much more important in the future.

Perle’s serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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